Lobbyists in Washington D.C. Count

The ripples that may lead to intimidating waves moved the former president Asif Zardari to summon a meeting of his family and top legal advisors. Besides his three children, Bilawal, Bakhtawar, and Aseefa, and sister Faryal Talpur, there was lawyer Sardar Latif Khosa, who last year, successfully got the name of accused currency smuggler and fashion model Ayyan Ali removed from the Exit Control List (ECL), allowing her to go abroad; there was also the much prized Farooq H. Naek Naek who had gotten the former president acquitted in nine corruption cases, and was also serving as counsel, when on March 30, 2017, the Sindh High Court granted bail to former Sindh information minister Shajeel Inam Memon in a corruption case. Earlier, Memon had fled abroad to escape arrest. Also present was Anwar Mansoor Khan, the lawyer, who last year successfully argued for removal of former petroleum minister Dr. Asim Hussain’s name from the ECL, permitting him to travel abroad for medical treatment.

Another attendee is former federal Minister of Defense Production Abdul Qayyum Khan Jatoi.

“Just this week a few from our party were jubilating that Mian Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Safdar had been found guilty and handed prison terms,” toned the former president gravely.

Jatoi interrupted, “Our honorable leader, we lost the opportunities to overhaul the legal system of Pakistan. You know that nine years ago, I had declared that “corruption peh hamara haq hey!” (corruption is our right). We should have gotten that put in the books.”

The former president continued, “Thanks to the good work done by you, Latif Khosa now Ayyan Ali is out of reach and Anwar Mansoor due your work, Dr. Asim is out of reach too. But now the Supreme Court has now placed me and Faryal and eighteen of our other friends on ECL in the fake bank accounts case, and have summoned the seven fake bank account holders and 13 beneficiaries on July 12.

“This is turning to be alarming. And we don’t have BB whose charisma helped us get NRO.

“Bilawal, you should go tonight and meet with your aunt, your mother’s friend, Theresa May and solidify her support for us. No need to visit your constituency. Your one Lyari visit is enough because the voters are voting for your late mother, BB, and your grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto – our nation’s two greatest martyrs.

“Abdul Qayyum Jatoi perhaps you may not know but it was our BB who introduced the then Theresa Brasier to Philip May at Oxford and they became a couple. I am sure that Theresa is forever indebted to her and our family for this favor.

“Bilawal’s visit is important because only two months ago, Britain was enacting a legislation that would require British Overseas Territories to publicly reveal the true owners of companies as a key step towards preventing the purchase of U.K. property with suspicious wealth. Thankfully, however, the Labor amendment that would have tried to force the crown dependencies into disclosing the true owners of companies was dropped.

“I am much concerned because these self-appointed do-gooders are trouble. Now this head of advocacy at Transparency International UK, Rachel Davies Teka is asking the authorities to investigate the London-based assets identified in Nawaz Sharif’s conviction and to ensure that he and his family are no longer able to enjoy any properties that have been bought with the proceeds of corruption. She also asked the U.K. must look into any other potentially criminal U.K.-based assets owned by the Sharif family. She says that this will serve as an important test as to how serious the May government is on cracking down on the prevalence of corrupt money in London. More so she said that laundering of dirty money is not confined to Russian oligarchs and it is important that they target illicit assets wherever they originate from.

“All this talk is fine but there is always hope. If you may have noted that despite all these declarations, the British authorities did not properly assist their Pakistani counterparts during this Nawaz investigation. Bilawal’s intercession with Prime Minister Theresa will not be in vain.

“Indeed I am heavily invested in these British territories … Cayman and all. I am already mapping other possibilities. But meanwhile, I think that I should re-hire BKSH & Associates in Washington, DC, who helped us with 2007 NRO, to court American lawmakers, elite media and think tanks to advocate for democracy in Pakistan. At that time we only paid them $250,000 for six months of work. But money is no matter … a few hundred thousands is fine with me. Also, I will get our friends in Washington, D.C. to start their work. There is the absolutely loyal senator Dr. Akbar Khawaja, and there is Rafat Mahmood who can collect quite a few American leaders at his home. For them friendship is more important that morality.

“You remember the scare that was created by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) detaining our Dr. Asim Hussain. Now they have deployed the same tactics by picking up Hussain Lawai. I mean that man is vice-chairman of the Summit Bank.

“It is a joke … the FIA Director General Bashir Memon told the Supreme Court that Rs. 35 billions — $29 million — were transferred to 29 fake bank accounts … so much noise for this measly $29 million!

“I can only blame myself. When I was president I should have voided the suo moto authority of these courts.

“Now so many good people … people who love our great martyrs, BB and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto … these great people were doing such great work, running so many of our fake accounts.

“But now is the time to act. Bilawal is flying to London immediately and I am getting in touch with BKSH & Associates in Washington. You all know that lobbyists in Washington D.C. count.

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