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Editorials

Judiciary Again: Serving Their Masters

English: This is the Coat of arms of Supreme C...
English: This is the Coat of arms of Supreme Court of Pakistan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is a recorded fact that the Pakistani justices have pretty much always provided a legalistic rationale for all military adventures in Pakistan. A sad and glaring example of that is the enigma of “doctrine of necessity” invoked by the justices in the mid-1970s to provide a justification for Zia-ul-Haq’s illegal and unconstitutional regime.

We had hoped that the current supreme court, having come back to power through popular support, would have learned not to serve the anti-democracy forces in Pakistan. But we were, of course, too naive.

How did this crisis come to be. Simply, the judiciary forced the Prime Minister to open closed cases against the current president. Let us not forget that Mr. Zaradri IS the former Mr. 10% and we have no doubts about his checkered and corrupt past. But our main concern now is to see at least one government finish its term so that a clear system of public rule and democratic norm can be established. The justices should have kept this long-term view in mind, but, sadly, they have gone for short-term political gains. This set of circumstances is deeply troubling and deplorable.

The question now is simply this: would this juridical vendetta end now or the new government would also be brought to a crisis under the same issues. How many prime ministers are the justices willing to replace just to make a point. And who gains if the army, this time, remains the main player behind the scenes. There can be no future for pakistan if those committed to serve the nation cannot stop acting as the masters of the nation and keep coming up with varied schemes to undermine the will of the Pakistani people.

Yes, the political system is corrupt, but give it time, a chance, and we might forge a system worthy of our hopes and aspirations. We have tried military and quasi military rule for the past sixty years: it does not work and it has given us a fractured, tortured, and disrupted nation.

There should be an end to such misguided judicial activism: it hurts the nation and endangers the future of our children!

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Categories
Editorials Politics

PPP+PML (Q) = A Coalition of Shame

PIX
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Today fourteen members of the PML (Q), all allies of former dictator Pervez Musharraf, joined the Pakistan People’s Party’s cabinet. This is a moment of shame for the PPP: Mr. Zardari has, true to his own shameful history, betrayed the trust of PPP workers and the general public of Pakistan by aligning himself with those who had sold their loyalties to a dictator in return for power.

Yes, this will probably keep Mr. Zardari and his cohorts in power, but let us not forget that these are the very people under whose watch–Musharraf included–Benazir Bhutto was murdered. And some of those who should have ensured BB’s safety and did not, will now be in the cabinet of her husband’s political coalition: shame. Out of all the PPP top brass, only Senator Raza Rabbani has shown the honor and courage to object to this by resigning his cabinet post: we salute senator Rabbani for his principled stand. As for Mr. Zardari, this goes on to prove yet again that his sole interest lies in staying in power and principled politics is  something that he and his ilk are completely unfamiliar with.

So, let us just call it what it is: a shameless, self-serving, opportunistic politics.

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Commentaries

The War Within Islam, Pervez Hoodbhoy

(Fron NewAgeIslam.com)

A New Age Islam reader sent the following letter to the editor:

Here is a letter sent by Pakistan’s foremost progressive intellectual and physicist Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy to a friend:

I am sharing with you some lines that I have just written for family and friends who are warning me:

Whatever one might think of Governor Salman Taseer‘s politics, he was killed this Wednesday for what was certainly the best act of his life: trying to save the life of an illiterate, poor, peasant Christian woman.

But rose petals are being showered upon his murderer. He is being called a ghazi, lawyers are demonstrating spontaneously for his release, clerics refused to perform his funeral rites. Most shockingly, the interior minister – his political colleague and the ultimate coward – has said that he too would kill a blasphemer with his own hands.

Pakistan once had a violent, rabidly religious lunatic fringe. This fringe has morphed into a majority. The liberals are now the fringe. We are now a nation of butchers and primitive savages. Europe’s Dark Ages have descended upon us.

Sane people are being terrified into silence. After the assassination, FM-99 (Urdu) called me for an interview. The producer tearfully told me (offline) that she couldn’t find a single religious scholar ready to condemn Taseer’s murder. She said even ordinary people like me are in short supply.

I am deeply depressed today. So depressed that I can barely type these lines.

Yesterday a TV program on blasphemy (Samaa, hosted by Asma Shirazi) was broadcast (it’ll be rebroadcast today). Asma had pleaded that I participate. So I did – knowing fully well what was up ahead.  But I could not bear to watch the broadcast and turned it off after a few minutes.

My opponents were Farid Paracha (spokesman, Jamaat-e-Islami) and Maulana Sialvi (Sunni Tehreek, a Barelvi and supposed moderate). There were around 100 students in the audience, drawn from colleges across Pindi and Islamabad.

Even as the mullahs frothed and screamed around me (and at me), I managed to say the obvious: that the culture of religious extremism was resulting in a bloodbath in which the majority of victims are Muslims; that non-Muslims were fleeing Pakistan; that the self-appointed “thaikaydars” of Islam in Pakistan were deliberately ignoring the case of other Muslim countries like Indonesia which do not have the death penalty for blasphemy; that debating the details of Blasphemy Law 295-C did not constitute blasphemy; that American Muslims were very far from being the objects of persecution; that harping on drone attacks was an irrelevancy to the present discussion on blasphemy.

The response? Not a single clap for me. Thunderous applause whenever my opponents called for death for blasphemers. And loud cheers for Qadri, the murderer. When I directly addressed Sialvi and said he had Salman Taseer’s blood on his hand, he exclaimed “How I wish I did!” (kaash ke main hota!).

Islamofascism is a reality. This country is destined to drown in blood from civil war. I wish people would stop writing rubbish about Pakistan having an image problem. It’s the truth that’s really the problem.

Am I afraid? Yes, I’d be crazy not to be. And never more than at the present time. The battle for sanity has been lost. Many friends have written to me to leave Pakistan. How can I? One must keep fighting as long as possible. It is what we owe to future generations.

Warm regards,

Pervez

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/NewAgeIslamWarWithinIslam_1.aspx?ArticleID=3953