Wednesday 12 May 2010

Moral dilemas of Pakistani politics: Prime Minister Gilani of Pakistan prefers corruption over nepotism

Speaking at an election rally in Muzaffargarh district Pakistan Prime Minister Gilani proudly stated that he has chosen Mr Jamshed Dasti, a known felon, over his own brother to stand as his party's candidate in the forthcoming elections.

His statement comes "while setting honesty and fair play as criteria for public officeholders, the Supreme Court on Wednesday declared that all those candidates who had earlier resigned [from the parliament] under the charges of having fake degrees would be ineligible to contest by-elections." Mr. Jamshed Dasti is one of those fraudsters identified by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Mr. Jamshed Dasti, a close friend of President Asif Ali Zardari, recently resigned from the parliament, under the apex court's pressure, for having used fake certificates of educational qualification from a religious institution - a common ploy used by uneducated but rich and influential politicians to circumvent a legal requirement to hold at least a Bachelors Degree from a recognised educational institution (which unfortunately includes religious madrassahs many of whom would sell you one for a charitable donation, along with a free pass for entry for two into heaven). Though the law has itself now been changed (thus denying some religious schools at least one means of funding) but not before cases and Mr Dasti and other fraudsters appeared before the courts.

Dishonesty and being involved in fraudulent activities is now worn as a badge of honour by the ruling party in Pakistan. President Zardari had responded to the outcry against Mr Jamshed Dasti by awarding him party ticket, again, to contest the by-election. Well! You would expect from President Zardari this cavalier attitude towards building your parliamentary team from among politicians of questionable morals. But it was the Prime Minister who shocked the law abiding citizens of Pakistan when he appointed disgraced Jamshed Dasti his adviser on livestock, a fortnight after the latter opted to resign from his seat to avoid a jail sentence. Now the Prime Minister has declared Mr Jamshed Ahmad Dasti to be a true representative of the poor labourers and the impoverished, and the people should support him in by-elections.

Mr Gilani hails from a long line of honourable and religious leaders from Multan and boast a religious following perhaps more than his political credentials. He is in the process of destroying his heritage by not demonstrating a strong spine as a leader and standing up for morals that his elders upheld. His legacy is in danger of becoming that of a spineless front man of a globally recognised corrupt master, and whose job is to clear up litter thrown around by corrupt stooges of Mr. Zardari.