70 Million Plus Iqamas


The ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan stood outside his Park Lane flat in front of a bevy of media personnel and stated categorically that every third Pakistani has an Iqama. This reminds one of another ex-Prime Minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, who once infamously said that if the people of Pakistan were not happy in Pakistan, they should leave. Such is the arrogance of these ‘Monarchs’. The argument presented by Mr. Nawaz Sharif is that since he had an Iqama it was neither a big deal nor appropriate grounds for his removal. In the process he forgot that it was not the Iqama that got him dismissed, but the concealment and misrepresentation of information and that other charges are still under investigation for which he could be indicted separately. It is unfortunate for him that it has still not sunk in, why he was dismissed. In his wild counter-accusations against the Judicial system, he is harming no one but Pakistan and presenting an image of the country and its institutions that is damaging and untrue.

What Nawaz Sharif has insinuated is that out of a population of 207 Million (as per last census), around 33.33 per cent of the people hold an Iqama, which translates into roughly 70 Million Iqama holders in Pakistan. Even if one were to accept his argument, does he understand what it looks like when a sitting, elected Prime Minister of a country has to have an Iqama for facilitating his travel. He is basically running down the holders of the Green Pakistani passport and essentially stating that people should seek alternate means to facilitate travel. In the process, he is dismissing allegations of misrepresentation of assets; of concealment; and conflict of interest. For him these as well as the lies being heaped upon the hapless people of Pakistan are but minor issues.

The ex-Prime Minister and his family have also attacked the JIT and their modus operandi. This is the same ex-Prime Minister and his family and followers who rejoiced on the announcement of the decision to form a JIT and actually distributed sweets (mithai) on the streets of Lahore. These are the same people who also said that they would not accept the decision of the JIT if it went against them, after repeatedly lying, misrepresenting and attacking State institutions.

These are the same people who have lost no opportunity to inflict harm upon the people of Pakistan (Model Town tragedy), its economy (ill-conceived plans and policies) and its state institutions (Army and Judiciary). These are the same people who have openly threatened not only the institutions but the holders of Public offices. These are the same people who have hurled counter-accusations and blame instead of providing evidence for their own innocence.

The issue is not what the ex-Prime Minister and his Family is saying, it is the damage that they are inflicting on the reputation and image of Pakistan. It would appear that their sole concern is self-preservation at any cost, even at the cost of the country and its institutions. These people who are harping about democracy all the time, are actually the enemies of what democracy and democratic institutions stand for. May Allah guide them to the righteous path of truthfulness, integrity, and piousness; and, may they attain the intelligence to understand the true meaning of Faith, Unity and Discipline.