Pakistan News Service

Monday Jan 21, 2019, Jumada-al-awwal 14, 1440 Hijri

Non-political Prime Minister

10 April, 2007

By Syed A. Mateen

Shaukat Aziz takes oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan

President General Pervez Musharaff is a not political person, so one should not expect from the President that he will also act as a seasoned politician of the country. At the time when President took over the country in a bloodless coup in 1998, he told to the nation that Mr. Shaukat Aziz is going to join the government to look after the economic affairs and would prove to be the best economic manager of Pakistan. Mr. Shaukat Aziz (who is on long leave from City Bank) flew from USA and came to Pakistan to join Musharaff’s government. He was initially inducted as Federal Minster of Finance. 

President General Pervez Musharraf admiring the capability of Mr. Shaukat Aziz told him to contest in the general elections held in 2002. Mr. Shaukat Aziz participated and after winning the elections, he became the member of National Assembly. The President General Pervez Musharaff wanted Mr. Shaukat Aziz to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan, as the President thought the he would be the best person for the top slot.

Mr. Shaukat Aziz was then chosen by the members of the National Assembly as the leader of the house and finally became the Prime Minister. After the 2002 elections, a new government in Pakistan came into existence headed by a non-political President General Pervez Musharraf coupled with the non-political Prime Minister Mr. Shaukat Aziz. 

Being a non political Prime Minister, Mr. Shaukat Aziz could not properly mange to handle the political affairs of the country and all political matters were either referred to the then Minister of Information Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed to reply, or to Chaudhry Shujat Hussain, Chief of PML(Q) and to Mr. Mushahid Hussain Syed, Secretary General of PML(Q) for holding press conferences and briefing print and electronic media from time to time..

It was the ill advice of the non-political Prime Minister Mr. Shaukat Aziz who under his supervision got the reference prepared against the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry from the law ministry and sent it to the President for further action.

Probably by sending the reference to the President, the Prime Minister wanted to take revenge from the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, who upheld the sale of Pakistan Steel Mills to a group including Arif Habib a personal friend of the Prime Minister just for US $ 362 million, against its actual worth of US$ 5 billion.

Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry by upholding the sale of Pakistan Steel Mills has saved the government from serious financial losses which could have occurred from the sale proceeds of Pakistan Steel Mills through Privatization Commission, the process of which was completed in haste in 30 minutes to the please the Prime Minister’s friend and his group.

After receiving the reference from the Prime Minister, the President discussed the matter with the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry in the meeting held at his camp office and subsequently government declared Chief Justice as “non-functional”. 

The President then referred the matter under Article 209 of the Constitution of Pakistan to Supreme Judicial Council for investigating the charges levelled against the Chief Justice, and meanwhile, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry was sent on "forced leave" by the government.

Mr. Shaukat Aziz sent the reference to the President against the Chief Justice of Pakistan at a juncture when President General Pervez Musharraf was preparing to get himself elected for another five years term, without evaluating the fall out that country will be pushed into deep political crises.

The reaction of the lawyers all over the country were seen on the streets, who chanted slogans against the President General Pervez Musharraf and his government and Pakistan became the focal point of local and international media. This also created ill feelings amongst the countrymen against the President and his government. Had Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz been from a political back ground, he would have waited until such time that the President would have taken a vote of confidence and got himself re-elected for another term of five years.

The untimely, miscalculated and ill advised reference of the non-political Prime Minister Mr. Shaukat Aziz against the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry has not only created judicial crises in the country, but has also deteriorated the image of Pakistan in the world.

Under the present circumstances, it would be better for the Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz to resign from his job and go back to join the City Bank in US, so that the vacancy should be filled by some other seasoned political Prime Minister having sound political background. 

Had there be a Prime Minister with political background, the present judicial crises would not have surfaced and the government would have prevented from unnecessary embarrassment.

Reader Comments:

Criteria to be PM President or Chief Judge- Democracy or Military

This article reflect weakness of Pakistan set up and requisite for honest Judges.
Supremacy of an Honest Judge is to defend national interest without fear or favour.
If Chief Justice had by passed PM and president Without fear or favour to prevent sale of state steel mill worth $5bn for just $362m To a relative for $362 million with total gain of $4638 million (i.e. creating four thousand Six hundred thirty eight millionaires )
He earned an Honour from public.This is Serious accusation requiring more than President Clinton’s “I swear under oath I did not Have affair with Monica Lewinsky without involving even a million”. Both PM President must defend themselves. Who is fit to govern Pakistan or democracy ?

The question is if it is true. Who is fit to govern Pakistan or Democracy? Sonia Gandhi brought Dr Singh for his expertise in Economy. But Lalu Persaud excelled himself making India railway profitable overnight to the extent Harvard Princeton send students to him.Learning from Pakistan Judiciary procedure crisis India also quickly addressed the issue to Prevent future Crisis. Prevention is better than cure.

If chief Justice had done any thing wrong it was decision of Judiciary Council’s recommendation to fire Chief justice Iftikhar for His Misconduct.If no such procedure was followed then there is no suitable mechanism Of governance – democracy or military or economic or right judiciary Layout.PM Shaukat Aziz coming from Citi Bank criteria was correct (minus above issue)

The other Pakistan Governance Ministers why they never had
Prevented approval of such a sale in the first place in the parliament. Why it had reached
To judiciary level. If each minister was aware who had kept quit. This would indicate their Own complicity to benefit from the sale with such a huge gain of 4 thousand six hundred millionaires making.

Democracy is unfit Governance. 12 million are affected daily in USA crime .Victim is daily in USA in hundreds of thousand yearly or weekly or monthly from property murder rape car theft .Pakistan Supreme Court has 102000 backlog of case. If above democracy case of daily crime can be converted into court case or case for human rights commission and tribunal each day USA UK Canada India or any democracy is unfit to govern by Judiciary or democracy. Voting is no solution .Above had been voted and elected as PM or President or MPS or Senators.

M.B.Zakaria, United Arab Emirates - 10 April, 2007

Who Can Govern Pakistan in Emergency or in the Interim?

Govt of President Musharraf Shaukat Aziz and Dynamic Ministers did not sell
$5 bn steel mill to someone’s relative Arif Habib .If chief justice upheld sale for
National interest .he did the right thing and judiciary should retore Justice Iftikhar.
If on the other hand Judges or their law firms (from where they come from) can be
Linked embezzling from single or other projects of any kind there is a case of
Bribes in general. In Pakistan India Bangladesh Indonesia Foreign Banks calling themselves TD CIBC Royal LLOYD CITI IDB IMF have given paper loans in billions.
It is common method of embezzling. You buy $500 million item for $5000 ($ 5 billion)
After $4500 million disbursed among looter and money eaten away when it comes
To resale then only insider know it’s really worth as $500 million or even $362 million
Or what ever. The issue is to research all projects every where .In Pakistan in India
In Bangladesh in Afghanistan and Iran. Billions of dollar borrowed never reached
In Pakistan or above named countries. Once the trend always the trend.BB Bhutto
Had bought $4m residence in London Nawaz Sharif had 50 factories? Factor controlling
Murder massacre sectarian violence and loan disbursement money come together.
Notion that Hoj Islam Rafsanjani is better mullah than Shah’s minister when it comes to
Project money disbursement can be argued. The notion that BB and PM will make better
Pakistan or BB-NSharif or Mullahs Talib ML MMQ Jamia Islamia honest Rafsanjani
Investor project combo is absurd. Crook knows crook best Iron cut iron. The best can be hoped to select your combo with more analysis and feed back.

zmb, Hungary - 10 April, 2007

PM is an economic hitman.

SHaukat Aziz is a brown Economic Hitman.,sent from USA with an agenda which is to open Pakistani markets for American goods.SImilarly in India ,SIngh the PM is EHM for the same purpose.Now the work is being done in BD,where Younus was given Noble prize in Economics and both the political parties are banned,their corrupt memebers arrested.The new game plan by US in every third world country is to have a head of the state, a dictator who is best if he is unpopular and an army guy(because they are not intelligent)and with him an economist who is sent from USA after training to open the markets.Brits came to loot,Americans have the browns looting for them a step up and every one else is confused about what is happening and why.

MK, United Kingdom - 10 April, 2007

PM Shaukat Aziz is not involved

The arguments of Syed A. Mateen that "it would be better for the Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz to resign from his job and go back to join the City Bank in US, so that the vacancy should be filled by some other seasoned political Prime Minister having sound political background" does not seems to be logical. In fact, the President must have asked the PM Shaukat Aziz to prepare reference against the Chief Justice of Pakistan and send it to the him so that the President should have some solid ground to sack the Chief Justice of Pakistan. Actually the story is that Chief Justice of Pakistan became an open "legal threat" for the President in one of the cases filed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the President to doff his military uniform and the General does not want to do that.

Nevertheless, if Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry has made "non-functional" and send on "forced leave", this does not mean that President General Pervez Musharraf will get himself re-elected as President for another term of five years - and that too in army uniform. There are two more equations which the General has to balance. The first one is the Government of United States of America and the second one is the European Union. Both of them would not allow the General to remain President in army uniform. Had President maintained his friendship with the Chief Justice of Pakistan, there was a possibilty that Chief Justice of Pakistan would have decided against the petition filed in the Supreme Court and may have announced judgement in favour of the President. But the President has lost this opportunity on the basis of the ill advice given by his advisors due to which the judicial crises started in the country.

Look at the lawyers who are chanting slogans against the President in the entire country. The Government of United States of America and the European Union will become more strong than the Chief Justice of Pakistan to advice the President to doff off his unform. The President has to do it one way or the other, if he would like to continue to be the President. Let us wait and see what verdict the Judicial Supreme Council has to announce. Time will speak it self.

Mohammad Ali, Pakistan - 15 April, 2007

Capable Prime Minister

PM Shaukat Aziz, you gave Pakistan a sense of financial security, no wonder your international expertize is beneficail to Pakistan

Probono Public, Pakistan - 15 April, 2007

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