At a crossroads - Dr A Q Khan - Monday, March 14, 2011

Source :

I am not really in a mood to talk about unpleasant things, as these just depress everybody and they don’t have any effect on the rulers anyway. However, this is coming from my heart (not from a logical mind) and it is also the voice of millions of my fellow countrymen who are genuinely and seriously worried about the future of Pakistan.

There is such a long, unending list of problems and miseries faced by the nation that one is at a loss where to start. Over the past three years this country has been destroyed, has lost its dignity, is referred to as a haven for terrorists and as an almost failed state. Unemployment, high cost of living and continuously spiralling prices, terrorism, total absence of law and order, load-shedding of gas and electricity and, above all, the lies told by the ruling clique, have turned us into a laughingstock. As a matter of fact, there is no imaginable curse that has not afflicted this country during the past three years. And why not?

Caliph Abu Bakr (RA) said: “I have myself heard our Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) saying: ‘When people see others indulging in wrongdoings and don’t stop them; see oppressors harming others and don’t stop them, then Almighty Allah will definitely catch them and will severely punish them. By Almighty Allah, it is your duty that you preach righteousness and stop others from wrongdoing, otherwise the Almighty will thrust on you such rulers who will be of the worst amongst you, who will hurt you badly and put you to severe pain and trouble. Then your good, honest, God-fearing people will pray to Allah for remedy, for relief, but it won’t be heard, won’t be accepted.’ “ Is the present situation any different from that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) had warned of? Are not the worst people ruling us and putting us to all kinds of miseries and troubles while the prayers of God-fearing people are not being heard?

Foreigners, fully armed, roam the country and kill locals and the rulers are making lame excuses to justify those acts. The people and the country have been deprived of all sovereignty and self-respect. Political parties and politicians and all self-centred and are following their own agendas.

An urgent matter is the prevailing conflict between the judiciary and the government, which is totally ignoring the orders of the courts. People have seen how the judges announce their judgements only to find the rulers considering these judgements fit for the dustbin, and the judges remain silent. The recent case of the director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Wasim Ahmed, is a very disturbing one. The Supreme Court issued specific orders, but the trio of Yousaf Raza Gilani, Babar Awan and Rehman Malik have not implemented them. We have, by now, seen Mr Gilani on a hundred occasions throwing up his hands in the air and announcing in parliament how he respected Supreme Court orders and would implement them. However, in practice, he does not give a damn and there are many cases where he has totally rejected Supreme Court decisions.

The sole responsibility for this fiasco rests on the shoulders of one man – the prime minister. As chief executive he is bound to take care of administration and the implementation of the orders of the Supreme Court. However, we all know that when an animal gets out of control, its keeper takes appropriate action to restrain it. In this case, the judiciary carries the responsibility of checks and balances. It must take prompt and effective measures to control maladministration, corruption and nepotism.

In my column of Nov 26, 2008, I had mentioned that many of our ills since independence were due to an ineffective and compromising judiciary. Starting from Justice Muneer right up to Justice Dogar, the courts have been more or less compromising. The judiciary had lost all respect in the eyes of the public. People had very high hopes from the judiciary after its restoration, but now we are witnessing blatant violation of many of its decisions.

Just recently the Indian Supreme Court dismissed the newly appointed head of the Anti-corruption Agency and nobody dared to put implementation off for a minute, or challenge the decision. The delay in judgements and lack of their enforcement reminds me of an old Arabic saying: “Not telling the truth for compromise or convenience and delaying or refusing justice is a bigger crime than lying and not doing justice.”

When the judges were restored by Gilani/Zardari under public pressure, people were hoping for a marked improvement in the country. Slowly but surely it dawned on them that this was like asking for the moon. Nothing substantial has resulted. Decisions were delayed for long periods and when decisions were finally given, they were trashed by the government.

I am an engineer and a scientist, not a legal expert. However, as an educated person, I do have common sense and some knowledge of affairs unrelated to my subject. I am still at a loss to understand why it took the honourable judges so long to decide whether or not Gen Musharraf in uniform was eligible to participate in election for president, whether Asif Ali Zardari could keep two posts: president of Pakistan and leader of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party. These decisions were not like making a hydrogen bomb or sending a man to the moon that required much time. Judges know the law as much as I know about engineering and nuclear technology. These are our professions. When courts delay judgements, there arises genuine concern about the affects of the delays, because postponements provide an opportunity to the rulers to continue their rule. A quick judgement, either for or against the accused, could decide the matter in a jiffy. If the court had tried and convicted the law minister and the attorney general for contempt of court (didn’t the two men refuse to write to the Swiss court, ignoring Supreme Court orders?) and banned them for life from holding public office, matters would have been different now. Prime Minister Gilani would not have dared to ignore the orders relating to the director general of the FIA.

The country is currently at a dangerous crossroads. There is no sense in looking to the army for rescue. All military dictators proved to be corrupt, loved sycophancy and destroyed national institutions. The only institution that can rise to the occasion is the judiciary. If they do not deliver quick justice without fear or favour, we are doomed – or as the saying goes, our goose is cooked. A grave responsibility lies on the shoulders of the lawmakers to enact effective laws quickly to enable the honourable judges to use them efficiently and to save this poor country from total destruction and disintegration. The country is indeed at dangerous crossroads – either we reach our destination or we fall into a deep, dark pit.


No comments:

Post a Comment