February 17, 2011

What can you do with $ 70 billion?

I've decided in principle to take this blog back to its roots. What does that mean? It means that this blog will be a sanctuary for my brain's unwinding thought process. Yeah I know that doesn't make sense so let's just move on.

I've just found out that the man who goes by the name of Hosni Mubarak (the former President of Egypt for those of you who didn't know), is now being touted as the richest man in the world. According to Passport - a blog by the editors of the website ForeignPolicy.com - he may have stashed away as much as an astonishing $ 70 billion. Now that's just... what's the word I'm looking for here? Oh yeah, jaw dropping. Literally.

He had hidden his wealth well, in offshore accounts and investments in real estate and hotels. And the most famous place in the world for hiding ill-gotten wealth - the Swiss banks. But Hosni Mubarak was a corrupt man and he's well far, far away in Egypt. But let's take a look closer to home then, shall we? Yes. The man who sits atop the throne in Islamabad and who answers to the nickname of 'Mr 10 percent' is also known to be very corrupt, and very rich. He has mansions in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, as well as Dubai, UK, Spain, France (who knows but maybe Germany too?) and the USA. One can wonder then how much money he must have made? Obviously not anywhere near the $ 70 billion thunderbolt that surely must have dropped on the Egyptians, but it has to be in the billions of dollars. After all, a chateau in the south of France alone must cost many million dollars considering it's got its own private helipad. Last I checked, one of the stars for 7 star hotels is awarded because they have helicopter landing facilities. But that's not the point here.

The point is that the Swiss government has very recently announced and enacted a law that allows foreign governments to reclaim the monies that have been stashed away illegally in Swiss banks by corrupt politicians and dubious and shady dictators. If that is true, and according to the Swiss government it very much is, then I see no reason why the government of Pakistan should not initiate proceedings to checkout from where our (un)dear President has made the many dollars that he so graciously spends on his self? After all, being at the highest echelon of the Pakistan leadership hierarchy, he should have absolutely no qualms about making his assets and the sources for their funding public don't you think? And while we're at it, why single out Asif Zardari alone? Why not ask Nawaz Sharif to show the shame that he does not have and declare his assets as well? Last I heard, he had stated he has assets worth 1 crore and 70 something lac rupees. I'm sorry, but the Mercedes Benz S-Class he drives around in for fun alone costs more than 2.5 crore rupees. Tax evasion and that too from the self declared self righteous baboon of all self righteous hypocrites?

But once again I digress from the topic at hand. It is 0028 hours presently and all I can think about is what in God's name can one possibly do with $ 70 billion? And then there is the question of if the money even matters? Look at Hosni Mubarak, and look at Nawaz Sharif and Zardari. They are all hated and reviled even though they are billionaires. The only lot attracted to them are the leeches who would like to suck off all their money and feed of it. The love and attention that would have merited a stature for them is never forth coming. The reason is simple: They forget that they promised to be of the people, by the people, for the people. Instead, they got greedy and siphoned off huge amounts of public money into their very private pockets very away from the people.

And sadly, that's a deal breaker.