November 3rd , 2007 is a very memorable day in my life. Watching the media attack on Gen Musharraf preceding that time . I always wondered that one after another there were attacks on him in the media. Everyday I used to think . Now how would he survive this one? So Red Mosque and confrontation with Chief Justice. Both at the same time. Looks like both were hand in hand. A never ending tirade began and no day went by where media trial didn’t happen. Finally, the day happened that due to Chief Justice’s over involvement in the country at that time and Laal Masjid’s out cry resulted in what was proposed by the advisers and senior stakeholders of the country that since the government and its running has hit a halt . An emergency was proposed. Keeping in view the situation at that time the emergency was imposed. The day when it was imposed. I took a sigh of relief personally that at least a decision was taken to fight back this insensible onslaught of zealots .
Well I don’t think that years later on if you look back . The Chief Justice has become anything but a baggage for any civilian government. See its easy to make noise but what was delivered. The Laal Masjid whose volunteers in my view practically ran the agitation have grown in to full blown terrorists and I mean fully blown suicide bombers. The whole noise on Baluchistan which became the signature of the Chief Justice who though being a Punjabi settler played the Baluch card to his convenience. Only to just play further. Not a single decision delivered. What followed later was that the judiciary went from a blind eyed statue of justice to a dictatorship of judiciary? So what did the same CJ achieved in the last PPP government. What got achieved apart from the fact that the nation was kept embroiled into a wrong belief that he is the savior we were awaiting. Though he has never been a disappointment for me since I always knew that his son was the loose canon. He sure has been for many . His key lieutenants like Asma Jehangir, Aitzaz Ahsan and even Athar Minallah has kind of realized the real face. So the utter reason on which Gen Pervaiz Musharraf took a decision to oust Chaudhary Iftikhar proved to be true years later. So the boss took a decision on a questionable leader of the most august house of the nation. Only to be thrown a book on his face of not following the procedure. Maybe his only mistake. But what next the same Chief Justice kept on lecturing Honesty, Principals, Justice etc etc but forgot to look over his shoulder in his own house.
So the agitation or the so called movement of independence of judiciary was for what getting a corrupt lot in power like getting the nation a President in the face of Asif Zardari in power. What was the agitation about defending a Chief Justice who was asked to clear his role in his son’s postings and promotions which only turned out to be true a few years later? So what was all the commotion about that President Pervaiz Musharraf dealt with an iron hand the terrorists hiding inside the Red mosque who were virtually hijacking constitution avenue. This agitation was coming at the back of the excellent economy which President Pervaiz Musharraf gave to Pakistan. So this agitation which wanted to bring down the President riding on the shoulders of judicial activism almost stalled a country. The result was that the President consulted his advisors , his lieutenants and his top officers and post which took a decision. The emergency was imposed to throw out a Chief Justice (mainly who in the first place gave legitimacy to the 1999 take over) ; in order to bring back the nation on the track.
What resulted after which was nothing but chaos for the nation ? The corrupt politicians came into power, the economy tumbled, the Talibans became stronger and the son of the Chief Justice became a multi millionaire . At the cost of the poor people of Pakistan who got nothing out of the so called independence of judiciary . The courts still operate at the same speed or maybe slower before General Musharraf ceased to exist as the President of Pakistan. Bigger scandals came out with no consequence or decisions. We saw a glut of suo mottos only to make life more miserable for Pakistanis . The number of pending cases in the courts increased by 10% if not less. Not one thing which ensued benefitted the poor people of Pakistan who infact saw their life getting impacted positively during the tenure of President Musharraf .
So in my view whilst the President Musharraf is being accused in violation of Article 6 (i) ; we ignore Article 6 (ii) . We ignore the Article 48 where the President acted on the advise on the Prime Minister not only on November 2nd 2007 but before as well when he tried to impeach the Chief Justice after becoming questionable who if did not resigned at that time should out of character resigned when his son got accused a year ago. Not because that he was part of it but may be because he did not keep his own house in order. Just read today that in the state of Bihar in India where if any person do not have a loo in his house would not be allowed to stand for the elections of the councilors under the pretext that if he cant put his own house in order ; how would he put his jurisdiction in one. May be a lesson for a few.
Would anyone ask if the same Supreme Court was in line with the Article 184 defining its jurisdiction where it was taking suo mottos in dime a dozen. Would someone ask the government that isn’t it in contravention of Article 36 of the same constitution where the rights of the minorities are not being safe guarded. Where minority sects of Islam or religions of Pakistan are being persecuted without any respite seeing in action by the government. Why the same authority forget that in view of the above situation where terrorists and certain bodies were threatening the functioning of the state and that by using his right under Article 232 via the advise of the Prime Minister under Article 48 infact the President was in line with his duty of protecting Pakistan.
Why the same Honorable judiciary is quiet on the subject of Private Armies under Article 256 where the same Talibans are openly cherished and infact called as martyrs? The list goes on my fellow Pakistanis. If you pick up the green book called the Constitution of Pakistan. You would be surprised that most of the articles are being violated under our Fundamental Rights given to us from article 8 to all the way to article 40. Why those who violate these rights are not being tried under Article 6 which says “Any person who abrogates or attempts or conspires to abrogate, subverts or attempts or conspires to subvert the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason”. The word subvert is key here since it in my opinion do not restrict to the emergency imposed by President Musharraf under advice from the Prime Minister . The word subvert could also mean that how on daily basis our politicians rips us off our rights to live. Subversion could also mean what Talibans do every day. Subversion could also mean where Chief Justice of Pakistan Chaudhary Iftikhar was in violation of the Article 177 discussing his appointment if President Musharraf was an unlawful President when he took oath under him . Subversion can be any thing in my view but not restricted to what is being said and President Musharraf being accused of.
By imposing the Emergency under Article 256 . The president was protecting my fundamental rights as a citizen of Pakistan which was under threat before that day and still is till the date where more than 40,000 Pakistanis and another 6,000 soldiers have given their lives. Why they have not been given justice under the same constitution where not a single arrested terrorist has been hanged?
The announcement of this type by the government of Pakistan that they would try President Musharraf under Article 6 talking about defending the rights of a few where they ignore the Fundamental rights of its people and that too especially at the back of a war , Pindi incident and more shows that this trial is either an attempt to infact subvert the attention of the people in a useless argument.
I feel like laughing watching a few journalists demanding hanging for President Musharraf and with the same tongue calling Hakeemullah Mehsud a martyr. I wonder how come people listen to such despots. Anyways, I feel that the trial should have in the first place commenced once the current Chief Justice would have retired as he being an aggrieved party in this whole process. Let the new Chief Justice take over who hopefully would be not as biased and would give a fair hearing to the President as the constituted tribunal in my view hearing the bench’s background would go in the direction of the higher powers and appeals and I wonder if its fair that my enemy is my judge.
Anyways, I feel that President Musharraf is lesser of an issue. The government should stop pussy footing around the Taliban issue and take a decision as reports are coming in that this trial has been designed to appease such elements only since President Musharraf has been bailed out in other cases. If our government gives in to such elements . I can just wish them luck .
Again, they may have the best team or the best policy but if they are not resolute on the Taliban issue. They would achieve nothing and push the nation towards a bigger turmoil and maybe in an irreparable situation. President Musharraf trial under article 6 just polarizes the nation more and nothing less. At this time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should choose his battles wisely and decide in the interest of Pakistan. He must weigh that how much impact this emergency made on a common man’s life instead of a few in the interest of the nation. I am sure if he does ; he would gain more in the interest of Pakistan otherwise all leadership would be tried under Article 6 under part (ii) as most of them were supporting such violations in the past so let it be the Martial law by Zia or the Martial Law by Ayub or Yahiya Khan. I am sure that we don’t need that chaos at this point. So lets think for Pakistan and move ahead. Pakistan Zindabad!