By Saeed Malik
For a little over a fortnight almost all the "intellectuals one hears on TV have been making the point that a few thousand agitators holding Islamabad hostage should not be allowed to bring down the government.
This is absolutely correct and no one can argue with this position.
But equally, there is another position, in two parts, against which no argument can stand viz:
a. If a government closes down all avenues to legal remedies against a charge of rigged elections from which such government draws its legitimacy, such legitimacy MUST be considered spurious, and therefore non-existent.
b. If a government kills 14 of its citizens who are unarmed and wounds and hospitalises another 80, and then consistently bars every legal remedial door to the aggrieved, such government loses its legitimacy, and must leave [and be tried].
When a government is guilty of the above crimes and attempts to gain immunity through deployment of state power, it leaves no door open to its its citizens to get justice but to overthrow such power.
The present government of Pakistan, by denying the legal right of a plaintiff to have an electoral audit of four constituencies, and when such plaintiff has exhausted every legal avenue of redress, is guilty of leaving such plaintiff with no other option but to take law into his own hands to get justice. The very aim of law is to have an ordered society. Implementation of law MUST ensure justice and redress so that there is no recourse to violence. When a government subverts the law to serve its own narrow interests, it invites violence from those whose rights it usurps.
The Punjab government, has also followed suit to deny justice to the families of those innocents it killed out of hand, and those it hospitalised. But it went further. It charged the victims with the crime it perpetrated itself!
After that this government chose to hide behind the convenient cover of a sham democracy, and a subverted constitution which facilitates rigging by the party in power, and thus its perpetuity.
There was a chance that the current situation could be stopped short to reaching the present pass. and the PM took the correct decision in this regard when he requested the Army Chief to defuse this situation, because he was the only one whom the aggrieved parties thought they could trust. After invoking the good offices of Gen Raheel Sharif for this purpose, and after the Chief had held his first round of meetings with Imran and Qadri, the very next morning the PM declared that he had given no such mandate to the General.
Though the ISPR contradicted this assertion by the PM, this was really not needed, because in this case the circumstantial evidence giving a lie to the PM's statement was sufficient in and of itself--for a good 15 hours EVERY TV channel of Pakistan kept repeating at intervals, that the government had requested the Army Chief to act as a mediator and guarantor vis a vis the aggrieved parties and the government to defuse the situation. Surely the PM and EVERY one of his ministers must have heard these broadcasts. If these broadcasts were indeed incorrect why did NONE of them find it convenient to issue an immediate contradiction to these news outlets??
The PM, by his flippancy, did indeed let the army down, but by the same token he confirmed to the Chief that both Imran and Qadri were entirely correct in not putting their faith in the word of the man ruling Pakistan.
Nawaz Sharif and his cohorts have now left the army with only two options. It must either move to save the country, or save a constitution the only purpose of which seems to be, to afford a place behind which a criminal gang can hide and despoil Pakistan.
I hope, the army chooses to save Pakistan. And while doing so, I hope it eschews any impulse to rule the country. The army has done this four times earlier and made a mess of it each time it tried. If the army culls the rotten eggs from the system and fattens them for trial for gouging out the country of its wealth, and gives to Pakistan a totally free and fair elections, the generals will have immortalised themselves.
I started this piece with a reference to our "intellectuals" who have sought to educate us on what has gone wrong, and where. Sadly, and most unforgivably,not ONE of them thought it worthwhile to bring to the attention of the people of Pakistan a fact that should have been obvious to ALL of them i.e it is not for thieves to run a family, much less a democracy. The motivation of a thief is only to fatten his bank accounts,and this has nothing to do with the welfare of the people whose wealth he is dedicated to steal.
And now I leave the readers with just one question which they must answer honestly to themselves I.e which one among Nawaz Sharif, Zardari, Altaf hussain, Mulla Fazal, Asfandyar Wali Khan, Aftab sherpao, and Achakzai is NOT a dedicated thief?
A truthful answer to this question will be an answer to a myriad others.
Saeed A Malik