Raza Rumi’s apologetic insights on PM Gilani’s disqualification

Disclaimer: We have been informed that the views expressed by Mr. Rumi in his articles are his own, and should not be seen or presented as those of Jinnah Institute. Despite our agreements with Mr. Rumi on certain issues, we continue to respect him.

While several journalists, anchors and intellectuals are offering their perspectives on the current political crisis in Pakistan in the aftermath of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s illegal disqualification by the ISI-influenced Supreme Court, the perspective of the almighty military establishment remains hidden from public sight. In the absence of any formal statement by the army chief or ISPR, we are bound to refer to Islamabad based think tank Jinnah Institute.  Jinnah Institute and its authors/contributors ( Ejaz Haider, Moeed Yusuf etc) mirror the Pro-Taliban/anti-democracy discourse of Pakistan’s military establishment.

In an unusual hurry, Raza Rumi (a Director of Jinnah Institute) has published two articles, one in Pakistan and other in India, on the current political crisis in Pakistan. Following the footsteps of  Najam Sethi, his employers in The Friday Times, Rumi offers a 80-20 discourse (20% agenda/propaganda packed in 80% neutral analysis) in order to justify and misrepresent the dismissal of Prime Minister Gilani.

In his article in Express Tribune, Rumi writes:

“The recent allegations of corruption levelled by infamous business tycoon Malik Riaz on the chief justice’s son added another twist to the executive-judiciary struggle. Many observers viewed the hand of the executive behind this move. Several detractors of President Zardari also hinted at the latter’s role in this saga. The Supreme Court swiftly reacted and unified in the face of what was interpreted as an ‘attack’ on its independence. The decision to disqualify Gilani therefore comes as a sequel and cannot be isolated from the recent events.”

Apparently Rumi is justifying PM Gilani’s dismissal by describing it as a logical sequel to President Zardari’s conspiracies against the Supreme Court and its Chief Justice. Did you notice he uses “infamous” for Malik Riaz but no such qualifier is used for the other party, ie, Dr. Arsalan Chaudhry (CJ’s son) whose documentary evidence of taking bribes is known to everyone except his father and probably the author.

Rumi then presents the ISI-backed judges sitting in Pakistan’s Supreme Court as independent and neutral. For example, completely ignoring Supreme Court’s silence on genocide of Balochs (and Shias) in Balochistan in last four years, he appreciate SC’s token and opportunistic activism on missing persons:

“Concurrently, the court has also been active on the missing persons case, which implicates powerful members of the security establishment.”

Raza Rumi completely omits the facts that in the last five years, the Missing Persons’ case and the life and blood of thousands of Baloch has been used as a publicity stunt by this Judiciary.  In all this time, what concrete achievements has the Judiciary made in the Missing Persons’ case.  A token lecture to a couple of mid-ranking officers does not count!

In his entire analysis, Rumi does not refer to or appreciate PM Gilani’s lawful stance that he won’t write a letter to Swiss Court in violation of the constitutional immunity available to the President. This has been increasingly pointed out by several objective commentators, including a Judge of the Indian Supreme Court.  So the Supreme Court convicted an elected Prime Minister because he did not want to disobey the clear injunctions of Article 248 of the Constitution of Pakistan.  Instead Rumi blames the victim by writing these lines:

“Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s inevitable ouster has created another storm in Pakistani politics reminding us of the endemic political instability that has plagued the country since its inception. The judicial verdict, which renders Gilani as disqualified since April 2012 may lead to further legal crises. The Supreme Court had its intentions quite clear since January when it rebuked the PM for not implementing its orders. The elected government continued to defy court orders and made political capital out of the judgments, invoking its troubled past with the judiciary.”

In his article, Rumi also ignores the ethnographic (Punjabi-Muhajir) composition of the SC bench which dismissed a Saraiki PM led by a Sindhi President. He also does not refer to the presence of several “Hamid Khan Group” judges (including Justice Jawad S. Khwaja and others) in the Supreme Court who used to work with the petitioner (Hamid Khan, VP of Imran Khan’s PTI) in the law firm of Cornelius, Lane & Mufti.

In his other article hurriedly written for Indian online journal Tehelka, Rumi maintains false neutrality and throws in the 20% dishonest analysis in a camouflaged package. He thus praises the most virtuous SC Pakistan ever had and once again blames the elected PM:

“The Supreme Court has time and again asserted its independence. It has checked corruption, taken a host of public officials to task and pursued several human rights cases. Whilst its relations with the PPP-led government have been strained from the very start, it did not destabilize the government until the recent decision where the Prime Minister expressly defied the apex court’s orders.”

Rumi makes several misrepresentations and ommission here.  After nullifying the NRO (of which the Judiciary was itself a beneficiary), the Judiciary selected to concentrate on only those 30 odd cases that involved the PPP out of a total of  nearly 9000 other cases.  During this time, it has interfered in both the Executive and Legislative domains of government and removed those government officers that were not conducive to the Judiciary’s witch hunt against the PPP Government.   As for human rights,  Tehekla’s readers should know that this is the same Judiciary that facilitated the release of Hafiz Saeed:

In that context, it is very surprising that one of the Supreme Court judges who released Malik Ishaq on bail last week scolded the prosecution and said the case was weak. The same judge, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, was part of a Lahore Hight Court bench that had asked the police to close down cases of hate speech and incitement to violence, against Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed. The bench would simply not accept that Jamaatud Dawa was another name for Lashkar-e-Taiba, because the new name was not present on a certain list.

The same Judiciary also released Malik Ishaq, leader of Al Qaeda’s main ally in Pakistan, the Shia-killing Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.  It also released the rapists of Mukhtaran Mai! What Human Rights is Rumi talking about?? I think he forgets to mention that Pakistan’s Judiciary will only consider evidence against PPP but not against rapists and Jihadis that pubically boast about their kills!

However, the most dangerous part in Rumi’s article in Tehelka is where he presents army as interested in country’s stability and good of the people and thereby promotes army’s real objective, i.e., fresh elections under neutral technocrats.

Rumi writes:

“The army is worried about the economy and would like civilians to deliver the goods. Continuing instability will prevent this to happen. Therefore, some Pakistani journalists are predicting a long-term caretaker administration to ‘fix’ Pakistan’s endemic problems. However, this seems like an impracticable idea. It would be difficult to achieve a political consensus on options which preclude elections. Thus, Pakistan may just opt for early elections.”

For transparency, would Rumi please clarify whether he is a paid consultant of Shahbaz Sharif, the PML N Chief Minister of Punjab?  His readers should know that increasingly in Pakistan, the  Judiciary is viewed as an extension of PML N, PTI, Jamaat-e-Islami, Sipah-e-Sahaba/Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat/Lal Masjid Brigade and the rich trader classes.

On Twitter too, Rumi continues with his usual subtle and refined propaganda against the elected government. Here are some examples of the discourse which Rumi and other pseudo-liberal journalists in his company are weaving:

Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
Justice –>>RT @khalidkhan787: Breaking: Arrest Warrants issued for Makhdoom Shahabuddin, ruling party candidate for next PM of Pakistan

Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
Reality check–>RT @sadafmaaz: @Razarumi 49’C (real feel of 50’C) wid #loadhsedding,”degenerating” Pakistani dsnt care who wud b next #PM…

Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
PPP & PMLN are to be blamed for their discord RT @cyalm:Is the court doing its utmost to trigger early elections..presided by an acting ECP

Maryam Nawaz Sharif ‏@MaryamNSharif
Arrest warrants for future PM; Does PPP have a single person with an untarnished reputation and unsullied name?
Retweeted by Raza Rumi

Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
Reminder: PPP’s policy on the letter is pretty inflexible. I will quote what Bilawal Bhutto had said in April during his speech in Naudero.

Ahmad Noorani ‏@Ahmad_Noorani
@Razarumi Vienna Convention or International law has nothing to do wid Swiss cases.There is no cases against BB now so its a political stunt

Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
@Ahmad_Noorani bhai pls tell this to Aitzaz Ahsan and Bilawal who have taken this strong position on the Swiss letter and lost their PM!!

Raza Rumi ‏@Razarumi
If the new PM-nominee does not get elected within the stipulated time, PPP will have to go for fresh elections. #Pakistan

Najam Sethi ‏@najamsethi
@jrshami I said possible Army intervention (not takeover) to prop up undemocraic but populist civilian regime IF judges and govt csrew up…

Najam Sethi ‏@najamsethi
I am sick of PPP’s maladministration and corruption. But I suspect motives/credentials of those who want to get rid of them.

Babar Sattar ‏@Babar_Sattar
Populist court? MT @muneebfaruq This selective dispensation of Justice has led us to this state. Our Judicature is marred with Populism.

Nasim Zehra ‏@NasimZehra
@Babar_Sattar @muneebfaruq Peoples’ view of judiciary’s populist/somewhat partisan ways is blurred bcos of an extreme governance crisis

Muneeb Farooq ‏@muneebfaruq
@NasimZehra Indeed! But poor governance doesn’t give the license to someone else to run the country.



Latest Comments
  1. Lahori
  2. Shahid
  3. Baqi Khan
  4. Naila Cheema
  5. Haider Toori
  6. shakeel arain
  7. Shah Nawaz Khan
  8. Shah Nawaz Khan
  9. Dilawar
  10. TLC
  11. Asad Karim
  12. PML N will sweep 2012 elections
  13. Anon for a reason
  14. Sabina Hasan
  15. toeyzoy
  16. Anwer Lakhani
  17. truth
  18. khalid humayun