When Looting Is Legal

Hearings in ‘Panamagate’ continue, though the case has been hitting some road blocks. Supreme Court Justice Ijaz-ul-Hassan has accused Jamaat lawyer Taufiq Asif of making ‘mockery’ of the case telling him ‘You have caused as much damage to your client as you possibly could’. Nevertheless, the BBC report that Sharifs have owned property in London since 1990s has already convicted the case in the minds of many.

At the center of the inquiry is the source of certain portions of the Sharif family’s wealth and hidden offshore assets. These are legitimate questions and in national interest for asking. However aren’t the same questions also worth asking about others?

For example, it has been established that former COAS Gen Musharraf has serious discrepancies in assets, spending millions more on foreign properties than his income as Army chief should support. But what about other cases that are not so black and white?

What can we say about another former Army chief, Gen Raheel Sharif, who has been allotted 868 kanals and 10 marlas of land in Lahore estimated at a worth of Rs1.3 BILLION? No one is claiming that anything was done illegally, but shouldn’t this actually ring the alarm bells? The Army chief was paid a handsome salary already, so why can’t he buy land just like any other citizen? And even if some allotment is to be made, isn’t it perverse to grant one man 90 acres of such valuable land? What can he possibly need with so much?

The truth is, in this country there is illegal looting and there is legal looting. How to tell the difference? I think you are not blind…

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