Season of Fugitive Return

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As October approaches, fugitives from far-flung regions where they have been hiding out to avoid court orders and their repercussions return during this season. They continued with their evil deeds even though they had been designated as absconders. They are not only returning; they are doing so with state protection to take over important positions and portfolios now that they have their people in authority who moved rapidly to modify the necessary legislation to get released from several corruption investigations. Ishaq Dar, a self-described felon whom the previous prime minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, helped leave the nation in his government jet, has returned in the current prime leader’s jet to take his oath as a senator and finance minister.

Don’t forget about Maryam Nawaz, the other prisoner who was given a brief reprieve to care for her (at the time) ill father years ago. While Nawaz Sharif managed to escape the country using a fake medical certificate and has since been declared an absconder, living in his opulent home built with illegal proceeds, she has been allowed to roam the nation free while being escorted according to all protocol, hurling insults and venom at his political rivals. Will the common man of this land receive equivalent benefits as well? Or will they be imprisoned regardless of whether they are accountable for the crime they are accused of committing? Do the corrupt and criminal Sharif and Bhutto/Zardari clans have exclusive access to these privileges because they believe that the law of the country does not apply to them and that they will always be exempt from the application of state writ?

So I ask, what is going on in our nation? How can every institution of the state join together in flagrantly and shamelessly violating the constitution and the laws that flow from it to provide amnesty to fugitives who flee to avoid being punished for their heinous crimes? How can declared fugitives be treated with state etiquette and spared the repercussions of their heinous crimes? Will these entrenched interests continue to be served at the expense of the state, its citizens, and the underlying jurisprudential principles by our courts and justice system? Why did these gangs of criminals come to power by overthrowing Imran Khan’s administration unlawfully and unconstitutionally through a terrible scheme including foreign dictates and internal collaboration? Who are their domestic controllers and foreign supporters, and what is their agenda?

It is now well recognised that the agreement made with these criminals served as a negotiating chip for their assistance in seizing power and obtaining a pardon for their crimes. It seems logical that their first goal was to modify the NAB statutes so that their cases would no longer fall under the jurisdiction of the accountability agency. Since then, the appropriate courts have sent these cases back to NAB and other investigating authorities, stating that they are no longer authorised to hear them. This opened the door for the fugitives to return home with assurances of safety, security, and compliance with all etiquette niceties. Ishaq Dar, a criminal, comes here to test the waters. Nawaz Sharif, the notorious felon, and a slew of fugitives who are all members of his immediate family will soon follow suit.

The revocation of Ishaq Dar’s perpetual arrest warrants and Maryam Nawaz’s recent release from all convictions in the Avenfield case are clear signs of the strategy devised to overthrow Imran Khan’s administration and install this gang of criminals in positions of authority. In essence, it seeks to blur the lines between good and evil to criminalise the entire state and society. In the process, wrong will be seen and regarded as right in these family fiefdoms, and right will become irrelevant and lose its identity in questions of government. State institutions will also be criminalised to become effective tools in the execution of this nefarious and devastating game plan.

They want to weaken Pakistan and make it obedient to the dictates of its foreign masters, who would then pressure it to comply with their wish list, which would include depriving it of its assets and making it play a subordinate role, both to the international power centres and their regional strata. Their menacing intentions, along with those of their international sponsors and domestic handlers, are blatantly obvious. Pakistan will essentially lose both its independence and the ability to make decisions that advance its interests. Don’t forget that the vote of no confidence against Imran Khan was necessary because sincere efforts to avert this situation had been made. At that time, all state institutions were compelled to cooperate to achieve the goal of turning over Pakistan to a cabal of criminals who had sold their souls for money and had been given the go-ahead to act quickly to carry out the plot’s objectives.

What are the alternatives to starting a campaign to first slow and then perhaps reverse the poisoned tide that has been set in motion in this season of fugitives making their returns and giving established criminals and their goons carte blanche reprieves? The criminals now in power appear unwilling to make any room for a nonviolent reform movement. At the same time, it is a certainty that nothing will continue to remain static. There needs to be a compromise.

In an ironic twist, John Kennedy was the one who warned that “those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” The most fragile elements of a diseased system that has been proven untenable are the disintegrating status quo and its abhorrent defenders and supporters. They will be forced to take the biggest hit from the impending transformation.

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