Imran Khan

Imran Khan, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday (22 January 2012) said corruption in the country could be ended in 90 days under an honest prime minister.
He said farmers were in dire need of justice as 30 percent of their production was being looted by brokers sitting in the assemblies. He said the sugar mafia in Pakistan was very strong and not making the right payment to farmers. He said that if proper facilities are accorded to farmers Punjab alone could increase agricultural production up to Rs300 billion.

Imran said change would come when important institutions like Pakistan Railways, PIA and Steel Mills were run by honest and competent people.

President Zardari

About the NRO case, the PTI chief said President Zardari had deposited Rs5 billion in Swiss banks after looting the money from the national economy. He asked why the government did not write the letter to the Swiss authorities if Zardari was innocent.

Imran argued that the nation has a right to know where this money came from.

Under relentless pressure from street demonstrations in early 2009, Zardari reinstated the popular Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who had been sacked by the country’s military ruler, Pervez Musharraf. Before the year was over, Chaudhry’s court had ordered Gilani’s government to take steps to reopen the Swiss case, along with hundreds of others that had been shelved by a controversial 2007 amnesty decree. Since 2009 the court has repeatedly ordered Prime Minister Gilani to send a letter to Swiss authorities requesting that they reopen a money-laundering case against his political master, President Asif Ali Zardari.

On Monday 16 January 2012, Gilani was ordered to appear before the Supreme Court to answer for charges of failure comply with Supreme Court’s order to take action against President Zardari. But Gilani stood his ground as always in the courtroom on Thursday (19 January, 2012), arguing that Zardari enjoys sovereign immunity from prosecution of any sort as long as he is president. “It is my firm conviction that he has complete immunity inside and outside the country,” Gilani told the judges. “In the Constitution, there is complete immunity for the president. There is no doubt about that.”

Zardari’s approval rating at best is just above 20 percent. Ordinary Pakistanis are struggling to hold themselves together, hammered by inflation, energy shortages, and worry. Steel mills, railways, the national airline and other state-run enterprises are in pitiful shape as they drain the country’s already depleted treasury.

Back in the late 1980s, Zardari’s wife, Benazir Bhutto, was serving her first term as prime minister, Pakistanis contemptuously nicknamed him “Mr. 10 Percent,” and in 2003 a Swiss court convicted the couple in absentia of skimming and laundering tens of millions of dollars from a Swiss contract. In 2008, after Zardari was elected president in the wake of his wife’s assassination, the Swiss closed the case at his government’s request.

The military hates him for being pro-American and pro-Indian without any ideology of his own. In the wake of the U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound last May, an anonymous memo was delivered to Adm. Mike Mullen, then chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. The document expressed fear of a possible military coup in Pakistan and requested America’s assistance to prevent it, proposing to put the country’s military chiefs on trial and offering a free hand to U.S. forces for attacks on Pakistani soil. Mullen himself dismissed the memo as a hoax. Pakistan’s senior officers are said to believe that Zardari was behind it. Both Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, have gone on record saying they regard it as treasonous. The Supreme Court is investigating, and if the memo can be traced to the president, the military (and many others) hope he’s toast.

His term of office (and those of the Parliament his party controls) won’t expire until 2013. In the upcoming Senate elections in March, his party and its allies are expected to win. His Pakistan People’s Party has roots in all four provinces and remains strong and well organised.

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