Prime Minister's polemics
Prime Minister Gilani said in Lahore on Sunday that neither the PPP nor army has not anything to gain from the ongoing Arsalan case, that's certainly heartening, but only that far, for what he said further is nothing but polemics. "Neither we nor the army is the beneficiary of this case. And how can we be...," he told journalists, with tongue in cheek, adding the "masses have elected us not the judiciary, and the army is an institution and it has no role in it". Yes, there is no sign, yet, of the military intervening but it remains enigmatic as to what is forcing him to say over the last couple of weeks that the 'martial law era has ended'. And his satirical polemics didn't end there; he wanted his son Ali Musa Gilani to be tried by Chief Justice Chaudhry - as if he has great respect for the top judge. If anything is there to describe the true state of his mind and his feelings about the chief justice, it's his consistent defiance to implement the apex court's orders. It is a case between two persons, Chief Justice Chaudhry's son Dr Arsalan Iftikhar and the real estate tycoon Malik Riaz. Let the law take its course, and Prime Minister Gilani open his eyes to the bitter reality that has come to dominate this poor country and its 180 million hapless citizens as the five-year term of the longest-serving chief executive is about to end. On Sunday, as he was speaking to journalists in the cool ambience of the State Guest House, Lahore, thousands of motorists had queued up in the sweltering June heat for gas. On the same day the nation's largest city, Karachi, was the scene of a gang war. In another provincial capital, Quetta, four police men were gunned down by masked riders. In the Manchester of Pakistan, Faisalabad, the jobless industrial workers were boiling with anger over crippling power supply. In Khyber Agency, the militants had taken control of strategic heights of Tirah while the DG Khan officials were entreating the tribal elders to return the alleged rapists - and what not. Quite weirdly, the people of Pakistan and the political elite seem to be living on two different planets with little to show as contact with one another. All this theatrics staged inside the legislative houses and out on streets and squares is far removed from the real issues that bedevil the life of the common man who needs water, power, gas, food, work, security and protection from injustices. But none of it is there, and given the mess that has come to obtain for the last so many years there is precious little to generate hope. It is certainly a bleak scenario and can turn bleaker unless a gigantic effort is made to arrest further attrition of public faith in elected organs of state. Restoration of public faith in the viability of institutions in the existing situation brooks no ifs and buts. It is indeed a Herculean challenge given the mess in which the state presently is. Economic recovery will take time, so will be the case on all other fronts. But if, somehow, hope of a better tomorrow can be built, half of the job would have been done. And that is only possible in an ambience of rule of law. Where courts work and deliver justice at the doorsteps, hope strikes roots quicker. How rule of law enforces people's faith in their national independence and freedom at all costs. What Winston Churchill once said merits repetition. Addressing the Lord Chancellor: 'Are the courts functioning?' as bombardment of London by German air force intensified he dispelled clouds of gloom and doom. Such statesmanship is expected of our prime minister and sooner it comes the better it is for the people and the country.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2012