LAHORE - Although the hard-hitting address of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif at Khidmat Card ceremony yesterday showed his strong intention to hold corrupt people accountable, observers wonder why he has been holding back action against the corrupt when he knew about their wrongdoings.

“Now everyone would be hooked in ruthless accountability and those who swallowed billions of rupees of the nation would not escape,” the Shehbaz said. The CM came down hard on the leaders of PPP and PTI.

“PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari should know his father Asif Ali Zardari and his party leaders looted billions and details of a single mega scandal of his father will force him to take refuge in Larkana. Your father is facing the scandals of billions of rupees corruption”, the CM said.

In his previous term, CM Shehbaz repeatedly called former president Zardari looter and plunderers, dubbing Zardari and his team ‘a gang of Zarbaba and Forty Thieves’. Moreover, he used to reiterate his resolve to bring back $60million money allegedly laundered by Zardari. He also pledged to drag the former president to the roads of Lahore, Peshawar, and Larkana and make him return looted money.

However, he took no action against Zardari after the PML-N elected into power in 2013. Now Zardari has been facing only two NAB cases for allegedly earning $1.5billion and Rs22billion beyond his declared source of income.

In a democratic polity what the leaders say means business for the people and they trust their words for they know leaders are under oath to act on the law in the national interest rising above personal liking and disliking. For them, action speaks lauder than words.

But here shocking revelations are made but without any results for which finger is particularly raised on the government which is constitutionally and legally bound to curb crime, recover the public money and take action against any corrupt no matter whosoever he may be.

But our history tells nothing of that sort but merely rhetoric to pass time and prevail upon a situation created by the rivals through charges and allegations on rulers.

Peeping through the past, we see millions rather billions were spent to probe cases but it all wasted away in inquiries and prosecution with no result at the end of day.

Against Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari about two dozen major and minor cases were framed from Ghulam Ishaq Khan’s rule as president to the second stint of Nawaz Sharif government.

After the assassination of Benazir, Zardari alone faced them and got acquitted or bailed out. He was a free man in 2004. He faced the case of Surrey Palace, SGS-Cotecna, money laundering, kickback and commission of purchasing 8.000 tractors under Awami Tractors Scheme, receiving commission in awarding contract to a French company for replacing aircraft and purchase of a diamond necklace for over $175,000 from the graft money.

They are the offshore companies, as Panama Papers leaks showed, owned by children of PM Nawaz Sharif that has lent extreme heat to the politics at present. Bilawal Bhutto speaking in Kotli the other day had demanded resignation of the PM.  The observers views the PML-N did not expect such kind of reaction by PPP as it let the People’s Party complete its previous term.

All parliamentary parties thronged a single platform in 2014 to save the PM against the PTI dharna protest on election rigging charges. Now the situation is different and the PML-N, with exception of JUI-F, stands aloof while PTI perched in the flock of joint opposition against the PM.

Besides use of harsh words, serious allegations are being traded to hold each other corrupt and to a stiff accountability. People are growing in feelings that any outcome on legal plain would come out now.

A former Lahore High Court judge Malik Muhammad Qayyum said so far such accusations appear ‘only rhetoric to gain political ground’. However, he said, if looked at it from strict legal point of view, charges made by anyone must be proved.

And for it the government being custodian of law and the Constitution is under added responsibility to establish about the corruption of others if its leaders say so for they are supposed more conversant with the fact and have access to the material, he added.