This picture was published in The Nation newspaper on March 04, 1998.
My View Of The Picture:
It is very interesting to compare or remember the past with reference to the present, like looking at photos of childhood and remembering what one used to do compared to what one does in the present. This picture is the best example of what I just said and when you finish reading this blog you will know why I was saying this.
Anyhow, the mid-aged lady in the picture sitting on a floor is Mrs. Usman Farooqi, the wife of Mr. Usman Farooqi and the young lady sitting on a bench, Ms. Sharmila Farooqi, is their daughter. Mr. Usman Farooqi was the Chairman of Pakistan Steel Mills and in 1998 and he was charged with corruption with respect to purchase of raw material. That fraudulent purchase caused Rs. 176 million in losses to the national kitty. When the Government of Nawaz Sharif got into power they started tightening their grip against Mr. Farooqi. Of course it was time for revenge and it’s easy to take revenge against those who have been openly or carelessly corrupt. In 1998, police raided their house and took both wife and daughter of Mr. Usman to women’s police station on a charge of being accomplices.
Believe me that when corrupt people are held by law enforcement agencies they look very innocent compared to innocent people whom you will find look worried in the same circumstances. Readers might be thinking that I am making unkind fun of these ladies. But believe me if I did not know the past of Ms. Sharmila Farooqi or the present, I might not be writing this. For the past eight years she has enjoyed and is still enjoying being part of the Sindh Government, as the loudspeaker of the Government. She is highly outspoken but unfortunately defends the corruption, nepotism and every nonsense action of Sindh/People Party’s Government.
Interestingly, in 2001, the Farooqi Family got a plea bargain deal with NAB (National Accountability Bureau) and all were disqualified from holding any public office for 21 years. However, for “national cause” the NAB law was amended and the 21 years was reduced to 10. What’s more, in 2008 Ms. Sharmila Farooqi was appointed as advisor to the Chief Minister of Sindh despite being disqualified from holding public office for ten years. Thumbs up for her confidence and Peoples Party’s Government. She is indeed something special. Finally during the tenure of Peoples Party in the Center, in the year 2010 the court observed that no evidence was found in support of Usman Farooqi’s involvement in the Steel Mill case.
Looking back at the picture, Ms. Sharmila is looking very innocent but who could know at that time what she would be like today. She was part of the corruption at that time and is still part of many financial scandals. Even after knowing by everyone that Farooqi family did the corruption they were not proven guilty and it is highly unlikely that Ms. Sharmila will be proven guilty in the future even it will be evident that she is corrupt.
My reason to write about this scrapbook picture is not to target personalities. I just want to compare the past with the present. And my conclusion in this case with respect to past versus present is that they are “same”. Nothing has changed. Do you agree?