Saturday, February 16, 2008

Charges Of Corruption

Recently, we have had all too much evidence of politicization of our executive branch for no other purpose than for electing candidates of one particular party. The party sinking to that level is, of course, the GoPerv party, the one that has the stranglehold on our former government of the people, by the people and for the people. The crooks in power have turned our reputable institutions into an imitation of the banana republics we used to censure for their practice of extremism and partisanship above the laws.

Its association with corrupt regimes would appear to have caused a rubbing off, their vices onto our occupied White House. Pakistan has been particularly problematic.

While I have for a long time suspected that the refrain about the late Benazir Bhutto that she was corrupt were an invention by her - and her distinguished family's - opponents, it is very satisfactory to me to come across actual documentation of what I long have believed.

Malik Qayyum is a former judge who resigned from the bench in 2001 amid charges of misconduct. On April 15, 1999, a two-judge panel of the Lahore High Court headed by Qayyum convicted Benazir Bhutto and her husband Asif Ali Zardari in a corruption case. They were sentenced to five years in prison, fined US$8.6 million dollars each, disqualified as members of parliament for five years, and forced to forfeit their property. The impending verdict led Bhutto to go into exile in March 1999.

In February 2001, the Sunday Times, a British newspaper, published a report based on transcripts of 32 audio tapes, which revealed that Qayyum convicted Bhutto and Zardari for political reasons. The transcripts of the recordings reproduced by the newspaper showed that Qayyum asked then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s anti-corruption chief, Saifur Rehman, for advice on the sentence: “Now you tell me how much punishment do you want me to give her?”

In April 2001, on the basis of this evidence, a seven-member bench of Pakistan’s Supreme Court upheld an appeal by the couple, overturning the conviction. In its ruling, the Supreme Court contended that Qayyum had been politically motivated in handing down the sentence. Faced with a trial for professional misconduct before Pakistan’s Supreme Judicial Council, the constitutional body authorized to impeach senior judges, Qayyum opted to resign his post in June 2001.

A close associate of Musharraf, Qayyum was appointed as the lead counsel on behalf of Pakistan’s federal government in the presidential reference against Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, instituted after Chaudhry was first illegally deposed by Musharraf on March 9, 2007. A full bench of Pakistan’s Supreme Court reinstated Chief Justice Chaudhry on July 20, 2007.

Qayyum was appointed attorney general of Pakistan by Musharraf in August 2007.

The long lasting stain on her reputation severely limited former Prime Minister Bhutto's ability to enlist western countries in needed assistance to her to return good government to Pakistan. In supporting the authoritarian regime of General Musharraf our worst administration ever did not ever seek to clear her name. It would have been inconvenient to their continued use of the corrupt Musharraf regime.

While if there are charges that could be proved, they should have been brought out, the methods and questionable people involved indicate that an honest prosecution would not have worked out well for Pakistan's military government, that was not elected to high office.

The lesson our war criminals learned was the usefulness of charges, however insubstantiated, against their opponents. The Department of Justice was dragged into a very similar operation during elections here, bringing charges against the opponents of their colleagues in the GoPervian party.

Unfortunately for all members of the presently minority party, the result was to revolt any decent and law-abiding members of their party. What remains is corrupted if not by their own actions, by the association with unconstitutional, unAmerican, unethical activities they have allowed to go on.

338 days


Tension is rising as elections approach, and an opposition candidate who was a follower of the late Ms. Bhutto, Sayed Hussain, was attacked, 37 followers killed, in an area of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan today. A great deal is at stake.

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Blogger Mr.Murder said...

IMO, I always felt going after Bhutto was a kind of October Surprise.

Multinationals going after anyone who could have worked us to the Clinton era of foreign policy.

Strange how that effort basically armed a coup d'etat here in the time thereafter.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never believed that Bhutto and her family were the crooks that they were reputed to be. I always felt that the illegal government had to say that and get the charges out in circulation in order to blunt Bhutto's appeal to other countries. It was felt to be in the US government's interest to see to it that she was not allowed back in power. In spite of the protestations of our government's representatives, democracy is not encouraged in countries from which we are taking mineral or agricultural wealth. Nor is it encouraged in countries that we are using as "counterweights" to nations that we "need" to control. In fact, democracy is actively opposed. Not backing Bhutto is just another example.

4:32 PM  

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