Articles of the year 2007

Facing Reality
Published on August 24th, 2007

The Country is facing the worst crisis in its history. The newspapers are full of the varied opinions of Pundits with views ranging from the rational to the ridiculous. The legal minds are stating their positions, but as we all know, throughout history, a lawyer will craft his defense knowing fully well that his client is guilty. The same lawyer will draft an equally strong rebuttal, and it takes a very intelligent Judge to sift the truth, to give an honest and fair judgment. The guilty party will still scream that the judgment was unfair, but that is what Law is about, from the Greeks till the present.

In Pakistan, the varied opinions must be confusing any reader, including the Higher judiciary, so robust are the claims, and so senior and qualified, the claimants. I am praying, and betting, that the judges will not be fooled, as easily as the President, for he has increased the idiot factor in his legal entourage by bringing on board Ahmed Raza Kasuri. A person who provided much comic relief in the various talk shows. One of his priceless suggestions being the advice to take some of the members of the Lawyers in the CJ team for a quick helicopter trip to Kargil. The exact purpose was not spelt out, neither was the point well taken---Thank God..

These are Gentlemen who can guarantee to spread confusion, with their reckless suggestions delivered with wanton abandon. Now when these voices are multiplied manifold, it takes a very strong man to set aside these arguments. The latest has been the statement that, God forbid, if Musharraf is removed then the Market would crash 5000 points.. When this statement comes from a highly positioned member in the Min of Finance, it takes on a very ominous tone. As we all know, the Stock Market is very tightly controlled by the Big Five, independent of the Min of Finance, which Ministry has no say in the implementation of any rule of ethics in the trades. The President should take careful note that 5000 points represents approximately 20 billion S an amount that would bury all the good work of the last twenty years. For him to be told that his staying or going could cost the country 20 Billion, is probably the height of sycophancy, and as an economic threat should be countered immediately. The Prime Minister --- no less, should not only distance himself from such ridiculous statements, but should suggest alternate employment for the man responsible. The President should now change away from the mantra so oft repeated, that,the Government should serve out its term. Has no one told him; that the Prime Minister can dissolve the House, and often does in a Parliamentary form, when he thinks it is appropriate, or when he feels strong enough.. It is unfortunate that the Parliament in our case has been a rubber stamp, no more and no less. So why prolong its agony--- have done with it and this time let the people decide who shall sit in the House.

Also I think Musharraf should tell the Americans to stop 'nudging ' him in the direction of people who have much to answer for in their past behaviour, and should be facing long prison sentences. Surely, the Americans have no right to impose corrupt politicians back on us, after having the myriad financial scams being formally presented to them in hearings on the Senate floor. ( Theirs – not ours.) If indeed the US wants to help, it should ensure that we start moving in the right direction, and away from corruptability. After all it is the upright puritanic spirit of the Americans so valued around the world, and now put on the back burner to suit the American interest. This is extremely short term, something the average Pakistani understands, and does not like. This coupled with the unfair nature of the 'deal' will serve to reinforce the anti-US bias, for it shows close up the reality of the American face. Far better for the Americans to profess their inability to broker such politicians. However it does seem that Benazir has convinced Washington that she can and will do their bidding--- the cost to democracy notwithstanding, or to Pakistan's interest. It is indeed a pity that our fledgling democracy is being derailed even before the elections. This is the ultimate in rigging. When Musharraf was accused of sacrificing honesty, to the Q league, that was nothing---compared to the robbing of the 2007 election, by the corrupt implant Benazir.