The latest troika of Pakistan: judges, jihadis and generals – by Shoaib Mir

The question, “Why is Iftikhar Chaudhry destroying Pakistan?” is worryingly valid.

A short answer could be because he’s not a politician, so the CJP is making a mess of mixing politics, which he doesn’t know, with his so-called constitutionalism. But it still requires a deep analysis, so bear with me if I indulge:

We have seen army generals playing politics instead of performing their constitutional duty of obeying an elected government and defending our geographical borders. This they have been doing unrepentantly for many decades in the name of ideology, security, religion, etc. since the governor generalship of Jinnah. Water Treaty ‘60, Rann of Kuchh ‘65, Operation Gibraltar ‘65, Tashkent ‘66, Dhaka ‘71, Siachin ’80s, Ojhri ‘88, Afghan Jihad ‘80s and Kargil ’99 are just some of their many unforgettable “achievements” to go with the 4 military coups of Ayub, Yahya, Zia and Musharraf whose combined rule stretched for over 33 years while for the rest of 30 years they were lurking behind the scenes with their sleuths doing every dirty thing but providing intelligence about the enemy. However, the icing on the cake that’s too sour to swallow is undoubtedly the ongoing Taliban militancy against the State and the same Army who mid-wifed this menace, an offshoot of the discredited strategic depth policy, with no signs of ending any time soon.

We have seen religious parties playing politics instead of spreading Islam’s sublime message of peace. This they have been doing unrepentantly for decades since even before Independence. The countless fatwas or edicts of kuf’r issued by so-called ulema against anyone who stood for reason and progress are common knowledge. The way Islam is being misrepresented by these champions of the East and foes in the West alike, requires a separate chapter altogether.

We have also seen our judiciary, the 3rd holy cow of our political right, dancing to the martial tunes of military dictators or their proxies. This they have been doing unrepentantly in the name of Doctrine of Necessity since Ghulam Mohammad dissolved our first Constituent Assembly. Successive Supreme Court rulings endorsed every martial law even providing the military dictators with powers to unilaterally amend the constitution. The decisions in the cases of Maulvi Tamizuddin, Nusrat Bhutto, and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto – to mention just three – are a shameful commentary of their spinelessness, opportunism and kangaroo justice.

What we are witnessing now is a most politicized Chief Justice Pakistan has ever had, the twice PCO-judge Mr. Suo Motu Iftikhar Chaudhry, brazenly playing politics after his unprecedented, albeit controversial, restoration. Instead of seen to be impartially dispensing justice he is doing everything but allowing a democratically elected government to function. Worse still, he is doing it in the name of constitution and the rule of law. After every recent ruling of this CJ, his crony lawyers danced and clapped within the precincts of the Supreme Court just like political workers. No wonder in the words of Asma Jahangir this bench is working more like a jirga.

This latest troika of judges, jihadists and generals is proving to be the proverbial Trident ripping the body-politic of the Federation of Pakistan. So much for the defenders of our borders, our faith and now our constitution!

It seems that every institution in this country, be it the army, clergy, judiciary, bureaucracy, media, big business, traders, educationists, doctors, the cricket board or even the crime mafia, all can dirty their hands with full-time politics and get away with it. But ONLY the politicians, especially if they happen to be democratically voted in through adult franchise, cannot do the business of politics!

I may not see it in my lifetime but to do full justice to this tragic saga, we may require our version of a Howard Zinn to write A People’s History of Pakistan.



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