Why is Athar Minallah causing panic to The News? Why now? – by Fawad Manzoor

This is with reference to Ahmad Noorani’s rejoinder titled “Why is Athar Minallah so panicky?” which was published in The News on 19 June 2010.

About face by Ahmed Noorani on Mr Athar Minhallah is so panicky. Even though I don’t agree with the lawyers movement the way it has gone but I do agree with how Mr. Minhallah has said it has turned out to be.

It is abundantly clear that the way media aka journalists see independent judiciary and democracy is different from how experts and people see them. Mr. Noorani along with his pro Taliban sympathizing journalists has a personal agenda that he (and his cronies) are working on, i.e., to pitch judiciary against democracy. Mr. Minhallah should be panicky the way situation is brewing.

Journalists who have absolutely no formal training to be journalist are trying to be constitutional and judicial experts. A few months back when one of the leading lights of lawyers’ movement gave his opinion about presidential immunity, same journalists along with certain like-minded lawyers started jumping on him that he is about to join Zardari camp. According to media, the only people who are for independent judiciary are the ones who are towing their line. Yellow journalism is ripe in Pakistan.

It is not only that Athar Minhallah is upset, what about Aitizaz Ahsan, Munir Malik, Ali Ahmed Kurd; all of them have taken long leave of absence from the scene. Now we have new comers like Qazai Anwar, SC Registrar Faqir Khokhar and Hamid Khan trying to run the show the way they see it fit.

All of a sudden, Mr. Noorani and other right wing journalists have started paying attention to the background of Mr. Athar Minhallah that he was Musharraf’s provincial cabinet minister.

Dear Noorani, you knew about it earlier but you were all praise for him, why talk about his background now? Noorani Sahib, if Mr. Minhallah’s credentials are upsetting you so much that you have started a malicious campaign against him, do take a look at the credentials of the judges you are trying to defend.

I always said that the so called lawyers movement was only a mix of opportunist. Judges, lawyers, politicians, journalists all had their own ulterior agendas that they wanted to serve.

The real force behind the lawyers movement’s success was the camera tricks of the media, how camera covered the event being held by 20 people but they showed it to the people at an angle to make it look like there were 2000.

Today, judiciary is overstepping its limits and putting undue pressure on the newly elected democratic government, while media is running away with concocted stories. Everyday we read and hear stories by these journalists about how government is trying to topple judiciary.

I agree with Mr. Minhallah that if we had the patience for dictatorial illegitimate long rules of Ayub, Yahya, Zia and Musharraf and we lived with the supreme court and chief justices who gave numerous judgments defending military dictators, we should also give some time for democracy to settle down and bring its house in order.

After nine long years of Military cum Judicial Martial Law in which all institutions were destroyed to keep Musharraf in power, we only had three years of so called democracy. We still have people in places who served their military bosses and we still have people who have worked with dictators and defended their actions.

Democracy and political parties in Pakistan need our full support against the unholy nexus of the right wing media, judiciary and the (real) powers in khaki.



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