My choice today: Wednesday 4 June 2008

Asadullah Ghliab exposes “the disinformation masters”, yellow journalists of Pakistan.

Jheengar ka janaza hay zara dhoom say niklay – by Asadullah Ghalib

Aitzaz should stop running with the hare and hunting with the hound

The lawyers’ movement has rejected the constitutional package presented by the Pakistan People’s Party. If positions on both sides remain deterministic, we can now be sure that the movement will stay on a collision course with the current PPP government. Siding with the lawyers movement is the PMLN. It has already pulled out of the cabinet and might pull out of the coalition if it stays the current course of pressing for the restoration of judges upfront and without reference to any constitutional package. Given this perspective, we might be in for a spell of agitation politics.

However, while the lawyers movement has rejected the PPP’s position on how the judges restoration is to be achieved and the fate of President Pervez Musharraf, the most prominent leader of the movement, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, is caught on the horns of a dilemma. He wants to continue affiliating with the PPP even as he is turning the lawyers movement against the party. His problem originates in his earlier decision to spurn the “deal” that the PPP leader Benazir Bhutto clinched with President Pervez Musharraf before her assassination, including her decision to contest the elections. He should have realised then that he couldn’t sail in two boats at the same time for long but he didn’t. That has made his position untenable by the day.

Mr Ahsan is now quoted by the New York Times as making “reckless” critical remarks about Ms Bhutto and Asif Zardari. But instead of owning up to them because they truly reflect his views about the PPP’s leadership and policies, he has chosen to deny the remarks and distance himself from the interview. Understandably, not many who have heard Mr Ahsan publicly or privately are prepared to accept his denial. The content of what he said is not very different from the views he has held since he began spearheading the lawyers movement and saw the chasm developing between his goal of re-establishing constitutionalism, his personal political ambitions and his party’s realpolitik.

The irony of all this is that, even as he is at pains to deny it, many of Mr Ahsan’s supporters are flaunting the NYT story as an example of his “conviction and commitment” to the cause of constitutionalism.

It is time therefore that Mr Ahsan should realise the logic of his own stand which squarely pits him against his own party. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Mr Ahsan’s decision to plough a different furrow. He may even decide to form a new political party, one that is wedded to pushing Pakistan in the direction of constitutionalism. But by holding on to everything, he may be left holding nothing. (Daily Times)