During our six weeks in America, I was unable to write my weekly Straight Talk articles and as such I had to rely on my past articles – ‘Down Memory Lane’, while at the same time, there was not much to write about.

Even now, politics in Pakistan and the opposition seem to be in a deep slumber and all is quiet. Except for the Panama Papers, which my friend, Anwar Maqsood, describes as the Pajama Papers and America’s obsession with Donald Trump and his tweets and the Russian Connection, there is nothing much to write about.  

The opposition in Pakistan seems confident that the Supreme Court ruling on the Panama Papers will be the end of the PML-N government and Nawaz Sharif will be forced to resign as PM. This will, no doubt, open the flood gates of politics in Pakistan and once again we will witness the ‘Game of Thrones’ drama, with the three major political parties contesting to win the coveted prize and wearing the crown.

But if this happens and the PML-N government is found guilty and dismissed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, will the new government be able to remove corruption and re-establish the functioning of the institutions, improve the infrastructure and the quality of life of the ordinary citizens? 

However, the PML-N claims that Imran Khan and the opposition have hatched a conspiracy against the PM. According to media, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday termed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan a liar and challenged him to present himself for accountability because he has been hatching a conspiracy against an elected prime minister whose name had never been mentioned in the Panama Papers. Speaking to the media after appearing before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), Ishaq Dar said a conspiracy was being hatched at local and international levels against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as it was now believed that Pakistan would be among the top 30 global economic powers in the next 12 years. The Minister, who appeared quite furious during his talk, went on to say, “How much will you lie. You should be ashamed of conducting politics on the basis of lies. You have not changed yourself because you are still a liar, illiterate, gambler, coward, characterless and tax evader.” Continuing his diatribe, he said, “Imran Khan is a scared man. A man who hides his marriage. When you ask him where he married Jemima Khan, he says Paris. But I know he is lying and I also know many other things”.

While talking about his confessional statement, he said it was nothing but trash because it was the result of manipulation by a military government and the honourable judges had declared that it had no evidentiary value.

“I remained federal minister four times and Nawaz Sharif became the prime minister thrice, but no one can point a finger at us. Former NAB chief Lt Gen (r) Amjad Naqvi, in his interview in 2003, had admitted that he had found nothing wrong after reviewing the affairs of the ministries run by the Nawaz government”.

Talking to media persons after his appearance before the JIT for the third time, he said, “I am still unable to know what the JIT is trying to do because I have appeared before it thrice, answered all questions, recorded my statements and submitted documents but was told nothing about the allegations against me.”

He said that JIT had set up a ‘Jumma Bazaar’ of summons but when he asked them about the allegations against him the members were not able to say any word, adding, “I feel that the JIT only wants to mount pressure on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by dragging the members of the Sharif family in the investigation process”.

“It is a common legal practice all over the world that when allegations are leveled against anyone then investigation are held and cases are registered in the court of law. But here they are trying to go against the law because the court cases have ended, investigation is going on and efforts are on to find out allegations,”.

Earlier, Hassan Nawaz appeared before the probe body and recorded another statement during his interrogation that lasted over two and a half hours.

The series of questions asked from Hassan Nawaz again revolved around the London Mayfair flats and transfer of money worth millions of dollars through fake bank accounts.

In reply, Hassan Nawaz responded with details of his bank accounts and certified certificates from the British government that he already submitted before the probe body.

During his previous two appearances, Hassan had rejected the allegations of tax theft, hiding of assets and money laundering and provided business details along with documents duly certified by the British government.

According to media reports, the JIT has hired an international legal firm to verify the certified documents submitted by the Sharif family members from the relevant departments of the UK government.

While in the US, the ongoing bickering and tussle between Donald Trump and the electronic media regarding ‘Fake News’ and the ‘Russian Connection’, has become stale and boring and there is no ‘Breaking News’ and we witness the same drama over and over again.

Will the ‘Russian Connection’ be the Ides of March for the American President or will it turn out to be ‘Much ado about nothing’ and end, ‘Not with a bang, but a whimper’, only time will tell.

Email: trust@helplinetrust.org.pk