Posted by: Administrator | 6 January, 2005

President’s address to Federal Cabinet

16 Feb 2005

It is indeed a unique privilege for me to address such a unique gathering of the cabinet. To have the cabinet together on a different subject to which I had never really focused in a manner that it is being centered now. It is opportunity for me to be a part of this “Ethics Retreat” and addressing all on this occasion. I was just wondering what I should talk to you. I decided not to philosophize Ethics Retreat. I thought I must come out with some very basic simple truths and realities based on my experiences of last five years. I have seen them with my own eyes, tackled them, and dealt with them. I would like to share alarming proportion of corruption that has been prevalent and how much the country suffered. I would like to give you a bird’s eye view of what I know. This is no hearsay. I am going to give you truths which I know. I will also give you my views on the subject issue of corruption of course.

First of all before start, I would like to compliment National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for having done an excellent job over the last years. They have been in existence. It was created to check corruption, especially at the strategic level. I call a strategic level a level where it affects the people, the community and the nation. It is strategic level I call the level of the top; our level, your level, my level. Because I believe that at the tactical level corruption has many dimensions and reasons. It is very difficult to check inadequacies of governance.

Therefore, NAB was actually created to put the fear of God as I said, in the minds and hearts of rich, mighty and Powerful. That was the aim and I think they have achieved this aim considerably. Hundred per cent success in Pakistan is never possible in anything. If anyone thinks when you start doing something, you are going to achieve 100% result, it will never be possible. But one should not be despondent even if you achieve a partial success that is great success I would say. I think NAB has performed very well in achieving its objectives. Let me assure this gathering there has never been political victimization.

Let me clarify again also, I have never instructed NAB not to move against any Judge or military men. I have never done that. Only reservation was serving military man or serving judges. Serving military men, because our accountability system is so strong. If I was to give you figures of senior officers against whom action has been taken, you will be amazed. We take action ourselves. Therefore, there was no restriction or limitation to him. I think he has done, General Munir Hafeez and his predecessor, have done a wonderful job.

Secondly I also say that 100% success is not possible. There was a corruption environment in the past. We always believe that an environment makes a person corrupt or honest also. For an example especially from top a person leads towards corruption or honesty. Since the examples from the top was unfortunate, bad and poor. There was an environment of corruption everywhere and at every level. There was an environment of looting, plundering and asking for loans and not returning these. Loan defaulting was a normal thing. So I think in such an environment even those who may have been honest, if they had an approach, why not go to the bank and get some money and not return because that was normal.

Therefore, to bring everyone to justice was humanly impossible for NAB. Therefore whatever they have achieved I am not going to get into figures. I know these figures of recovered money, in giving justice, brining those people and the top one to justice are remarkable. So I give all the credit to them. I am observing the glass of full part. A lot of people are talking against the NAB. They haven’t been able to achieve hundred percent successes but that was not possible. I think humanly not possible. This is ultimate, this issue of ‘Ethics Retreat’ for this forum. I think it is my pleasure as I said. This day is important from two points of view I feel. I take it to be very important because it carry forward my agenda or my mission to fight corruption internationally and domestically.

Let me say a few words about my efforts on international plan. I raised my voice against poverty and deprivation because I believe corruption is the by product of poverty and deprivation. I see poverty on rise and in the United Nations General Assembly in my address, There I clearly said that poverty and deprivation is on the rise and I even used a phrase that these ‘Islands of prosperity’ are shrinking gradually, if we don’t execute the millennium development goals which the United Nations has formulated in a serious manner, these islands will be devoured by the oceans of poverty and deprivation. This was what I said there.

The second issue that I raised at the UN was the issue of loot money laundering. Loot money laundering by whom, which looted the money, by whom? By the leaders of the developing world. Almost in every developing country, we have several examples I don’t want to name them of developing countries where their leaders have looted respective country. They have accounts of billions in western banks. So therefore, safe heavens are being provided to this looted money. Safe heavens are provided, therefore, people evade taxes and it results in flight of capital. I raised my voice against that and I am very glad to say there is some movement in doing something about it because I even said that if you were to institutionalize some forms of disallowing and preventing this.

When we can prevent drug money laundering, when we can move again terrorist money movements, why can’t we move against this looted money, laundering of looted money. I think if we move against this, developing countries can get so much money back, they can address this issues of debt services and reduce their debts. We would not be begging others. This is only International plan that I have made efforts towards reduction of corruption, poverty and deprivation.

Let me come on domestic plan now. I have always believed that Pakistan society has two main menaces, corruption and nepotism. Nepotism is also corruption, different form of corruption. I said that corruption at strategic level, at the decision making level where it should not be, it affects our nation. It affects our progress and prosperity. Corruption at that level is our main malice. I would like to give you examples to open your eyes; you may not know these what I have experienced myself.

When I took over on 12th October I went to Quaid-e-Azam’s Mausoleum and I said that I want a briefing on the development of that mausoleum to make it. I was given a briefing. The money that was required to develop the exterior, it was about Rs 600-700 million. I asked the Army to come and do it. They made a plan which was far better than the pervious plan. Far better plan was completed to me was only in RS: 250 million, it opened my eyes. The next issue after Quaid mausoleum was restoration of Bulloki Sulimenaki link canal (BS Link starting from Marala). I was told that allocation amount is 13 billion for rehabilitation. . I asked army to probe the matter why so big money was involved. I was told no need at all for any project.

I asked Governor Punjab General Safdar to finish the project. The project was frozen. There in is no problem in the canal. Every thing is running very smooth BS canal. I also knew 300 million dollars allocated for flood relief work. This kind of money is always allocated to build for flood walls. We have no work on grounds any where in the country. I stooped these 300 million dollars.

Let me give you a bigger issue than after that RBOD, The Right Bank Out Fall Drain in Sindh. I was given a briefing in probably March or April 2000 when I thought we must concentrate on Sindh because the affluent from the North come. It has spoilt Mancher Lake. All fisheries have been affected and hundred and thousands of poor men have been displaced. We must take this water to the sea. I was given a briefing in the Governor House. I was told this project required Rs 116 billions. We have reassessed it and it is do able in RS 72 billions. I again told the Army to find cost? They worked whole summer. They worked for 4-5 months in the summer of Sindh. They surveyed the whole area. They reported that it is feasible in RS 15 billion. Now it is being constructed in 16 billions. So Rs 116 billion to 70 billion and then to 15 billion of rupees, We must fear God, how much we want to take, how much we want to plunder this nation?

I want to say about the Rs one Trillion spending during 1988-99. one Trillion on development projects, all data is available. Which development projects? All the development projects that are being done now about 15-16 of them Mega project like Mangla Dam raising, Rainy canal, Marani Dam ,Komal Zum Dam ,Tul canal ,RBOD, Kachi canal, roads are going to cost wit their completion in about RS 300 billion or may be 350. So, one Trillion rupees, three times this amount has been spent in eleven years on which project, which single one .Where are they?

Then foreign currency 11 Billions dollars were frozen. Actually the money was spent because actually the private fund or private individual were put in the State funds and the State Bank was consuming the money .So 11 Billion dollars plus one Trillion rupees has gone .

Tele communication License, we gave two licenses,291 million dollars each. But they have been Insta phone, Mobilink and Paktel. They come into virtual virgin land of Pakistan free of cost. We have been so gracious, free of cost they entered. Not a penny was charged.

These are issues of IPPs, 14 companies in IPP came Pakistan in 1994 .The rates were seven cents per unit. We had electricity from Iran for the coastal areas for just at 3 cents. So why keep one quoting and quoting, this is the limit extend damage done to this nations of ours. I would like to of nepotism.

Appointments which are based on ‘Giraneen bazi’, and relatives being from the same area, “Zaat Baradri” “Clan support”. All institutions get destroyed because we put people without any competence. Either they happened to be my village mate or locality mate or of same creed or sect. Institutions were totally destroyed because of incompetence. Second part of nepotism is grading or reporting on subordinates without justice or exaggerating the reports. Therefore, by exaggerating the reports, I realized many of the people who you look for their dozier their promotion are outstanding .I don’t know if every one is outstanding in Pakistan, Pakistan should be too happy . Since there is no justice in their reporting, you are putting horses and donkeys together at the cost of whom at the cost of horses, For whose gain. For the gain of donkeys because they have come up and they are also going to get promotion.

The great people, the horses, go down because they are ruined with the donkeys. How this kind of nepotism, how this kind of governance delivers .The question is how to improve this kind of governance. I thought many times that what do we have and what we don’t? I think God has given every thing to this nation. Let me give you what I think. It has given us all the potential to rise and prosper without any external assistance .What does a nation need. I think first of all it needs food or…food self sufficiency. I think we have most fertile land in the world or one of the most fertile lands in the world. Look at the crops that we can have, look at the fruits that we have and vegetables that we can have .We have fertile land in abundance. Too many countries who don’t have this lands have import food.

Then comes water, we have six rivers running through Pakistan. There are countries where there is no drop of water, They have to desalinate water for drinking. We have rivers running, six major one and innumerable smaller one .Then we need energy we have abundant water to give us hydro electricity more, double are requirements. If we haven’t developed it, it is our fault. No body else’s fault and Hydro Electricity is 50-60 Paisas per unit. We have coal, our coal reservoirs can give us electricity more than our nation’s requirement. This Thar coal, If we did not develop it , it is our fault . Then we have Gas, quite abundant .We even have Oil may not be in abundance but it meets 20-25 % of our requirement. Solar energy is an alternative of energy. We have wind and we are capable of generating nuclear energy also. We are lacking, we already have energy, minerals and we have human resource. I think we are quite intelligent and we are more intelligent than most nations. So what is the problem? What is problem with Pakistan? This nation has all the potential to rise and prosper. We don’t need any assistance from any body. Why have we failed? Leadership has failed. We have failed, not the man in the street, not the common man, not the farmer they are all very hard working they are not a failure. They love this nation, they will work.

Some JCO told me when I was a Captain or Major and Company. Commander in SSG. One of my JCOs told me that you are engine and we are bogies , the more you run fast ,the more speedy we are but if you get slower ,we also be slow down .If you turn right ,we will also turn right ,we follow you . We leaders are the Engines and the masses are “Dubbas” Bogies, we have to take these “Dubbas” speedily. You want to take them or you want to stop them. It is our common responsibility.

So I personally think our future generations will judge us and posterity will hold us responsible for not delivering. We must deliver. We must act and act honestly .We must forget and put behind the past and move forward in a manner that this nation’s true potential can be realized and you will do it . We will do it and I will do it. We all have to do it. We should also think that failure is not an answer, failure is not an option.

We must think that God has given us so much, all of you, all of us. What more do we want from God who has given us every thing, who has brought us in this position where we are the leaders of this nation. Islam says if there is more than requirement you should actually surrender, that is real Islam. So therefore, we have to deliver for the sake of our future generations, for the sake of posterity and if we don’t we will be blamed for taking this country down.

On the issue of poverty, as I said, poverty forms the basis of corruption. So therefore we should try to reduce and eliminate poverty from the nation and I think we are following right strategy for poverty alleviation. We are following four pillars strategy to eliminate poverty. To eradicate poverty we must have an accelerated economic growth that is the first pillar towards poverty alleviation and I think we are succeeding towards that. Second pillar is human resource development, People, health and education is being concentrate. It will enhance skill to earn more. All skill can get job easily. Today if our people had skills other than FA’s and BA’s they would all be employed and earning money. So HRD is second pillar.

Third pillar is Urban and Rural development projects that are what I believe in because poverty is in rural areas. Therefore, increase the yielding of an individual from his land holding. Yielding intensification from his land holding or brings more land under cultivation through water access to it. In the urban areas job creation, Let him earn through jobs in industrialization, and investment. So I think we are going pretty well on rural and Urban development project also. Then comes the issue of the targeted interventions of Zakat and Macro Credit. I think we are doing reasonably alright, it should be speeded up.

These four pillars will take us to poverty alleviation. We believe in it. I am convinced that this is the right strategy and I am convinced that if we pursue these four pillars, we keep succeeding poverty reeducation in Pakistan. This will also strike at the base of corruption. Having talked about this poverty alleviation strategy we have to provide good governance to Pakistan and that is the way in which you are involved.

 What is good governance? It employs Functional Efficiency, Meritocracy and honesty for corruption free govt. These three elements for functional efficiency, I would like to say we have to abide by the rules, and also you should abide by rules. We must also allow the bureaucrats to work on rules and don’t violate rules. We must modify the regulations where ever they are not practical. Don’t shirk decision. I am told that there are a lot of people who make excuses that NAB will get hold of them. It means you don’t take any decision. It is so terrible and unfortunate that we don’t have trust in our God and in ourselves or in our intentions. We must trust our intentions. If you are doing something honestly nothing will happen against you. Please have conviction in yourself and don’t be scared of any one in this world. Take decisions, this is functional efficiency.

The second is meritocracy, judge correctly and must fight family and tier pressures, don’t succumb to that. If you succumb, make sure that family member or whoever you are favoring, it deserves it where ever you are putting in.

Don’t put a non deserving person; at least do that favor to the nation. Finally is honesty and I want to repeat what my thought what honesty is? I believe 10 % people in any organization are incorruptible. They will never be corrupt. There are other 10% who are incorrigible, they always be corrupt. There are remaining 80%, they will go with the wind. They are fence sitters. If the leader is ok, they drift this side. If the leader is corrupt they all will be corrupt. So I think we need to target these 80%. Other 10% are incorrigibles and try to sort them out. 10% are incorruptible support them please and take these 80% to the side of honesty through your personal example. This personal example will guide them to honesty.

I trust under the professional leadership of Prim Minister. We will set higher standard of integrity. You are the guardian of nation’s destiny. You will lead government to success or failure. I said that failure is no more option for Pakistan. Anti corruption is joint effort. No single individual, no single agency, NAB or any one can deliver; the concrete difference will only be made if we all join together against corruption, that is the only way forward. I would request the Chief Ministers to follow suit in conducting the ethics retreat also at provincial level. There should be at least some fear of God. So we spend our money, optimize return from them .Together we can make the real difference. It is only us who can project Pakistan as an example of good governance. It will create respect for us in the international community of nations. It was shameful that we were rated second last in corruption.

Together we can bring our standard up; consequently we will have respect in international arena as a civilized nation, as a progressive nation, a nation where honest people live. Together we must pledge, always to keep Pakistan’s interest first. Pakistan must come first.

Therefore in all your decisions, you should serve with selflessness, honesty and sincerity!

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