Accountability is key. Along with the democratic political process.

Admiral Fasih BokhariAt a time when Pakistan is reeling under all kinds of attacks, the continuation of the democratic political process and the accountability this process entails is critical. On Jan 28, 2013 a copy of a letter to the President of Pakistan from Admiral (rtd.) Fasih Bokhari, the widely respected Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was released to the media. Admiral Bokhari is known to be under pressure from various elements in the judiciary, media, and cartels, and has been threatened repeatedly. At age 71, he is fearless, believing he has nothing to lose. His words to a friend in a private email:

“Promise me that you and your generation will never give up the fight for this great country and its great people.”

I join that friend in making this promise. As do many others, whatever our political differences. See letter below from Usman Khalid, Director Rifah Institute of Foreign affairs, reproduced here with his permission (thanks to Yasmeen Aftab Ali in Lahore):

“NAB has been used by all past governments to ‘get’ their political opponents. It is staffed by ‘holdovers’ of previous chairmen of NAB. Diverse political pressures are exerted quite openly and very strongly. Admiral Bokhari was subjected to fierce pressures not only on behalf of influential accused but also the media and the courts. During the incumbency of Admiral Bokhari as Chairman NAB, he was faced by the extraordinary situation that persons under investigation included the President, sitting and past Prime Ministers and ministers, and the son of the Chief Justice. The conduct of Admiral Fasih Bokhari has been dignified, impartial and politically correct; he did not flinch from taking difficult decisions and conducted himself with great dignity. He deserves support from the press and the civil society to the same degree as the CJ when he was under pressure to resign. The exit of Admiral Bokhari as Chairman of NAB would be very destabilizing at this juncture. We urge the President not to accept his resignation and we request the Admiral to press on impartially with investigations and NOT his resignation.” [note: Admiral Bokhari’s letter was not a letter of resignation, although many viewed it as such]

One Response

  1. Nice,
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    Pakistan: Qadri’s ‘long march’ takes no significant steps


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