Thursday, June 21, 2012
PAKISTAN'S SUPREME COURT SETE A VERY BAD PRECEDENT
A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books Pakistan at best is a state trying to imitate the protocols of democracy with all the external trappings: it has a written constitution, a bi-cameral legislature, a senate, a cabinet and a supreme court. In the history of Pakistan the Judiciary has at best played a passive role and has not stood up to the Army which is breathing down the necks of people. During the 1970s we saw the ugly spectacle of Shri Zulfikar Ali Bhutto being sentenced to death and hanged on ther most flimsy of grounds. The Pakistani Judiciary was nand in glove with Zia-ul-Naq's regime and carried out a judicial assasination. Till this day there are doubts about the legality of the process and until the Supreme Court overturns the Bhutto judgement it cannot be called "supreme". President Asaf Ali Zardari, the beneficiary of his wife's brutal killing is known to be corrupt and like our criminal politicians has stashed away money in Swiss banks. There is no doubt about that. However as President of Pakistan he does enjoy immunity from procecution and this principle of immunity is a well known aspect of political and legal theory. In fact the history of this principle goes back to the English Civil War when Cromwell decided to have Charles I executed for treason, high crimes and misdemenours. "Cut off his head with the crown on it" Cromwell is said to have remarked when his attention was drawn to the "immunity" enjoyed by the Crown. Now thew Prime Minister of Pakistan is responsible to Parliament and not to the Supreme Court. The chief Justice of Pakistan, Iktihar Choudhary is no stranger to factional and institutional squabbles. The same PPP which today has fallen victim to the judicial coup of the chief Justice supported the agitation for ther reinstatement of this Judge when he was sacked by the former Presideny thr wise and sagacious Parvez Musharaf, the best Presideny Pakistan has ever had. Now the PPP must be rueing its own stupidity when it is hoist on its own petard. Of course, action must be taken to bring back the ill gotten wealth and Pakistan could learn a lesson or two from India. Here we have a Mahatma called Baba Ramdev who is inspiring the people to fight corruption. In Pakistan the mad mullahs who run the country will not let any civil society movement take root. So you will only have army coups, judicial coups and palace coups in Pakistan. The removal of the Prime Minister Yousaf Ali Gelani will certainly weaken the roots of an already withering Democracy. The USA is launching drone strikes by the dozens against targets in Pakistan killing a large number of militants and scores of civilians. This judicial coup will only make matters worse for the political class.