Justice Javed Iqbal said “We will not take any illegitimate action against the lawlessness of the secret agencies but a solid action to recover the missing persons.”Justice Javed Iqbal observed that being supreme, no one can hold the Parliament accountable.
Yesterday’s headlines screamed the Chief justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry celebrating the “recovery” of monies scammed from bank of Punjab by Haris Steel Mill owners, declaring BoP case a precedent for loan recovery. That he would declare this in response to NAB stating that of the Rs. 13 Billion scam, only Rs. 5.6 Billion have been recovered is further proof that the fix was onHave the courts become part and party to the looting? (The only other possibility is that the justices are too dumb)
Why do I say this? I say this because what started out as a Rs. 13 Billion scam was quietly reduced to a Rs 9 Billion scam (and now to Rs. 8.4 Billion) and what started out as Rs 7.5 Billion recovered months ago (from the HSI owner, Sheikh Afzal alone — their are at least 17 co-accused) is now reduced to only Rs 5.6 Billion, right in front of the eyes of these courts and the judges are pretending not to have noticed. (For a complete background, see my previous posts — links at the bottom).
(Right now I hear CJ is in a meeting with PM Gilani, with a picture of Benazir sitting between them. Though Gilani had invited CJ, I am surprised the CJ has obliged him. This is UNPRECEDENTED! Of course nothing good can come of it.)
Aitzaz says “CJ, let’s go meet Zardari!” and CJ says “Oh yes, Master!” People curse but…
Aitzaz says “CJ, let’s go meet Holbrooke!” and CJ says “Oh yes, Master!” People curse but…
Aitzaz says “CJ, let’s go meet Gilani!” and CJ says “Oh yes, Master!” People are cursing but…
Shame on you, CJ. Shame on you and the whole judiciary!
And see how Aitzaz managed to get a seat right next to CJ (Shouldn’t Justice Ramday have been there??). He also managed to hold a press conference afterwards calling Gilani’s visit ‘khush-aain” and how it “reduces the tention” and how “tasadum” has been avoided (all of which the media is lapping up and repeating without end). Aitzaz also informs us there will be “good news” at 3:00 pm tomorrow. Of course he won’t tell us but we already know and how Aitzaz-guided spin will go. I predict withdrawl of the presidential notification with both sides claiming victory and BOTH sides claiming constitution has been protected while in actuality one will be covering up their unconstitutional act that deserved application of Article 6, while the other will be abetting the same.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman has approved the plea bargain request of the major culprits of the Bank of Punjab (BoP) Rs 9 billion fraud scandal, giving them a clean chit to live a free bird’s life, The News has learnt.
The executive board meeting of the NAB on Wednesday approved the plea bargain/voluntary return of 18 accused of the BoP scandal and settled the matter for Rs 8.4 billion, which is the estimated price of assets surrendered by Sheikh Afzal and others of the Harris Steel Mills.
“The NAB will produce this deal along with other documents before the Supreme Court on Thursday (11-02-2010) and will follow directions of the apex court in this regard,” one of the attendants of the meeting said on condition of anonymity.
He said the NAB was letting the accused go unpunished without even recovering the full amount embezzled. “This would be make the law look like a joke.“
Indeed it does make “the law look like a joke“. What makes it even more so is the fact that one of the star witnesses and co-accused former President of BoP, Hameesh Khan is yet to make his appearance as he awaits extradition to Pakistan. He was expected to reveal much so a plea bargain at this time would certainly shut him up as he can be certain he has nothing to gain fromtelling the
The only thing left to see is if that holy SC goes along with it. Will SC accept it? If the SC accepts it, that certainly will strip Iftikhar Chaudhry of his robe and show SC emperor in his new clothes. Let me be bold here and state I am betting all my money on this. SC WILL accept this plea bargain and say “Great Job, NAB!” and the Chief Justice WILL give a bunch of speeches taking credit for the recovered money and he will lie how ‘justice was served’ in this case and ‘stolen monies recovered’. I am betting my money on it because I have already seen him protecting these criminals and treating them like celebrities and directing NAB to be nice to them (e.g. read this to see him protect one of the accused Seth Yaqoob who is an old papi). I am betting my money on it because I have watched SC not take notice of the missing Rs 4 Billion. I am betting my money on it because I have seen the SC ignore the major culprits of this scam who stole more than Rs 160 billion (you can read more about the people involved at the ‘BoP Scam – The Fix Is On Again‘ link above)
Of course this whole ‘accountability’/’doing away with the NRO’ bit is a sham and we are being fooled by the court and the honorable judges. To show you what a crock it is, let me relate you the case of one NRO-beneficiary that I know personally. He ran away from the country about 10 years ago to avoid arrest. By his own admission, he managed to escape with Rs 19 crore (keep in mind this figure DOES NOT include the monies he left stashed here somewhere nor the value of the properties he bought with his ill-gotten gains). During these years on the run, he spent time in Dubai, New York, and Toronto. With the NRO signed, he came back to the country, got his son married to a rich doctor, but seeing the channged political scene (“it had become too corrupt” even for him), and with the NRO in doubt, he left the country againand went back to Dubai. Later I heard that he might be coming back soo as NAB was offering him a sweet deal: “Pay just Rs 3 crore and all will be forgiven!” (Remember he stole more than 19 crores and that too in 1990’s rupees when the dollar was around Rs 10). Well I was still suprised to run into him at the wedding last week (and seeing him shake the hands of Justice Ramday who too was present there did make me feel dirty so I avoided both). Surprised because I had thought with the NRO cancelled he certainly would stay away from the country but then I remembered that NAB offer and thought he must have paid up. Upon a later inquiry I was told nothing like that had happened. He was not even going to pay the Rs 3 crore because he said he didn’t see the need. Instead he was here because he WANTED to get convicted to get it over with. He says he will then appeal and is assured that process would be dragged for at least 20 years or more i.e. until he passes away (since this fella is past 60 years of age).
So my friends, this is ‘justice’ and ‘accountability’ by ‘a free judiciary’ in this ‘land of the pure’!!!
(a small note to follow on Justice Ramday later on today as I have to go run an errand)
UPDATE: This story below tells me I might be about to loose my bet money but I’ll do that gladly:
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has expressed annoyance over non-suspension of the NAB chairman, and termed it a sheer disrespect on part of the government of the verdict of 17-member bench of the Supreme Court. During the hearing of Harris Steel Mill case, the CJ remarked that under which law, bargaining has been made with the accused of the Harris Steel Mill scam. The counsel of Bank of Punjab told the court that so far around Rs 8 billion has been recovered in the fraud case, adding that NAB is cutting Rs 200 million as commission.
34 years. It doesn’t even sound like a real number to me. Not when one really thinks about being in a jail cell for that long. All these years and I swear, I still think sometimes I’ll wake up from this nightmare in my own bed, in my own home, with my family in the next room. I would never have imagined such a thing. Surely the only place people are unjustly imprisoned for 34 years is in far away lands, books or fairy tales.
It’s been that long since I woke up when I needed to, worked where I wanted to, loved who I was supposed to love, or did what I was compelled to do. It’s been that long-long enough to see my children have grandchildren. Long enough to have many of my friends and loved ones die in the course of a normal life, while I was here unable to know them in their final days.
So often in my daily life, the thought creeps in – ”I don’t deserve this.” It lingers like acid in my mouth. But I have to push those types of thoughts away. I made a commitment long ago, many of us did. Some didn’t live up to their commitments, and some of us didn’t have a choice. Joe Stuntz didn’t have a choice. Neither did Buddy Lamont. I never thought my commitment would mean sacrificing like this, but I was willing to do so nonetheless. And really, if necessary, I’d do it all over again, because it was the right thing to do. We didn’t go to ceremony and say “I’ll fight for the people as long as it doesn’t cost too much.” We prayed, and we gave. Like I say, some of us didn’t have a choice. Our only other option was to run away, and we couldn’t even do that. Back then, we had no where left to run to.
I have cried so many tears over these three plus decades. Like the many families directly affected by this whole series of events, my family’s tears have not been in short supply. Our tears have joined all the tears from over 500 years of oppression. Together our tears come together and form a giant river of suffering and I hope, cleansing. Injustice is never final, I keep telling myself. I pray this is true for all of us.
To those who know I am innocent, thank you for your faith. And I hope you continue working for my release. That is, to work towards truth and justice. To those who think me guilty, I ask you to believe in and work for the rule of law. Even the law says I should be free by now, regardless of guilt. What has happened to me isn’t justice, it isn’t the law, it isn’t fair, it isn’t right. This has been a long battle in an even longer war. But we have to remain vigilant, as we have a righteous cause. After all this time, I can only ask this: Don’t give up. Not ever. Stay in this fight with me. Suffer with me. Grieve with me. Endure with me. Believe with me. Outlast with me. And one day, celebrate freedom with me. Hoka hey!
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
PO Box 7488
Fargo, ND 58106
Watch Incident at Oglala – The Leonard Peltier Story (length 1:31:45)
Terrified that yet another secret prison was waiting for her she revealed how she peaked through the curtain into the part of the room where Afghans and Americans were talking, and how when a startled American soldier noticed her, he jumped up and yelled that the prisoner was loose, and shot her in the stomach. She described how she was also shot in the side by a second person. She also described how after falling back onto the bed in the room, she was violently thrown to the floor and lost consciousness.
"Well done, boys!"
P.S. You know what I find really disgusting? ‘Progressive-liberals’ like Teeth Maestro who has had a number of posts in support of Dr Aafia but today came up with this jewel: “we must simply accept the decision, pending a possible appeal, Dr. Aafia is guilty“.