Accountability: We Need To Get Rid Of Double Standards

June 1, 2017 Asia , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , Pakistan , POLITICS

imran-khan

Reuters photo

 

By

Imad Zafar

 

The Prime Minister’s family presented in front of a Joint Investigation Team and Imran Khan appearing before the Supreme Court; this is the news trending everywhere in Pakistan.

It reminds me of the years 2000 and 2001 when Hamza Shahbaz, son of Shehbaz Sharif, used to appear before accountability courts and in front of the cronies of the then dictator Pervez Musharraf. It was a period of martial law and Hamza had to face lot of investigations regarding his exiled family, there being no political workers to greet him. The same was the case with leaders like Javed Hashmi, Mushahid Ullah Khan, Siddiq ul Farooq, Saad Rafique, Khawaja Asif and many others.

They were tortured and sent to prisons many times on account of false accusations of corruption. During the 8 year rule of Musharraf not a single charge of corruption was proven against Nawaz Sharif or the late Benazir Bhutto. But still the narrative of Accountability, built by invisible sources, is strong and very easy to sell to the masses. Watching Nawaz Sharif’s family facing the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and Imran khan facing the courts and election commission hearings for the same accusations is actually a sign that nothing has changed in the power corridors of Pakistan. The same old story of politicians being responsible for every mischief in the country is yet again being sold and the masses are given one more lollipop of Accountability.

 

Electronic media’s dancing to the tune of the masters is successfully creating hatred for politicians and democracy in the public eye. What a joke that the parachute anchors who have no experience of field journalism are giving lectures to the masses that politicians’ corruption is the main reason for Pakistan not being able to progress and on the other hand do not even dare to give one minute’s coverage on the white collar crimes of their own TV Channel owners who are involved in using their influence to gain monetary benefits and exploiting the system when and where needed. Their billions of rupees tax evasion and whitening the black money seems no corruption or misdeed to the electronic media.

The same is the case with most of the major news publications. Somehow the other pillars of state are exempted from being labelled as corrupt as questioning their misuse of authority or corruption means risking your life. You cannot accuse the judiciary for all the misdeeds it has done by validating martial laws. You cannot criticize judges for taking monetary benefits and rewarding the decision in favor of the party or person in return. It is called contempt of court, a law that was made by the British to silence the voices of the masses in the subcontinent during the colonial period. You cannot question the institution that has been responsible for four martial laws and, that according to Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, runs the biggest business empire of the country.

 

So politicians are a soft target to attack as with all the combined differences one has to admit they somehow represent democracy and thus accept criticism and bashing. It is easy to hold them accountable for everything as by criticizing them one has no fear of becoming a missing person or being called a traitor or a person who committed contempt. So from my colleagues in the electronic and print media to the ordinary masses, everyone loves to bash politicians and narrate stories which actually have no single piece of evidence. On the other hand even big businessmen like Aqeel Karim Dhedhi and Malik Riaz cannot be focused on for their misdeeds as exposing those results in the deprivation of monetary benefits for my colleagues and a drop in advertising revenue for electronic and print media. The masses who love to criticize politicians and listen to fabricated lectures on corruption have double standards too.

Acquiring illegal possession of homes to pass false construction maps, to using below standard construction materials; everything is justified in a personal capacity. It is each and everyone among us who sells expired medicines, unhealthy milk, hoards food and grocery items, and sells stolen mobiles; does not want to hive 100 percent in private or government jobs but loves to get each and every single perk, makes under the table commissions, earns wealth by breaking all the ethics morals and rules of law yet considers ourselves the purest of all.

A country where a patient on a death bed is being given fake medicine or during heart surgery fake and expired stunts are planted and where doctors and private hospitals are looking to earn more even on the dead body, does not have any moral authority to question politicians or any other in the power corridor. Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan or Asif Zardari do not force any milk seller, shopkeeper, private or government servant, doctor, engineer or any other person associated with any field to become involved in corruption.

It is our collective attitude of acquiring luxuries at the cost of morals and ethics that has actually given birth to a society where everyone is involved in moral or financial corruption but expects others to respect morals and law. You cannot justify your corruption as a necessity to live and accuse others of not being ethical. A society can only progress when each and every individual takes responsibility. Accountability is good but it should start from one’s own self and should be held accountable by each and every person and institution.

Each and every one among us actually needs to face a concise Joint Investigation Team if there is one. We all need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves are we ready to face a JIT for not fulfilling the basic duties and responsibilities of a citizen and for always exploiting the system according to our own status and power? I think most of us know the answer. We need to stop this double standard regarding morals and ethics or else we will forever remain in a state of denial and keep living as a group of opportunists rather than a civilized society or nation.

 

 

 

 

Imad Zafar

Imad Zafar

Imad Zafar is a journalist based in Lahore. He is a regular Columnist/Commentator in newspapers. He is associated with TV channels, radio, newspapers, news agencies, political, policies and media related think tanks.

1 Comment

  1. Siva June 03, at 01:04

    World is suffering due to double standard and biased policies. It is shameful to support oppressive regimes while boasting democratic values. Despite WikiLeaks exposed dark side of global politics, international diplomatic actions and their versions are unworthy, unreliable as they are simply to suit them and cover up crimes against humanity.

    Reply

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