Articles of the year 2009

The Fall of The Jackal
Published on September 5, 2009

In Punjabi folklore, when the time of a Jackal is up, he heads for the city, to meet certain death. Similarly the notorious Brig 'Billah' of midnight jackals' fame, should have kept his mouth shut, as per his being bound by the official secrets act. However as fate would have it, he chose to head for the bright lights of television, and therein he exposed himself to the scrutiny of millions, worse still his involvement in scandals of the state, and his heading of the Dirty Tricks Brigade on behalf of the establishment. His performance on the television was ludicrous, and the man should have been arrested while still in the studio.

As the public understanding, the privilege of being a member of the armed forces carries with it a formidable responsibility of protection of state secrets, whose access to the ordinary citizens is denied until a full 30 years have elapsed. Apparently, the Jackal could not wait, or the temptation offered to talk was too great, and he appeared on the national talk shows to bring the sleaze of the political world of Pakistan into the open. Some of the revelations could generate charges of treason - this charge was repeated by the jackal on TV. Legal opinions are already being sought on whether the presidency or the Law Ministry at that time were guilty of complicity of a cover up, on a treasonous matter, and could therefore be equally liable to the charges, including the penalties.

Pakistan is going through the most interesting period of reconstruction of our political structures, mainly the legal guidelines, which under the formidable new chief justice, could ensure that while corruption in Pakistan may not cease, the leadership and the Establishment would be curtailed into more careful observance of the law.

The now powerful media is to be congratulated on their remarkable exposures of the dirty tricks that were a part of the political parties and the Establishment. And their relentless support to the restoration of the judiciary which is making this possible.

Watching the jackal saga unfold on TV one cannot but be amazed at the audacity of the members of the Establishment in thinking that they could commit these crimes, and walk away into the sunset taking their ill-gotten gains with them. Fortunately for Pakistan, we truly are a blessed nation, and the Almighty does in his mysterious ways step in and direct the jackal towards the city whereby his end is coupled with the awakening of the masses, and the monstrous crimes that have been committed on us under the cover of power. The suffering of the Pakistani people was no less brutal than that of the blacks under the Apartheid regime of South Africa. Only these were Brown Sahibs, of the same colour as the ruled.

The best news to-date was the shoe-throwing incident at Lahore Airport which showed that the public is slowly awakening to the rampant abuse by the powerful, and is ready to take action on its own.

In the meantime the jackals, which include General Aslam Beg who brought down the Mehran Bank, first posturing that the monies had come from Prince Naif of Saudi Arabia. And General Hamid Gul who still postulates loudly that he is the conqueror of Russia. General Durrani who has become a fixture on our TV screens daily, giving his doctored, and coloured versions extolling his time in the ISI. It is a remarkable twist of fate that these generals have admitted these crimes, but unfortunately for them there is now a new judge in town, who is expected by the entire 170 million citizens, to do his duty to the law, as per their expectations. The dictum of ' Nobody is above the Law' should now be put into effect. Their will never be a more opportune moment! Meanwhile I would recommend the daily TV shows with the various general seeking to self-destruct in the most public manner - without remorse, or shame.

Sooner than later, the Pakistan Army may react to these jackals who are divulging how they used their position in the army, to meddle in affairs not in their purview. This may be deliberate on the part of the jackals, but serves only to tarnish the image of the army. After the removal of Musharraf, the image, being carefully rebuilt by General Kayani, cannot allow such public criticism to its institution.