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The Avenfield Verdict

These are the thoughts of Ahmer Bhai on Twitter and I just compiled these here as I almost agree to all of the points made there. You may follow his profile here.

I have no doubt that the Sharifs accumulated wealth through . I have no doubt they laundered it through businesses & properties via a web of companies in offshore tax havens. I have no doubt they have lied on TV, in parliament, and in Court. I have no doubt that they have contributed to Pakistan’s economic and social woes. That they have deliberately and systematically weakened regulators & state institutions to concentrate power in individual hands.

I have no doubt that they have undermined democracy and the rule of law. So it gives me satisfaction to see them convicted in Court. I understand this isn’t the end and there are appeals and deals still to go. I know they aren’t the only ones guilty of all this, and more. I am aware of the possibility, given our history and theirs, of manipulation and engineering. Yet, I’m happier today since I see this as progress. A step forward. With a journey ahead, no doubt. One that I hope will include Zardari, Musharraf, Hussain, and others held to account.

That the whole saga is entirely engineered, I cannot believe. Because there were so many choices the Sharifs themselves made along the way that led them here. They had so much opportunity to resolve the crises politically, but they chose to bring it to court. And it seems rather far-fetched to me that the military and the entire superior judiciary somehow hatched the entire plot from the Panama revelations to political campaigns to the Supreme Court hearings to the JIT findings to the conviction.

The establishment may have nudged it along, perhaps. That isn’t beyond possibility, certainly. But the Sharifs did the corruption. They did the money laundering, tax evasion, perjury. Not the army or the judges. And that’s what they have been convicted for. THEIR crimes. And it’s merely a conviction at this time. There’s been no punishment yet. More importantly, there’s been no reparations, no compensation. The billions they’ve looted, the trillions of damage they’ve caused, the decades lost. There’s nothing that can be done about those. Nothing.

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Yasir Cheema

Yasir Cheema is a Civil Engineer by training and currently working as Resident Engineer for Surbana Jurong Pte. Ltd. in Singapore. He writes at this portal about Governance, Public policy, Institutional development, Construction practices, and procedures.

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