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Post-NRO frenzy, the Roedad Khans and the 16 Decembers

Post-NRO frenzy

In the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court’s judgment on the NRO, the ever-churning political waters in the country have been stirred to a frenzy. Uncertainty, if not panic, is detectable in the ranks of

the PPP brain trust as the judicial wheels have swiftly started turning with unknown consequences. Meanwhile, sections of the media have gone into overdrive against ‘tainted’ and ‘immoral’ NRO beneficiaries, regardless of whether the cases had resulted in convictions or not.

Panic, glee, consternation, joy — amid the welter of emotions, few have thought to step back from the cacophony and find a way to protect the system and the transition to democracy. The post-NRO political landscape need not degenerate into a zero-sum game where the fate of individuals is elevated in importance above the fate of the system.

First things first, the judicial process unfolding to take the 8,000-odd beneficiaries of the NRO to their pre-Oct 5, 2007 status must be conducted with deliberateness and thoughtfulness. It is a process with no precedent in the country and it should be guided by the experts, unaffected by the political polemicists with barely concealed agendas. At the moment, it seems anyone who may or may not have ever seen a legal textbook or may or may not know the difference between civil and criminal proceedings is expounding on the effects of the NRO judgment. Such ‘expertise,’ whether well-intentioned or not, is certainly undesirable. It is imperative that the judiciary in consultation with the relevant parts of the executive be allowed to develop a road map based on the Supreme Court’s judgment to restore the pre-Oct 5, 2007 position of the NRO beneficiaries — undoing an illegality, however blatant, must be done along legal principles, not political expediencies.

Next, the political forces on both sides must proceed with caution. The PPP-led government at the centre must resist the urge, if any, to ‘respond’ to its detractors. Instead, it must demonstrate a genuine will to implement the Supreme Court’s order and allow the law to run its course. After years, if not a decade, of claiming that ‘political persecution’ was behind the cases registered against its member, now is truly an opportunity for them to clear their names and get a fresh start. The opposition, meanwhile, needs to be mindful that any short-term ‘gains’ to be had by rocking the system can morph into long-term damage if it creates space for extra-constitutional forces to create mischief. The democratic system can emerge stronger from this watershed event, but only if everyone keeps one eye on weeding out corruption and the other on protecting the democratic system.


Nazir Naji’s analysis providing a perspective on the historical and contemporary role of Roedad Khan, and the potential similarity between 16 December 1971 and 16 December 2009:

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Abdul Nishapuri


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  • Roedad Khan filed petition against NRO but who will look into the affairs of Roedad Khan???
    Now, my friend Roedad Khan, perpetual bureaucrat steeped in the art of bureaucracy, yet again ready to serve his country, has reacted in a letter printed in this newspaper on July 26. Apparently, his innocence has been injured. He denies having had any connection with those in President Ghulam Ishaq’s secretariat who were paid to ‘fix’ the 1991 elections. We never learn from history-3 By Ardeshir Cowasjee 11 August 2002 Sunday 01 Jamadi-us-Saani 1423 http://www.dawn.com/weekly/cowas/20020811.htm

  • Roedad Khan and NRO

    Mehrangate exposures which had recently appeared in the press, asking how the inquiry was progressing, and giving his own views. They exchanged information, each believing the other was being informed. They talked about how COAS Aslam Beg (sporter of shades in the shade) managed to get Rs 14 crore (140 million) from Yunis Habib, then of Habib Bank. This was deposited in the ‘Survey Section 202′ account of Military Intelligence (then headed by Major-General Javed Ashraf Kazi). From there Rs 6 crore was paid to President Ghulam Ishaq Khan’s election cellmates (General Rafaqat, Roedad Khan, Ijlal Hyder Zaidi, etc.), and Rs 8 crore transferred to the ISI account. We never learn from history By Ardeshir Cowasjee dated 21 July 2002 Sunday 10 Jamadi-ul-Awwal 1423 http://www.dawn.com/weekly/cowas/20020721.htm

  • The PML-N has fielded Roedad Khan as the covering candidate. Fourteen nomination papers of 13 candidates were filed in Lahore, 17 of eight candidates in Karachi and one in Peshawar. No papers were submitted in Quetta. Election Commission’s secretary Kanwar Mohammad Dilshad told Dawn that nomination papers of nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan had not been submitted. 32 file papers for presidential poll By Iftikhar A. Khan August 27, 2008 Wednesday Sha’aban 24, 1429 http://www.dawn.com/2008/08/27/top1.htm

  • Sadiq Saleem also has an excellent column in today’s The News about the Ehtesab’s ten-year deception: http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=26152

    The most significant question about accountability was neither asked nor answered during the Supreme Court proceedings about the NRO: If President Zardari has assets of $1.5 billion (which means $1500 million) then why only $73 million in assets were frozen or subjected to litigation abroad? Furthermore, if the case against Zardari was as open and shut as Ehtesab officials and their supporters in the media have claimed then why was it never settled in Swiss courts after ten years of proceedings before the NRO? In most countries white collar cases with a clear paper trail are resolved within a couple of years.

  • as a result of this decision ,the right wing forces in pakistan have plenty 2 celebrate.the very foundations of a moderate ,liberal pakistan have been shaken.its already reported in the media that army wanted 2 protect some”mujahadeen”2 counter india while hunting 4 others.mr.zardari didnt want a discrimination .2 him all such jihadi elements r a threat 2 pakistan in the long run .so ,my friends ,this decision is a political decision .in other word,”THIS TIME AROUND WE ARE HEADING FOR A JUDICIAL COUP”.and last but not the least ,most of these judges r the supporter of the right wing parties.for example;CHIEF justice of LHC was assossiated with jamat-e-islami.brother of JUSTICE RAMADAY of the supreme court contested on muslim league ticket in feb,18th elections.