Original Articles

Judges and Anonymous versus PPP

Related : Memogate: the odds are even now —Dr Mohammad Taqi

1. Anonymous source are claiming that PPP-led government intends to cut judiciary down to size by revoking the March 16, 2009 executive order on restoration of judges . It lead to emergent called late night judges meetup and deliberations .

Result: Anonymous WON!

2. Anonymous memo resulted in Zardari’s main opening bastman losing his job; on the first day of court hearing, his name was added in Exit Control List.

Result: Today, after  6 months  memo issue first came in the limelight its seems odds are even now . specially after former ISI Chief testimony in judicial commision where he confessed he didn’t investigated Mansor Ijaz claims he believed what Mansoor Ijaz was saying was’  true’ . PPP have weather the storm of  Media , Judiciary who’s Chief initially said “IF ISI Chief is claiming memo is reality than we can’t simply ignore it ” now  finding it  really hard to declare accused traitor , and the alliance of Jihadi organization Difae Pakistan which was leading the campaign to hang ‘traitors’ President Zardari and Hussain Haqqani   have failed to sustain its initial momentum.

According  to Daily Times Columnist Dr. Taqi :

President Zardari not only  remains in the ring but also has a realistic chance of being the one remaining standing after the 15th round — not unlike Muhammad Ali in that Manila fight. The generalissimos, on the other hand, appear to be at the end of their wits. While President Zardari might have been politically wounded, the damage on the other side is to the egos bloated by decades of illegal authority that they have become used to exercising unchecked. 

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has survived the last couple of months thanks to the sheer grit of President Zardari, matched only by a resolute Husain Haqqani. Clearly, both men have decided that they will sink or swim together, and rightly so.

Memogate: the odds are even now —Dr Mohammad Taqi

Even the arch political enemies of the present government would be hesitant to support any movement of the mechanised columns from Rawalpindi to Islamabad

If the recent slew of ISPR press releases is anything to go by, the Pakistani brass is one frustrated lot. What they thought would be a slam dunk is turning out to be a drawn out battle of nerves in which there are few, if any, legal and constitutional options for them to achieve their desired goal of sending President Asif Zardari packing. In the so-called Memogate saga, the odds are even now.

The Pakistani security establishment went charging into the memo affair and expected to deliver a knockout blow to President Zardari within days. To their dismay this is becoming more and more like the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ bout between the great Muhammad Ali and the fearsome Smokin’ Joe. In the PAF School, Peshawar, we had a partial day off to watch that 1975 Ali-Frazier fight. But my recollection of the event, then telecast live on the Pakistani national television, remained rather vague until its re-run last month to commemorate the death of the mighty Joe Frazier; it was a reminder how superbly tenacious Ali was.

President Zardari has been battered and bruised in the most recent of the many attempts by the brass to cow down the civilian leadership. Over the last 40 years they have done this to every single civilian head of the ruling party in Pakistan. Whether it was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Muhammad Khan Junejo, Benazir Bhutto or Mian Nawaz Sharif, they all faced the constant pugilistic attitude of an establishment unwilling to loosen its grip on domestic, and more importantly, foreign affairs. All these leaders lost their governments for standing up to the praetorian guard. The Bhuttos, of course, paid with their lives, not just governments.

However, not only does President Zardari remain in the ring but also has a realistic chance of being the one remaining standing after the 15th round — not unlike Muhammad Ali in that Manila fight. The generalissimos, on the other hand, appear to be at the end of their wits. While President Zardari might have been politically wounded, the damage on the other side is to the egos bloated by decades of illegal authority that they have become used to exercising unchecked.

Outside the legal options and desperate to teach the ‘bloody’ civilians a lesson, the junta can certainly do rash things, including physical harm. But this is not 1977 when an elected prime minister could be roughed up or 1979 when he could be hanged. This is not even 2007 when physically mistreating the chief justice of Pakistan unleashed a powerful movement within days of such nastiness.

All its fury notwithstanding, the raging bull is well aware of its limitations. The junta realises that the days of scaling the compound walls and taking over the state radio and television are over. Even the arch political enemies of the present government would be hesitant to support any movement of the mechanised columns from Rawalpindi to Islamabad. Simply put, that the junta has not staged a coup over two months after the Memogate affair started is not out of the goodness of its heart but because it is not a viable and sustainable option today.

President Zardari has so far been able to call the army’s bluff quite successfully and in the process did inspire some confidence in Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani who came out with some hard-hitting statements and vowed to not allow what he called a ‘state within a state’. But Mr Gilani has since embarked upon an attempt apparently to make up with the brass. In a situation where the apex court is scrutinising things closely, Mr Gilani would be well advised to mind his Ps and Qs. He might have considered issuing such a clean bill of health to the Generals Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Ahmed Shuja Pasha magnanimous or part of his balancing act but it also has the potential to come back and haunt him and the government.

Both generals remain at the centre of the memo controversy and their stance is diametrically opposite to that of Mr Gilani’s government and his party. General Kayani continues to make overtly political statements via those multiple ISPR press releases. The various arms of the deep state are perceived to be going on with their machinations to keep encircling the civilian government. A coalition of the jihadists and their sympathisers — the Difa-i-Pakistan Council (Pakistan Defence Council) — staging rallies and the political birds of the same establishment feather flocking together in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are not coincidental.

General Pasha’s role, of course, remains much more controversial. Also of concern is his ability to influence and/or undermine an independent probe as long as he continues to head the Pakistani spy agency. I had noted in my first column on Memogate that General Pasha’s role requires a much closer scrutiny, something he has been able to evade thus far. It would have been quite gentlemanly of the officer to step down on his own but he has shown no inclination to do so. It, therefore, behoves Mr Gilani to not blow hot and cold in the same breath. He ought not to commit to something that can hurt his government’s legal position.

The federal government in its response filed with the Supreme Court earlier this week has taken a principled and firm stance vis-à-vis both Generals Kayani and Pasha who have been accused of “keeping Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in the dark” (about the memo issue). The government has also charged General Pasha with dereliction of duty by not reporting to his de jure superior, i.e. Mr Gilani. These are serious charges and hardly leave room for Mr Gilani shrugging off the concerns about the ISI chief.

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has survived the last couple of months thanks to the sheer grit of President Zardari, matched only by a resolute Husain Haqqani. Clearly, both men have decided that they will sink or swim together, and rightly so. Mr Gilani, too, has shown glimpses of resolve but he needs to remain consistent and must refrain from going out on a limb to defend the brass hostile to the civilian setup. A rapprochement on the anvil within the PPP, and possibly with Mian Nawaz Sharif, is also a welcome sign.

The parliamentary inquiry will certainly deal with the merits and demerits of Memogate but the political response by the PPP has evened out the odds and barring unforced errors, it may weather the manufactured storm.

The writer can be reached at mazdaki@me.com. He tweets at http://twitter.com/mazdaki

 

About the author

Humza Ikram

2 Comments

Click here to post a comment
  • yes , odds are even but you never know we may witness another aspiring poet in coming days .