‘Panama Leaks Scandal is a Gimmick by the Ruling Classes’

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ISLAMABAD: The Awami Workers Party has termed the Panama-Leaks case a gimmick that does nothing to change the essence of an anti-people political-economic system which is beset by innumerable internal contradictions.

The Supreme Court’s split verdict on the much-hyped Panama case has served only to confirm that all mainstream parties are concerned only with the acquisition of power, and that none of them has the ability or commitment to oversee a transformative shift in the system of governance in Pakistan.

The Supreme Court verdict has put the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the opposition parties in a catch 22 situation. It will neither stem the fast creeping menace of corruption nor provide any relief to the common man, AWP President and general secretary Fanoos Gujjar and Akhtar Hussain, respectively said in a joint statement, here on Thursday, giving their reaction on the SC verdict.

“Neither the ruling party nor the opposition parties are sincere in weeding out corruption and money laundering. They just want their turns to grab the power and continue the loot and plunder of the national exchequer and maintain the status quo”.

The AWP believes that the so-called crisis of corruption is not attributable to one party, family or person. Panama-leaks confirmed that most of the global elite is implicated in the acquisition of wealth through illicit means and ‘corruption’ cannot be done away with by simply replacing one party of the elite with another. ‘Corruption’ is in fact a pillar of the bureaucratic capitalist system which prevails in Pakistan and around the world.

The AWP has consistently maintained that the real issues of working people in Pakistan relate to joblessness, rising inflation, poverty, extremism, the manipulations of the establishment and environmental degradation.

Meanwhile global imperialist powers continue to shamelessly exploit the resources of the country. All of these genuine issues are absent from the agenda of all mainstream parties, they said.

The AWP demands a broadening of the investigation of money laundering and the inclusion of all those industrialists, retired judges, generals and bureaucrats who have been accumulating power and resources systematically for decades.

The entire apparatus of ‘accountability’ is riddled with conflicts of interest, including the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The same conflict of interest will dog the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to which the Panama Case will now be handed over. An institution working under the federal government cannot be expected to question the prime minister and his children independently. The AWP also opposes the involvement of military spy agencies in the JIT as it will increase the army’s influence in civilian organisations.