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Is Farooq Leghari the only corrupt man in Sindh?

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By Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: The case of Farooq Leghari, the detained brother of Prof Javed Leghari who heads the Higher Education Commission, is becoming a classic example of the repressive ways of a mighty administration that has no regard or respect for the rule of law.

Farooq Leghari’s only crime is that he is the brother of Dr Javed Leghari, who has courageously resisted the government’s pressure to surrender and relent on verifying the degrees of MPs. The elder Leghari is braving all pressures but his brother has become the victim.

Otherwise reputed as corruption friendly like the federal government and showing no interest to curb the menace during the last two- and-a-half years of its tenure, the Sindh government has suddenly and vigorously started pursuing the alleged corruption of one of its Grade 19 officer – Farooq Leghari.

The junior Leghari was granted bail by the anti-corruption court on Thursday but he was neither released nor does his family have any clue about his whereabouts. His family sources say that a new case of car theft is being now framed against the officer.

Thanks to an independent judiciary, which has found the earlier case of corruption framed against the officer as “weak” and granted the officer bail, those pulling the strings of the Sindh administration are too clever to let the Legharis off the hook so easily. “You get bail one after the other, we will continue to make more and more cases,” a family member of the Legharis claimed to have received the message from rulers.

Is this not what Asif Ali Zardari used to complain when he was on the receiving end? When he got acquitted in one case, another was ready. Is he taking revenge for what happened to him?

However, it is yet to be seen if the superior judiciary would allow this ‘Tamasha’ going on in a similar fashion in this blatant case of arm-twisting by those who are mandated to rule while remaining within the parameters of law and the Constitution.

The high court, it is said, has the powers to order, while granting bail in a case to any accused, that it should be first informed before taking the concerned person into custody on any other charge and he should not be arrested unless allowed by it.

The case of Farooq Leghari is not much complex to understand as to why he has suddenly become the high-profile example of corruption in Sindh. Will he be in a similar position had his brother followed the orders of the Sindh rulers and not performed the duties assigned to him under the law?

Why is the PPP leadership so scared? There is no other reason except that it has many skeletons hidden in its cupboard. It wants all the cheats in its ranks to be occupying important positions who decide the destiny of the nation. Farooq’s arrest, moments after he was granted bail by the Sindh High Court, reminded many of us of tactics of oppressive dictatorial regimes.

According to the Leghari family sources, the most powerful man in Sindh, Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, personally held a meeting with the Hyderabad superintendent of police at the latter’s residence in Latifabad on Wednesday to discuss this unique case of “corruption” in the Sindh government. It is claimed that Farooq Leghari has been moved to Badin despite his bail whereas the anti-corruption department authorities, when contacted on Thursday by the family, denied that the officer was with them.

These are such a strange testing times for Dr Javed Leghari that instead of being rewarded and praised for doing his job honestly and fairly, he and his family are at the receiving end where the corrupt are having a field day. His family members, friends and acquaintances are also worried about the safety and security of Dr Javed Leghari, who remains undeterred and is determined to complete the job assigned to him.

Will the courts, the politicians, the assemblies, the media and the civil society support this great exception in the present ruling elite during these testing times or would he be left alone to face all these excesses and become history? Will corruption and the corrupt rule? Will anyone stand up to stop them?