Aren’t President, NAB & PAC blind?
Just a few days back Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani was on an official trip to London where he bought 3 coats worth 9 million Pakistan rupees as reported in all different newspapers of the country.
My simple question is as to from where did he get this money to buy coats? There can be clear cut two answers only to the question and in both cases PM is answerable to the public. First option is that he may have used his own money to but the coats which I very much doubt to be honest. He is the same person who at the time of filing his application form to contest national election had on oath declared to Election Commission of Pakistan that he did not own a car which can be very true but then the question is as to how could he amass so much money in just few years time to buy so expensive coats. I am not sure what salary he draws from ministry of finance as PM but irrespective of the amount it must not be forgotten at all that he is not a single person rather a married one with wife and children which means that he is the bread earner for his entire family and even a simple brute can work out as to what could be his monthly expense to meet his family obligations. How could he have so much money during just four years time since he became PM of Pakistan? Has he spent all the money he had on coats? Has he become penniless after buying the three coats under reference? Even an ordinary layman what to talk of head of the government will never ever be so fool enough to spend whatever he had on nothing but luxurious coats.
There can be another answer to the question and that is that Rs 9 million were paid by our national exchequer and if it is so then the only question is as to under which rules and regulations this much money could be spent on the coats. There must be some limits as to what can be spent on PM and I can say on my honor that there cannot be any provision to spend as much as 9 million rupees on just buying three coats. Government money is public money which is a universally accepted principle which as such applies to Pakistan as well and hence public money can be spent on some certified accounts and counts and therefore there cannot be any provision whatsoever that Pakistan government can spend so much money for buying three coats for the prime minister. There must be someone who must have initiated it? Who can be this person who had the guts to move it under his or her name and signature? Shouldn’t he or she be given a national award for initiating an unprecedented expense of just three coats? There must also be someone different but higher ranking officer than the one who initiated it to forward the same note to his or her boss for signing the same in affirmative. Isn’t it ironical to ignore him and her for the courage he or she has shown by forwarding the same note to the competent authority to finally approving the expense? He or she must also be suitably decorated with some ‘tamgha’ if not ‘sitara’ for his or her contribution for getting the ball rolled on. The last in the rung is the one who is called as competent authority to sanction the expense of 9 million rupees on buying three coats for PM. Had he or she not approved then how could public money be doled out to buy the coats and therefore I will very strongly recommend that he or she must be given very handsome cash coupled with a ‘hilal’ for approving the expense in the greater interest of the country and the people of Pakistan.
Reverting back to the caption itself it goes without saying that President Asif Ali Zardari being the boss of Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani must at his own initiative has asked his immediate subordinate to explain as to how could he spend so much money on just one item. President is very much vested with such powers to ask PM on the subject provided he cares for it. Regretfully, President and Prime Minister are very much aligned, believed to be other side of the same coin and are found on the same frequency so the question of asking as to how he spent so much colossal money on coats simply does not arise at all. Needless to mention, National Accountability Bureau is yet another public entity which keeps an eye on official expenditure and I wonder why it did not ask PM to justify the expense of 9 million rupees. Time and again it is seen on television and read in newspapers that NAB has initiated corruption cases against those who spent more than their income. What stops its chairman to question PM on such an extra ordinary expense is a baffling question in any case? Public Accounts Committee is also primarily tasked to probe all expenses met by our national exchequer and it is very much shocking that PAC also just ignored it as if nothing happened.
Aren’t President, NAB and PAC totally blind? Who will answer and how?
Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait