“Army Chief sees deep conspiracy” screamed a banner headline in the Business Recorder of December 16, 2011 and I thought to my self – yes there is a deep conspiracy, just as there was a deep conspiracy in 1977 when the dormant FIR against the first elected Prime Minister of the country was revived and a trial was initiated and stage managed to convict and hang the elected Prime Minister for “conspiracy to murder”.
There is indeed a deep conspiracy but just as in 1977, the conspiracy was a conspiracy hatched by the Generals to eliminate Mr. Bhutto and establish their domination, today also the conspiracy for which the elected Government is being charged is not the real conspiracy, the conspiracy is a conspiracy by the Generals for continued covert domination of this hapless nation. The judiciary and shortsighted politicians are willingly or unwillingly once again pliable tools as they were in 1977. Today the “FIR” has been replaced by a “Memo”. The motive and the plot remain the same- the subjugation of the people to the might of the army. The non entity Ahmad Raza Kasuri stands substituted by another non entity- Mansoor Ejaz of equally dubious fame.
I lived through the trial of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. I witnessed first hand the subversion of the judicial process, the manipulation of the judiciary by the army, the blatant hypocrisy and shortsightedness of the political opposition to Mr. Bhutto and the malevalence of the honourable judges of the Supreme Court.
I feel outraged at the headline but more than outrage I feel frustrated at the impotence of the Pakistani nation. Are we morons or are we simply cowards or are we just plain straight dishonest. We hate Zardari so we will cut our nose to spite our face. We hate Haqqani so we do not mind sending a man to the gallows for a crime he has not committed.
“Democracy does not allow carte blanche to representatives: CJ” reads the headline in the News of January 13, 2012. The report goes on to state that in the 84 page detailed judgment the (not so) honourable court has noted “that once a country’s sovereignty and independence were compromised, the lives and dignity of the citizens are adversely affected.” So a Memo unearthed by the army and fathered by Mr. Mansoor Ejaz pose a risk to the country’s sovereignty and in turn adversely affect our lives and dignity. Jaunts to Saudi Arabia (at our expense mind you) by the ISI Chief and visits to China by General Kiyani on an unknown “important mission” pose no threat whatsoever to the country’s sovereignty. Our lives and dignity are probably well served by that but will be adversely affected because an elected civilian Government is alleged to seek support to keep the military at bay. Admittedly, democracy does not allow carte blanche to representatives, but dictatorship surely gives a carte blanche to the holiest of holy cows and our lives and dignity remain untarnished and intact when a promising young man (does anybody remember Hammad Raza?) is killed in true mafiosi style simply to convey a message to a recalcitrant Chief Justice (remember the hero and defender of the rule of law?).
“Saleem Shahzad Commission didn’t exonerate ISI” is the caption of a piece by Umar Cheema in the News of January 16, 2012. Was Umar Cheema not the victim of the ISI himself or was that too a dream? I wept when I saw Umar Cheema’s picture with his head and moustache shaved. Seeing that picture adversely affected my life and violated my dignity. And now Umar Cheema has written a piece to justify the toothless report by yet another Commission. He writes “The Judicial Commission on the Saleem Shahzad case has not exonerated the ISI of the murder though a recorded conversation between militants has raised questions about the likely involvement of the militant group of Ilyas Kahsmiri in the gruesome murder” And what pray does the recorded conversation say. A purported member of a militant outfit to another purported member of the same outfit “a bad man has met his fate”. But I said that when Zia died. I can swear I was not involved in that fateful act of divine nemesis.
“Monarchy rules supreme in political parties: CJ” is the bold headline in the News of January 19, 2012. According to the report the remarks were made while admitting a petition filed by a leader ofPakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (more appropriately thePakistan Tehreek-e-Lotas). So the judgment is pronounced simultaneously with the admission of the petition. Not a bad idea if we can also dispense with any further proceedings this could surely be the ideal remedy for reducing the back log of cases which weigh our courts.
“NRO beneficiary can’t hold public office: CJ”, thus spoke Zarathustra yet again according to the News of January 27, 2012 in admitting a petition on the issue. Since the decision is already known (dissension not being the current trend in the hallowed halls of justice) may be some heed will be paid to the proposal to dispense with the proceedings? Think of all the time saved and one topic less for the screaming and haranguing anchors of the ‘free’ media!
The writer, Amna Piracha is an ex-MNA and served a Begum Nusrat Bhutto’s Political Secretary