Sunday, May 23, 2010

General Kiani should put his Foot Down!

May 22, 2010
General Kiani should put his Foot Down!
By Saeed Qureshi
I am in no way suggesting that COAS Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kiani should declare martial law. What I am saying is that he should take a firm stand in favor of the judiciary in order to get its decisions implemented. It is only the army that has the coercive power to prevail on recalcitrant and malicious executive.
Indeed democracy is there but it is being disfigured for ulterior motives and sleazy objectives by the main coalition party in power. That no ruling or verdict of the apex court is being willingly or dutifully implemented by the executive, is manifest to all. A lone ranger called Babar Awan is wielding his lance all around and tilting it at every move of the judiciary in order to subvert or thwart it.
The law and the legal system have been reduced to a state of paralysis. The upholders and custodians of the constitution and law are kicking around, throwing dust on the courts, and making a mockery of the entire judicial system that must be saved from those infringing it in full view of the entire world.
That the good governance is elusive and is being stymied by the government in a thousand ways of corruption, mismanagement and by misuse of power is writ large. The ordinary citizens' problems are disdainfully and sadistically overlooked because this is not a priority with the rulers and ministers. The whole system of public service stinks and is topsy-turvy.
Glaringly, the tussle spear- headed by the degenerate and corrupt ruling mafia is running amuck with the dignity of the institutions and decency supposed to be the hallmark of a civilized society. The power wielders look like rank hypocrites and compulsive liars, exhibiting duplicity and obdurate defiance and disrespect for the state, its institutions and for the people. The presidential palace has turned into a cesspool of intrigues and loathsome machinations to frustrate all such efforts that are aimed at streamlining the system for betterment of the people and good governance.
Neither President Zardari nor his point man Babar Awan made any tangible struggle for restoration of democracy in the country. They are wayside travelers who jumped into the cart while others were marching on the streets of Pakistan for human rights and against the whims of a dictator. The character and image of president Zardari down to Babar Awan is so much sullied that all the” perfumes of Arabia” cannot sweeten them. The confrontation with the judiciary of Pakistan as well as with the media and independent observers is being geared up by the inner cabinet of the president.
Why was all this necessary to browbeat the media and judiciary and launch a counter moves to circumvent the independence and esteem of these institutions: to save their skins from the inevitable retribution. No way that these institutions can be gagged or the dams of mud can be erected in front of the deluge of felonies and crimes these rulers want to hide and brook. If big criminals can be pardoned then let, all the goal birds must be released. Otherwise, all must face the law and get them cleared.
It is in the backdrop of this appalling scenario, the anarchic situation and gathering clouds of civil war that I urge General Kiani to step forward and take the initiative of getting the orders of the superior judiciary complied with by the executive, speedily and in letter and spirit.

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