Shame on the whole lot of them

Fahd Husain May 13, 2010

I don’t know which is worse: being financially or morally bankrupt. We seem to be nearing both. For the financial aspect, we’ll have to judge the forthcoming budget, but as far as the moral dimension is concerned, let’s judge the actions of our prime minister.

On Tuesday he went to Muzaffargarh to campaign for the infamous Jamshed Dasti. The said gentleman is – how should I say it – a cheat. He cheated his voters, his party, the state, and the people of Pakistan. In the last election he bought himself a fake degree. Basically he cheated and he lied. His degree was challenged, he was hauled up before the Supreme Court where he made a fool of himself and then to save himself further humiliation he did the only honourable thing he could do: he resigned. The PPP high command then did what to them was the honourable thing — they gave Dasti the party ticket to contest from the same constituency in the by-elections which were being held because the seat had fallen vacant, because, you guessed it, Dasti had resigned, because he cheated and lied.

So far, so bad. Now the prime minister went a step further. He went to Dasti’s rally and praised him to high heaven. And if this wasn’t enough, in clear disregard of the Election Commission’s rules, he told the people of the constituency that they would get mega projects (one of which alone is worth a billion rupees) if they voted for the candidate.

Surely, the prime minister should have known the following rule laid down by the Election Commission of Pakistan: ECP Code of Conduct 2007, Article (3):

“[A]fter the announcement of the election schedule till the day of polling, no candidate or any person on his behalf shall, openly or in secret, give any subscription or donation, or make promise for giving such subscription or donation, to any institution of their respective constituency or to any other institution, nor shall commit to undertake any development project in the respective constituency.” And here’s Article (16) of the same Code of Conduct: “Ministers shall not combine their official visits with election campaign.”

Can it get any clearer than this? Actually it can. On May 13 the prime minister stood in the National Assembly and mangled logic and reason magnificently. Justifying Dasti’s ticket, he said it was the party’s decision and he had to abide by it. Say what? And check this logic out: he said his brother had applied for the same ticket and since Dasti got it, if he had not campaigned for him, people would have said he was holding a grudge because his brother was turned down. What is this? A family soap opera?

Dasti is one of hundreds of politicians who submitted fake degrees to make their way into parliament. They’re all morally bankrupt, as are those who defend them. This whole sorry saga of fake degrees is fast exposing the hypocrisy that infests our political system. It’s not just the prime minister and his party that have come out looking bad from this whole episode. If the PPP has given the ticket to Dasti, then the PML-N has also awarded tickets to established fake degree holders like Azam Chela from Jhang (he won the by-election), and Ajmal Asif from Faisalabad — he’s contesting the upcoming poll.

The Election Commission, whose responsibility it is to keep a check on these excesses, and haul up the prime minister for flouting the Code of Conduct, is sleeping. What else can it do? From its lack of action, it would be fair to say that it is a toothless and spineless body. Just like the fake degree holders and their apologists. Shame on the whole lot.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 14th, 2010.


kami | 11 years ago | Reply Its more about ethics i guess. producing fake degrees, cheating with the general public, lying on different issues. This became the moto of PPP. instead of ROTI KAPRA N MAKAAN they should be saing anything else. Its not only Dasti but in the case of Rehman Malik and Babar awan too. the way President is backin g these two persons. the way PPP is in confrontation with Judiciary is really harmfull for the system. the people r chanting slogans of democracy. they should b ashamed of it. we don,t need this kind of democracy but we need basic rights. we should not expect much from PM gillani or his team. God bless Pakistan
Syed Wasi Haider | 11 years ago | Reply i dont have too much interst in politics, but i was very surprised when i came to know that jamshaid dasti in lime light, and he got popularity with in few years, he rise up very quickly.he is basicly from dasti Trible of Muzaffar garh. personly i think he is just materic he dont have any college degree, but if he fond the degree then its mean that is fake, regarding his victory and his popularity just i want to inform you that he is inter act with the common peoples of the city and also with all srrounded villages near muzaffar garh, he is serving without any fee, (court probs, land matters, and house custodian matters, even fight betweem other tribes and all other little and minor probs.) same like any filmi hero, so he got attention in the city and also in the all nearest villages. specilay he got double trust of the peoples of the city when he stand up in election against his cousin Abdul Hayee Dasti, (who was contineuly winner since long time) and he beat him with great voting power. i remember in 2005 he was becoming hero of the city , everybody was with him, he won the heart of the peoples, and common man of the city belive him same like Qaid. after that again he clean sweep in 2008 election. meanwhile he contineue to help the poor peoples , specily laboures and jobless peoples., after this success he was in Parliment, then he faced case against his eligiblity in court. he resigned, but you can see, he again got more then 66000 vote from his pole in recent Election. in your colum i agree he is against of the rule and he made fake degree yes off course he did wrong, but why again he is getting victory??? then i just wana say, this is the big Question Mark against the system? when your system cant work for common man your police your court and your fudal laws and land lord dont wana help you, and meanwhile one man come and he is doing help, even he got bad charchtor in the front of educated peoples. but he is doing help and trying to solv probs of the peoples, so peoples should vote him, this is the human nature. THANKS
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