Repeating History? – by Anas Muhammad

Posted By : Jarri Mirza

It was surprising to see the media and other segments of society’s enthusiasm over the decision of Supreme Court on the NRO, declaring it null and void. This kind of decision was expected but surprisingly the reason for people’s enthusiasm wasn’t that allegedly corrupt people will face the court of law, rather it was that President Zardari and Rehman Malik along with Hussain Haqqani will again face cases that were dismissed under the National Reconciliation Ordinance.

Out of the list of 8,000 beneficiaries only 34 were the politicians and out of them the main target was the President and the Co-Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party Mr. Asif Ali Zardari. The debate on the majority of beneficiaries of NRO, the bureaucrats,  didn’t even take place on the media. Instead the discussion directly started with the politicians and didn’t take too long to shift to the topic of Presidential immunity and resignation of President on ethical basis. Also being asked is the question of whether Mr. Zardari could have contested an election if those cases existed against him, or if there was a conviction against him in the past could he have become the President. They debate these issues and make assumptions on president and his election’s legitimacy while forgetting that according to the article 41(6) of the Constitution of Pakistan  “The validity of the election of the President shall not be called in question by or before any court or other authority.” Creating a false scene of accomplishment, which is half hearted in its roots, and extremely politically biased against one person.  Surprisingly to the historians and the followers of Pakistani politics, this is nothing new.

So the question remains that if corruption is the real issue, why target one personality and anyone close to him. The answer is not that simple, in fact there isn’t one answer to this question. It ranges from the fact that Pakistan Peoples Party’s head and people closer to him or liberal politicians of Pakistan that are anti-establishment and anti-taliban and extremism are always targeted by the rightist / pro-establishment media/press and the politicians along with the establishment itself.

Whether it be the Kerry Lugar bill or the 17th amendment, the Army and the establishment seems to have their reservations. In both instances the power of civilian control over military seemed to have upset the establishment. Which is why the targets are no one but the biggest advocates of civilian authority over military, as in Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, Rehman Malik, and Hussain Haqqani. If these “hawks” are replaced by someone who has a weaker stance on civil and parliament’s independence and control over military matters, it will be perfectly acceptable to the generals of Pakistan army.

If that happens the debate will end, the country will not be facing any “crisis” or turmoils, the democracy, the government, and most importantly Pakistan Peoples Party will be acceptable to everyone. This is how it has been laid out historically and this is how it is now. All we can do is wait and see if the people of Pakistan and their vote is victorious or the establishment gets to crush the democracy and the will of people yet one more time.



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