Jordan: Emerging stronger once again

2. Khalid Dalal
Khalid Dalal (Photo: Jordan News)
For any impartial observer, it would be apparent that the Jordanian public opinion tends to believe, without doubt, that the Pandora Papers fiasco is just another naive and failed attempt to target the country and its leadership which emerged, during the past few months, as a leading regional player and an advocate of true home-grown reforms.اضافة اعلان

The day after, business was as usual in our country. This was mainly due to the professional way the Royal Hashemite Court reacted, with its clear statement showing a high degree of maturity and understanding of the new age. It would have been totally irrational to sweep a case like this under the rug. Furthermore, the clearly unprofessional way the story was weaved meant even laymen recognized the loopholes abundant therein.

What conspirators fail to understand is that going head-to-head with challenges has been the norm in Jordan over the past century, and a daily routine we have become very good at.

For a country with meager natural resources in a historically turbulent region, Jordan has seen, over the past 100 years of its establishment, what other countries have not seen in a century. Let’s have a look at the past two years only: a crumbling economy with high rates of poverty and unemployment (around 25 percent), a daily struggle with the Israeli aggression against Palestinians and its repercussions on Jordan and its historic role in Jerusalem, and a sedition case that was nipped in the bud a few months ago.

The Royal Court acted with craftsmanship and confidence to the latest conspiracy, followed by statements by His Majesty King Abdullah, during one of his periodic meetings with local community leaders; this time with representatives of the Central Badia tribes. The message was: “There is nothing being concealed. ... Jordan will remain strong, as this is not the first time it has been targeted”.

“It is no secret that His Majesty owns a number of apartments and residences in the US and the UK. This is not unusual nor improper,” the Royal Court statement said, adding that “these properties are not publicized out of security and privacy concerns, and not out of secrecy or an attempt to hide them.”

The problem with some foreign media reporters is that they act overconfidently with delusion. They think they know enough about this part of the world to assume things and run them as facts, contrary to the ABCs of objective journalism.

One major fallacy in the coverage of the Pandora Papers story is the baseless allegation of misuse of foreign assistance. Donors and NGOs would laugh at this, simply because they know what kind of strict checks and balances are applied and the meticulous scrutiny the process is subject to.

As the Pandora Papers story is behind us now, we focus again on moving forward with the reform process as the Royal Committee to Modernize the Political System has recently submitted its report to His Majesty that includes new draft laws for elections and political parties, and suggested constitutional amendments related to the two laws. At the same time, the Jordanian diplomacy is on a mission to build real economic partnerships with Arab countries and enhance existing ones with friends across the world.

Jordan is stepping into the new centenary with sincere home-grown reforms and a bigger regional and global role. This will render it stronger in the face of challenges. It might be enlightening in this context to quote the Holy Quran describing this situation: “...  Thus doth Allah (by parables) show forth truth and vanity. For the scum disappears like forth cast out; while that which is for the good of mankind remains on the earth.”

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