Bubbling lava may burst
Asif Haroon Raja
Ali Baba is convicted by Supreme Court on charges of contempt of court but the gang of thieves under him boisterously says he is not a convict and repose full confidence in him. Stock of the same chip, they have to compulsorily protect their chief or else they all would be behind the bars. They are so engrossed in loot and plunder and in merry making that they are impervious to insults heaped upon them for their immorality and shamelessness. They have got so deeply drenched in the pool of worldly pleasures that they have lost track of high morals, ethics and pristine values and have stopped differentiating between right and wrong, between evil and virtue. Rather, they protect and upgrade the wrong doers and punish the honest and God fearing persons. Make hay as long as the sun shines is the motto they are assiduously following. To prolong the duration of sunshine, they remain more loyal than the king to the head honcho sitting in Presidency. Like primed up puppets, they dance to his tunes with gusto and are breaking all records of flattery and sycophancy merely to retain their seats. For them, Zardari is the most shrewd and clever man this Land of the Pure has seen.
Having sucked the blood of the nation for over four years like leeches, they have grown greedier and hungrier and want to make best use of the available nine months to suck the last drop left in the body of Pakistan. The leading lights of the ruling clique are all set to fly abroad before the next elections and lead a luxury life in palatial abodes purchased in advance. The whole lot of crooks is backing the convict only because he had put his career and reputation at stake to save $60 million looted by his benefactor. Ali Baba is beholden to the string puller sitting in Presidency since he had preferred him over other three aspirants, didn’t replace him and allowed him the distinction of longest serving PM in Pakistan’s chequered political history. He has paid back by refusing to initiate a letter to Swiss authorities to reopen money laundering cases pending against Zardari after the SC ruling on 16 December 2009 annulling infamous NRO.
Gilani first went into appeal against judgment of 17-member SC Bench under chief justice Ch Iftikhar and with the help of fake doctor Babar Awan managed to waste over two years. During this time, the government defanged NAB and got most of the pending corruption and criminal cases quashed with the help of friendly prosecutors. Honest officials were replaced by toadies. When the appeal was turned down in January 2012, Gilani refused to abide by SC directive on the plea that the President enjoyed immunity and writing a letter amounted to violating the constitution. Backed by his opportunist advocate Aitzaz Ahsan, he stuck to his guns even when he was formally indicted on charges of contempt of court and defiantly maintained that he was ready to sacrifice his post and go to jail but would not betray his patron. He kept loyalty to the President above the loyalty to the motherland, the constitution, his own reputation and the people who elected him. Ultimately when the seven-member bench after demonstrating extreme patience announced its verdict through a short order on 26 April, instead of immediately resigning gracefully, he and his cohorts started a vicious campaign against the higher judiciary.
Expecting that the accused would be awarded six months sentence and thus would pave the way for making him a political martyr, when the 30 seconds long sentence defeated their plan, they went on an offensive against the judiciary insinuating that it has traditionally been biased and unfair towards PPP leaders. They deliberately provoked the judiciary and prepared grounds for a headlong clash between the parliament and judiciary. Continuing with the delaying tactics, Gilani pooh-poohed the SC ruling and refused to step down on the plea that detailed judgment had yet to come and that his case would be decided by the National Assembly Speaker and the Election Commission whether he stood disqualified or otherwise.
Even after the issuance of detailed order on 8 May, which left no room for ambiguity, together with mounting pressure of the opposition inside and outside the parliament, the PM and his gang have maintained their truculent stance essentially because of the support of MQM, ANP and JUI-F. Gilani was found guilty, he stands sentenced, convicted and disqualified. He should have honorably resigned but he didn’t. But without an iota of shame, he accompanied by large numbers of freeloaders proceeded on an official visit to UK to give an impression that all was well. Britain claiming to be the mother of parliamentary democracy in complete disregard of norms of democracy heartily welcomed the convicted visitor and heaped praises upon him. Cameron’s sole objective was to extract approval over resumption of NATO supplies from the bumbling Gilani and he succeeded to fox him.
The apex court having done its job, it was up to the Election Commission (EC) and not the Speaker to dethrone Gilani. However, to the utter surprise of the nation, the Speaker Fehmida Mirza who had performed admirably well finally slipped and instead of forwarding the case to EC for final ruling ruled that since the PM had not been disqualified by the SC, hence referral of the case to EC didn’t arise. Two petitions have been filed in the SC against the flawed ruling of the Speaker.
Public’s disappointment with ruling coalition of PPP-ANP-MQM and with PML-N putting up friendly opposition allowed space to Imran Khan led Tehrik-e-Insaf (TI) to emerge as a third force. Sick and tired of the debased politicians who have taken turns to plunder the nation and given no relief to the masses, the people see in Imran a refined politician and a better human being who decries corrupt system in vogue. Till his historic address at Minar-e-Pakistan on October 30, 2011, he was not taken seriously. Lahore meeting catapulted his political fortunes and Karachi gathering reinforced his position in the political arena as a serious challenger to the two status quo loving mainstream parties. His tsunami is building up and so is his popularity. As per latest gallop polls, he is currently the most popular leader followed by Nawaz Sharif. PML-N in particular has got alarmed since its forte in Punjab has been effectively breached by TI.
Seen as a game-changer, high hopes have been pinned on him. He has attracted the liberals, the moderates, the conservatives and the fundamentalists and even the Baloch separatists as was evident from his highly successful public meeting in Quetta. Liberals want him to discard the fundamentalists and get counted among the liberals for they see prosperity of Pakistan in liberal philosophy. The conservatives’ views are different. They argue that Pakistan has been ruled and ruined by secular leaders and strongly feel that the only way to salvage Pakistan from all its maladies is to govern it in accordance with Quran and Sunnah. The ones who hate him are status quo lovers with skeletons in their cupboards.
Demand for new provinces has been made out of selfish political considerations and not to ease the administrative problems of the affected people. Creation of Saraiki province in southern Punjab will certainly cut the political power of PML-N, which is already reeling under pressure exerted by TI in Punjab, but may also suit Pakistan’s detractors desiring to Balkanize Pakistan. PML-N has tried to minimize the damage by demanding creation of Bahawalpur, Hazara and FATA provinces. In the wake of demand for Muhajir Suba, which smells of Jinnahpur conspiracy, Nawaz is asserting that Sindh will not be allowed to be divided at any cost.
Amid the politically motivated power tussle, people continue to groan under the weight of extreme poverty, hunger, diseases, joblessness, insecurity. Their sufferings further accentuated by prolonged power outages and shortage of water in this sweltering heat have triggered violent protests. Lava has begun to bubble and given this trend in the wake of incapacity of the government to provide them any relief, it seems the swelling lava may sooner than later burst and bring down the edifice of the elites.