Shaukat Aziz’s three predictions

Published: October 8, 2010
The writer hosts “Kal Tak” on Express News

The writer hosts “Kal Tak” on Express News

Shaukat Aziz is no doubt a clever person. He was an ordinary employee in Citibank in Dubai where he made friends in the royal family. He went to America and became a banker to a group of global kingmakers. PML-N Senator (and then-finance minister) Ishaq Dar brought him to Pakistan where he started advising the government on economic issues. Mr Aziz’s aim was to become governor of the State Bank of Pakistan and Ishaq Dar was about to do just that when the PML-N government fell.

However, Mr Aziz immediately contacted a relative of Pervez Musharraf and managed to speak to the army chief. The result was that he soon became finance minister and later prime minster. In fact, Mr Aziz played his cards so well that after Musharraf’s fall from power, he left the country and is now leading a lavish lifestyle abroad. People blame General Musharraf or the Chaudhry brothers for most of the ills of the previous government, conveniently forgetting Shaukat Aziz’s doings. And the irony is that he is still giving advice to poor countries on how to run and improve their economies.

Now, I have to say, I have seen a very different Shaukat Aziz in a meeting right before he left his post as prime minister. He told me he was under pressure about what to do with the Lal Masjid issue and the suspension of the chief justice of Pakistan. But what I want to mention is three predictions he made at the time, all of which I disagreed with, but which came true.

He said that Musharraf will get all his sins white-washed but the Akbar Bugti murder would be his undoing and that certain evidence in that matter, if and when disclosed, could make life difficult for him. “It will be a difficult time for Musharraf and then the army will have to choose one; Musharraf or Balochistan,” he had said.

The second thing he had said was that Nawaz Sharif will be able to return home but America and Saudi Arabia will not let him speak freely and that if the PPP and the PML-Q formed a government in the future, Sharif will be “periodically active, periodically inactive.”

And the third was that a third power is using the bench and the bar for its own interests. Ultimately the judges will get restored but the lawyers will not let them work, creating a crisis where the bench and bar will lock horns with one another. “Both will have an end similar to ours,” he said.

The first two points have already become true. And now the lawyers and the judiciary are pitched against each other, so much so that an honest and principled district and sessions judge, Zawar Ahmed Shaikh, has been sent on forced leave.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (47)

  • Oct 8, 2010 - 11:29PM

    This is more gossip than anything. So you were sitting with an outgoing PM who made three vague statements about the future, and your journalistic inquiring mind didn’t care to delve for details. Either you are not sharing what actually transpired, or Pakistan’s entire elite have mastered the act of vagueness, and the nations columnists jump on it as evidence of fact.Recommend

  • Tariq
    Oct 8, 2010 - 11:44PM

    No doubt, Shaukat Aziz is an intelligent and an asset of our country. I will disagree with your one sentence that army have one choice either to choose gen retd Pervez or Balochistan, Bugti was not an enemy of the Musharraf. Pakistani government should thanks Shaukat Aziz and should try to get advices from him for the prosperity and well being Pakistan.Recommend

  • raheel
    Oct 9, 2010 - 12:15AM

    sir javed u r gr8Recommend

  • hasan adeel
    Oct 9, 2010 - 12:19AM

    It’s the beginning of the predictions,after this many of others would come to disclose all the hidden truth about the previous regime activities.
    Now a days,Musharf is going to give statements about their period of ruling.Recommend

  • Iftikhar
    Oct 9, 2010 - 12:25AM

    Its great to see something by Chaudhry where there is no praise for the Sharif brothers!Recommend

  • Saif M
    Oct 9, 2010 - 12:43AM

    What journalist would sit on a scoop like this for three years.Recommend

  • Ahsan
    Oct 9, 2010 - 1:02AM

    Excellent article Javed sahab….!Recommend

  • Harris
    Oct 9, 2010 - 1:11AM

    Interesting analysis, although I am still quite unsure what to make of Shaukat Aziz. Certain things that he did seemed quite genuine and than certain things seem like a farse. Pakistan is probably one of the only few countries whose genuine leaders don’t live in Pakistan and that tells me that these people take Pakistan for granted, use it and than leave. Look at Tony Blaire for e.g. He certainly didn’t leave his government on a good note but did he leave his country? Bush was booed out of the US government did he leave his country? I fail to see why Pakistan’s leaders quickly jump the foreign bandwagon and abandon the very country that gave them so much. It’s actually quite embarrassing Recommend

  • Taha Kehar
    Oct 9, 2010 - 1:33AM

    There is fine line that sets apart the soothsayer from the judicious politician. Shaukat Aziz qualifies as both in this context. And yet, the politico within him is gravely diluted.
    These predictions are subject to controversy for they are not factual. Recommend

  • Taha Kehar
    Oct 9, 2010 - 1:34AM

    There is fine line that sets apart the soothsayer from the judicious politician. Shaukat Aziz qualifies as both in this context. And yet, the politico within him is gravely diluted. These predictions are subject to controversy for they are not factual. Recommend

  • ADIL
    Oct 9, 2010 - 2:37AM

    nice Nadir! nice :P Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Oct 9, 2010 - 2:48AM


    I don’t know what to make of your “disclosures”.

    Shaukat Aziz did not have much of a clue about economics (he was a PRIVATE BANKER and we all know what that means) and took advice from an old, retired bureaucratic hack who knew even less economics but was the perfect partner.

    Wonderful with the long-winded rubbish.

    But in the case of Mush and Zia before him, world events thrust Pakistan into the lime-light, aid poured in, the Americans went all soft and gooey about our bomb-making and nuclear bazaars and, as in the previous episodes of aid-fueled growth (Ayub Khan) the economy did take-off — only to self-destruct later. Never a modest or self-effacing person, he took all the credit for it and is now using that to sell himself as an “advisor”, the greatest since John Maynard Keynes, to other governments.

    The only thing I will say about him is his street smarts. Rather than hang around and hope for another job (may be a roving Ambassador of some sort because we never know when to call it quits) once he saw the writing on the wall he took his 732 state gifts and decamped.

    That was a brilliant move.

    Was becoming a paraiah and persona non grata in your own country with everyone baying for your blood worth it? Knowing his ego and the fun and games he had and played, he probaly thinks it was a game worth the candle.

    Not to mention those 732 state gifts @ 1% of full market value!

    Whatever you say, Sir, or Mr. Dar says, he was on the top of the list of the candidates for FM because of his 8 years of devoted “service” in Saudi who probably went straight to the Americans.

    I say that because once before a meeting of the IMF’s Executive Board we were all standing around and the Saudi Executive Director in the IMF, Mr. Suleiman Al-Turki, a very nice man, said, somewhat indelicately I thought:

    “How is OUR man getting on in Islamabad”? Recommend

  • Mawali
    Oct 9, 2010 - 3:14AM

    What a bunch of cockamamie. So you think ridding the people of Akbar Bugti was Musharraf’s undoing? Think not!Recommend

  • Oct 9, 2010 - 3:51AM

    Who or what is the third power cited above?Recommend

  • M.S.Shaikh
    Oct 9, 2010 - 3:53AM

    Where were you all these days with this breaking newsRecommend

  • Oct 9, 2010 - 4:19AM

    Shaukat Aziz’s ‘investment’ working. I am sure he will have some role in new setup too.Recommend

  • Saif M
    Oct 9, 2010 - 4:50AM

    Yet another story from the Arabian Nights.Recommend

  • Malik Tabeer
    Oct 9, 2010 - 7:54AM

    he Said nothing wrong but the problem is that Media and politician or just trying to catch his negative Point so they can get ride of him. thats it
    Welcome President MusharrafRecommend

  • fahad
    Oct 9, 2010 - 7:57AM

    I wish these predictions were in print before the actual thing happening. Now I am not sure if these were actually predictions or not.

    Anyways, who ever had any high hopes with the judiciary had probably never been to a court.

    And I simply can’t understand why people just spew venom against him. His “lavish” life style is probably because he is the leading finance brains in the world and not because of corruption. Even before coming to Pakistan he was a nominee for the CEO of citibank which was the world’s largest bank at the time. The last CEO’s compensation package was over 100 million dollars.

    It was only because of him that a number of Arab billionaires invested in Pakistan which only lead to the creation of jobs. A number of Arab construction and Telecom companies are now operating in Pakistan. Pakistan’s exports doubled during the time from a mere 7 billion USD to over 18 billion USD because of investments made in manufacturing by international investors. Recommend

  • Oct 9, 2010 - 9:32AM

    Excellent article? Thank you Javed sahab for the ramblings of an outgoing PM but I want more meat than that.Recommend

  • Gulshad Ahmed
    Oct 9, 2010 - 10:11AM

    come on grow up media! Chaudhry Sahab it is not media’s job to bring out publicly everything. Do write something constructively rather than spicy content. Everybody knows who was Akbar Bugti and what he was doing even his own people were not satisfied with his acts. In fact, he used to blackmail the government. I am the student of mass communication and met you once a time where you said “Pakistan’s future is very bright in journalism because youth is participating actively in it.” Even you encouraged our participation in the discussion, too. But being a media man do not forget your duties. I could not really learn from this piece of writing. Criticize others but in constructive manner rather than demolishing it all doings dashes to the ground. Whatsoever, the policies were but on what position we were standing and on what we are? In fact I am not supporting the Musharaf’s sins he made but his actions taken in the larger interest of the nation. Recommend

  • ali haider
    Oct 9, 2010 - 10:11AM

    Well Mr J Ch. this is express tribune not a talk show where you spill your beans. How about some more revelations why don’t you get Mr. Shaukat Aziz on your show and get the nation to see his real face and grill him on what he did to this country economy. Why dont you also reveal to the nation about the Jehadi Magazines agenda about which you seem to have a much greater understanding. Now is that a prediction or an assumption or reality or a myth about your far sightedness?Recommend

  • Oct 9, 2010 - 10:46AM

    Javed Sahab you sound good in Express UrduRecommend

  • Hamza Baloch
    Oct 9, 2010 - 10:55AM

    Musharraf or Balochistan,

    This is the basic point in Balochistan “freedom” movement.Recommend

  • Rakesh
    Oct 9, 2010 - 11:24AM

    Why didn’t you write about this before? If you have, can you provide relevant references?Recommend

  • Tani
    Oct 9, 2010 - 11:57AM

    Maza aa gaya janab!! Tusi g8 hoo! Yet another tail of the wonderful. Similar in vagueness to your story of the common woman recently but nonetheless a good bedtime for the rest of us. Recommend

  • Oct 9, 2010 - 1:26PM

    Why did you shoot in the dark after three years? This is no bulls-eye. Mr. Shaukat Aziz must have been very close to you and vice versa.

    Still let Mr. Musharraf come back, as he says, and when the ball in the Supreme Court starts rolling then a lot of filth will fly. If you can mention Saudi Arabia and the USA why not the third power? Any way, if and when Pandora’s box opens…….maybe the phoenix will resurrect itself.

    Keep on writing and happy hunting.

    Salams and best wishes.Recommend

  • Mani
    Oct 9, 2010 - 5:30PM

    @Ifthikhar – nicely put!!! Did you see this guy interviewing Shahbaz Shareef – nauseatingly docile. Shahbaz was bossing hima around – short of calling the breaks himself the whole interview was directed by him.

    As for Shaukat Aziz’s predictions. Wait 3 years to tell us? bizarre!Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Oct 9, 2010 - 6:52PM


    “leading finance brain and nominee of CEO of Citibank?
    Where did you get this from?Recommend

  • Singh
    Oct 9, 2010 - 8:28PM

    Interesting Q? Why Every out of power person in pakistan leave their country, where as when in power they say they will die for it? It is big puzzle. Please can anybody explain?Recommend

  • Jahanzaib Haque
    Oct 9, 2010 - 9:48PM

    @Aftab Comments which may be deemed as slander/libel (such as unsubstantiated claims regarding corruption, cheating etc.) are deleted as part of our comment moderation policy. This applies across the board. Best regards (Web Editor)Recommend

  • Jahanzaib Haque
    Oct 9, 2010 - 9:49PM

    Additionally, comments containing personal attacks on authors/commenters/any individual are also deleted (e.g. attacking an individual’s appearance). Best regards (Web Editor)Recommend

  • JOHN
    Oct 10, 2010 - 6:43AM

    @Javed Chaudhry So how we confirm your comments here … Shaukat Aziz’s is already gone and left the scene. Some one said rightly its gossip here, please do some serious writings.Recommend

  • baloch khan
    Oct 10, 2010 - 12:22PM

    prediction comes true, but i think army choosed musharaf instead of balochistan, because balochistan has slipped away from the hands of army,,Recommend

  • Oct 10, 2010 - 5:40PM

    i agree with Meekal Ahmed that Shaukat Aziz was street smart , which is what endeared him to our corrupt politicians and dictators.Recommend

  • Hassan
    Oct 11, 2010 - 12:58AM

    I agree .. what kind of a journalist would keep such a conversation a secret for 3 years. Did you not have any other topic for an article.

    Instead of lame gossip please try and tackle the current problems and how this government can solve them. Please do something productive for a change !Recommend

  • Shahryar Ahmed
    Oct 11, 2010 - 9:40AM

    Akbar Bugti case is nothing by t a circus act. First of all, as rightly pointed out by Musharraf lately, if the government & he wanted to murdur Bugti, then why a Col. & 2 would Majors (SSG) would have gone into the cave to negotiate surrender?

    Secondly, Bugti was nt saint. OGDC & PPL have been giving him billions of Rupees as royalties over many decades not years, with that kind of money; Sui would have been if not Switzerland, but atleast a well developed area which is not the case. That money was not his but Bugti people & while they were living in hell, Bugti grandsons were driving Ferrari’s in Karachi around 15 armed men, living in palatial houses.

    Thirdly, he was no saint, it is on record that he said that the first murder he commited by at the tender age of 16.

    He & now his grandson is sponsoring terrorists’ against Pakistan, funded by India, & this is no hearsay. Go ask any Army personnel about this & he will bear witness to this information. So please stop & think for a minute. Look at the recent history of Bugti’s & you will find out the real truth.

    Rise above the ethnic biases spread by a bunch of mediocre journalists & talk show hosts working on the behest of the media owners with their own vested interests.Recommend

  • Patriot
    Oct 11, 2010 - 11:08AM

    Does this Lahore based incidental journalist know what was the level of Shaukat Aziz at Citibank. He could have been the CEO of that Bank. Had he been an indian his life success story would have been taught at business schools. What a shame on usRecommend

  • gangly khan
    Oct 11, 2010 - 3:19PM

    Most of the Pakistanis or ordinary people including Choudary. Our generals, bureaucrats, politicians are from middle class families. Intellect wise they are not super human beings. It is Mistress luck that takes someone high and low..Recommend

  • Abdul Basit
    Oct 11, 2010 - 4:11PM

    I really admire you but your write ups in english make me question myself.

    Please dont fancy english!Recommend

  • Shemrez Nauman Afzal
    Oct 11, 2010 - 4:47PM

    Dear Mr. El-Edroos,
    Javed Chaudhry’s expose of PM Shaukat Aziz’s predictions is more sound than any of your vague ramblings that I have come across on this newspaper magazine.
    Please try to be constructive, and not destructive, as every expatriate Pakistani finds it so easy to be. Journalism is an art of veiling and revealing. If you are so smart in this art, why don’t you go meet the former Prime Minister and pry everything out of him?
    Or are you unaware of the sensitivities of politics at the very highest levels?
    Please, sir, desist from such wanton attacks on everyone and everything other than yourself.
    Kind Regards,
    A reader who used to be a fan of yours. Recommend

  • Rizwan
    Oct 12, 2010 - 10:59AM

    ever thought why terms like “lahore based, karachi based, sindhi, punjabi, pathan” are used in our writing, not “pakistan based, pakistani, our, etc. our politicos, govt, systems, institutions etc are bad but are WE good ?? Recommend

  • Nadeem
    Oct 12, 2010 - 6:43PM

    Every educated person admits Shaukat Aziz’s role in boosting the economy of our country. No one ever thought, but Shoukat Aziz policies took our GDP to more than 8. When he quited, people like Javed Ch. and others called him “Short-Cut Aziz” but even the stubborn investigative reporters (like Ansar Abbasi) could not find fault in his policies and could not create any corruption scandel.Surely, We again need a regulatory authority like Shaukat Aziz for supporting our falling economy.Recommend

  • Shabbir Bukhari
    Oct 13, 2010 - 12:24AM

    Is this an article.It sound more a joke.Your audience is “uneducated” masses for whom religion is an opium.A tough experience in English media,For Urdu media you are fine,Recommend

  • CATH
    Oct 15, 2010 - 10:55PM

    What have Pakistanis done to themselves by supporting judiciary???????

    In 1999, under Nawaz Sharif, Revenue generation of around Rs.308 billion could not meet the growing expenditure requirements; with only an average of Rs.80 billion being spent on Public sector development programs (PSDP) annually, and no visible project to boast about. From this Rs.308 billion around 65% was being utilized for debt servicing. In 1988 Pakistan’s foreign debt was $18 billion, but at the end of 1999 it had accumulated to become $38 billion. A 100% increased burden on the already crippled economy. Public and external debt exceeded 300% of Foreign exchange earnings.
    Musharraf then appointed Shaukat Aziz, a former Citibank executive, as finance minister. Profile: Shaukat Aziz – BBC News
    • Pakistan’s economy grew by 100% — to become $ 160 billion
    • Revenue grew by 100% — to become $ 11.4 billion
    • Per Capita income grew by 100% — to become $ 925
    • Foreign Reserves grew by 500% — to become $ 17 billion
    • Exports grew by 100% — to become $ 18.5 billion
    • Textile exports grew by 100% — to become $ 11.2 billion
    • Karachi Stock Exchange grew by 500% — to become $ 75 billion
    • Foreign Direct Investment grew by 500% — to become $ 8.4 billion
    • Annual Debt servicing decreased by 35% — to become 26%
    • Poverty decreased by 10% — to become 24%
    • Literacy ratio grew by 10% — to become 54%
    • Public development Funds grew by 100% — to become Rs 520 billion
    The vision and policies helped Pakistan come out of the list of Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) while setting it on path of prosperity, growth and economic reforms. The world financial institutions like the World Bank and IMF and ADB have been praising Pakistan for its reforms, fiscal policies and macro-economic achievements.

    Under Musharraf’s tenure, Pakistan saw exceptional setup of 47 universities, including Virtual University, under the supervision of Higher Education Commission. Most of the universities were of international standards.
    Pakistan now has a total of 245,682 educational institutions in all categories, including 164,579 (i.e. 67%) in the public sector and 81,103 (i.e. 100%) in the private sector, reports the National Education Census (NEC-2005). The census — jointly conducted by the Ministry of Education, the Academy of Educational Planning and Management (AEPAM) and the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) — reveals that the number of private-sector institutions has increased from 36,096 in 1999-2000 to 81,103 in 2005, i.e. by 100%; 45,007 Educational Institutions have increased in Musharraf Era.Recommend

  • Ali
    Oct 19, 2010 - 2:27PM

    this article is ridiculous! Shaukat Aziz was a top banker at Wall Street – he was never ‘rubbing’ shoulders with the kings in M.E. – Mr. Shariff had more experience with this. What fiscal policy of his do you actually disagree with? In hindsight, privatization and liberalization was the way to go – de-regulation however is still open for debate.Recommend

  • T. Khan
    Nov 12, 2010 - 2:58AM

    The rise & success of Shaukat Aziz from a good banker to Finance Minister & subsequently as Prime Minister lies in his ability to speak cautiously and never uttering a single word out of necessity. He knows how to protect his interest and has always been loyal to his Masters. He never ever gossip even about those who dislike him & never burns the bridge. I highly doubt that he made these predictions; he may have commented on these happenstances, however not in a manner of predictions. Those who know him can testify that he has few trusted friends but 1000 of acquaintance with whom he never confides. So, Mr. Chaudhry I question the credibility of your story because it smells – as you waited too long!Recommend

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