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People want accountability

Published Nov 15, 2012 12:08am

IN the post-Asghar Khan case scenario, our leaders, including politicians and retired generals, are sharing their experiences and wisdom with the gullible public. Nawaz Sharif, the twice-served prime minister, has stated that politicians, generals and judges all of them made mistakes in the past. This is a sweeping statement and needs to be elaborated.

Although to err is human, people expect higher moral conduct from their leaders and holders of public offices. The recent example of CIA chief David Petraeus is very pertinent.

The former four-star general has regretted his extra-marital relations with a 40-year-old journalist, Paula Broadwell, and resigned within three days of the presidential election.

He will go down in history as a respectable person, though his personal conduct leading to his resignation is shameful and a highly objectionable act.

We have our own examples: Gen Jahanir Karamat resigned on a dispute with the prime minister over the issue of the National Security Council. He is remembered with respect.

Senior politicians are very generous in using their discretionary powers and flouting rules when they come to power.

For example, according to rules and regulations, the most senior police officer is appointed as director-general of the Intelligence Bureau.

However, when Nawaz Sharif came to power for the first time in 1990, he appointed Brig Imtiaz as chief of the Intelligence Bureau.

In his second tenure, he appointed Lt-Col Muhammad Iqbal, a junior officer working at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat, as director-general of the Intelligence Bureau. These were very strange administrative decisions.

ASGHAR MAHMOOD Islamabad