STRAIGHT TALK by Hafeez Khan

Two references have been filed with the Supreme Judicial Counsel against Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Sind High Court Justice K.K. Agha. Swords have been unsheathed and lines drawn along party lines.

Interestingly both sides are out to defend the independence of Judiciary, upholding the rule of law. We have to look behind the veil of pretentions to understand what is really going on.

I received a critique on my last post that I am biased as an analyst. Record needs to be straightened. I am not an analyst. I analyze to make my point rationally. I express opinions based on my beliefs. I am biased. I am biased in favor of a severe cleansing of dilapidated systems of governance led by corrupt mafia/elite that has brought Pakistan to the edge of disaster in the last 70 years. They have milked the State to the bone for their own personal gains. These ruling elites are relentless in maintaining their hold on power and ensuring it passes onto their bloodlines.

It is in this context the present situation needs to be analyzed. Good against evil. Corrupt versus honest. Exploiters against reformists. For the first time in Pakistan we see hope. Till 3 years ago very few of us had any optimism. It all looked downhill. Sharifs were untouchables, the loyalist they had bred in their 30 years of political dominance were fully in control. Zardari through his manipulation titled 18th Amendment had carved out a comfortable niche of his own in Sind. He and his cohorts were busy looting, drawing blood at the cost of hapless poverty ridden masses.

A bit of background would help. Pakistan has had 16 Army chiefs. First 2 were British Army Officers. President Ayub Khan was the 3rd Commander in Chief. He was the first to take over power. His 10 years of rule may have many detractors, but Pakistan did make progress under him. However his gift to politics in shape of Z.A. Bhutto ensured the dismantling of Pakistan’s economic take off stage. In the name of socialism ZAB made masses aware of their rights (haqooq) but lost out on duties (faraiz). This clan degenerated when the control shifted to Zardaris, one of the 2 plunderers of the state.

Out of balance 13 Chiefs 3 others took power. Of the 70 years of Pakistan’s existence, 30 years were Army rule. Yahya Khan sat over the dismantling of Pakistan, totally focused on a colorful life. Zia Ul Haq after his overthrow of Bhutto, veered the country sharply to the right, supporting all kinds of fundamentalist twists. His regime gave birth to the 2nd plundering clan “The Sharifs”.

General Musharraf’s take over gave some hope. It was his accountability process that unearthed the “Hudaibiya scandal”. It was enough to rid and lock away this clan of plunderers. He fell afoul to international pressures and let them off the hook, lock stock and barrel. His departure in 2007 plonked both the plundering clans back onto the centre stage of Pakistani politics. Both the Sharifs and the Zardaris went about their looting with a vengeance.

Fast forward to 2016. Mother Nature finally intervened. General Qamar Javed Bajwa took over as Army Chief. His term runs out this year. He will go down in history as a pivotal participant of changing the course of history of Pakistan. It is like river Indus changing its course.

He took 4 steps that will impact Pakistan for generations. One of the most low profile General amongst the Army leadership, he routed the terrorist hot spots all over Pakistan, making us safer. He started the fencing with Afghanistan that will give dividends in reducing terrorism, smuggling, kidnappings for ransom, eliminating the safe havens for criminals.

The most important contribution is his intolerance of loot and plunder, upholding the rule of law and not buckling under intense pressures to give unjustified relief to the two criminal clans. I sincerely hope that Prime Minister Imran Khan expresses the wisdom of offering General Bajwa an extension, and the latter is gracious enough to accept it.

Pakistan needs this cleansing process to go on uninterrupted and unhindered for a while. Icing on the cake is that under General Bajwa’s leadership, Army has taken its own Senior Officers to task for spying and cheating and meted out exemplary punishments. Anyone noticing?

PTI got elected on an agenda of accountability. It is staying the course.  Imran Khan is rejecting any NROs. Since Justice Munir’s debacle of “the doctrine of necessity” we saw only short spurts of independence of Judiciary in Pakistan. Justice Sajjad Ali Shah occupying the top spot. He was mobbed by Sharifs and driven out of office by compromised and corrupt judges.

Light has shown again with Justice Saqib Nisar’s take over as Chief Justice and his successor Justice Khosa. They as a team have shown the same qualities of independence and fair play as mentioned above about General Bajwa.

However the whole process of Accountability has come under severe threat. First by the recent attempt at entrapment of Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal.

The second more dangerous threat to the process are the Judges embedded within the system. They are sworn to protect and uphold the interests of Sharifs and Zardaris without any consideration of National  interest. Justice Qazi Faez Issa leads this pack.

His determined blockage of re-opening the Hudaibya Case, throwing caution and rule of law to the wind, is nothing short of treason against the well being of Pakistan. The venom he spewed against the leadership of Armed forces in Islamabad dharna case speaks volumes about supporting what all anti Pakistan forces want – weaken the Army, the protectors of Pakistan.

He is caught with his pants down. Undeclared assets beyond means. This reference to Supreme Judicial
Council will be opposed by Sharifs and Zardaris, and the rest of their 100 piece orchestra, tooth and nail. The Government should stay the course. Corruption is a Hydra with a thousand heads. It takes patience to decapitate it one at a time.

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