By Dr. Nadia Khan
11th January 2012 was one of the most sensational & dramatic day in Pakistan ’s political & media history. The day started with the news of press release issued by ISPR responding about the allegations of Prime Minister Gilani, in which he had said to a Chinese newspaper, that in course of memo gate ‘the replies of Army Chief & DG ISI directly to Supreme Court are not in sink with law & constitution.’
The root cause of all this is the memo gate; that has started by Mansor Ijaz, an American businessman & columnist, when penned down an article about the help sought by Pakistan’s former ambassador to US, Hussain Haqqani after the killing of Osama Bin laden on 2nd May 2011 by American seals in Pakistan. Last 60 years political history of Pakistan reveals that civilian govts are always under pressure by the military establishment.
From Major General (R) Iskander Mirza till General (R) Pervaiz Musharraf, all the civilian govts were toppled by military dictators and the fear is natural. For the sake of argument, if we assume that a Pakistani govt functionary in US has considered same - Mr Haqqani thoughts about Army establishment are well known- and tried to seek the help of US, it may not be acceptable by many in Pakistan but the fact remains there. Mian Nawaz Sharif, twice prime minister & no matter how much he denies, he had sent Shahbaz Sharif, his brother to Clinton administration asking for a favourable note against the then army establishment, Maulana Fazal ur Rehman invited US ambassador to Pakistan at his residence over secrete dinner and asked for help, Imran Khan recently visited Washington and presented his ‘case’ for help and so on! Not only civilian authorities, General (retired) Pervaiz Musharraf got retired in front of US envoy, Strobe Talbott, when Bush administration had asked him to accept few of the conditions before the invasion of Afghanistan! He has endorsed all the points. General (retired) Auyb Khan’s book ‘friends not master’ is a master piece of establishment relation with US. So, the role of US in our internal politics is quite visible; as it is said that Allah, Army, and America are the three points to consider, if someone wants to gain the reins of power in Pakistan .
Mian Nawaz Sharif’s petition in SC against his former media advisor, Hussain Haqqani, is not a piece of his revenge against an old aide but to play his cards against two; establishment and present PPP led govt. In both situations, he would gain maximum out of it, if able to topple the civilian govt then could be able to form a new govt in centre or if able to proof that memo is fake then all the investigation carried out by military establishment would expose the inability of security agencies. All this could happen thru the hands of Supreme Court and the nation has to endorse it by no means.
After Mian Nawaz Sharif, the authority that ignited this most is the ‘extra judicial activism’ by the superior judiciary. Civil society had provided extra help to the deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan, after his restoration, to ensure an independent judiciary as well as speedy trial and free & fair justice to common men. There are thousands of cases, especially the cases of death sentences, are pending before the superior court and waiting for their final judgement but all that is pending since ages for cases like memo in which an American is required to witness. Many had replaced the comments of Chief Justice when he remarked that “do we listen to our Army Chief or US Army General for the integrity of memo?” as “do we trust our President (Asif Zardari) and Prime Minister or an American who always writes against the ISI and Pakistan’s military establishment.” The partiality of the court is at question!
Then, Pakistani electronic media had gained millions out of this episode, which would eventually go down to nothing, but to earn some extra rating for talk shows, sensational journalism to promote their channel, and picture the portrait of political upheaval in Pakistan.
Out of all this, each of the players has gained something except a poor stake holder. Prime Minister Gilani has gained courage to say what he was holding & hiding since over 3 weeks about establishment hawks, ISPR response indicated their power over civilian govt, Mian Nawaz Sharif has gained some political edge over ailing PPP govt by putting some extra pounds of pressure on them, Chief Justice has strengthen his judicial activism, and media gained few more millions through advertisement by gaining some more extra rating for their news programs, talk shows, and political analysis hosted by their anchors. What Pakistan has gained out of this – rupee has lost its value almost 3% over dollar indicated the failing economy, International investors faith in Pakistan as an unstable country becomes stregthen, world has witnessed that political turmoil started again in Pakistan. Under this turmoil the drone attacks started again after short pause!
That’s what Pakistan has achieved on 11th January 2012 with the help of “patriotic Pakistanis.” God bless Pakistan!