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Ameerul Momineen Nawaz Sharif respected the judiciary once – by Saeed Minhas

ISLAMABAD: Ministers disclosing the misdeeds of their colleagues, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani ordering a probe into the shabby deals of cabinet members coupled with the twinge of the judiciary and arm-twisting of political players remains the order of the day in parliament, yet with the consensus on amendments, cool heads seems to have prevailed to salvage some respect for politicians.

Brushing aside all the strategic dribbling from the old and new power players, one cannot take the credit of steering the ship out of troubled waters from a serene Mian Raza Rabbani who remained unruffled despite many attempts to unsettle him. Inking of the amendments with a consensus is certainly going to tilt the power structure dramatically, but would it mean an end to the authority of President Zardari and the dawn of an unbridled Premier Gilani has become the topic of discussion. What would also remain elusive is the ‘last minute call’ to Mian Nawaz Sharif and his four somersaults in four successive days, yet none of them could get more than five out of ten for the claimant of the ‘Punjab Card’.

Outside parliament, the upbeat tone of black-robes remains very much a matter of concern as many political pundits believe that someone is making a mistake here by not telling them that Gen Musharraf is long gone and they have already achieved their minus-one goal. As Law Minister Babar Awan, who always finds this buoyancy of black robes unhealthy for his ailing heart and returns to hospitalisation, has mentioned it after getting new medication that “a distinction needs to be shown between accountability and animosity”.

Parliament echoed with the revelations of Senator Waqar Khan who might or might not have aimed at questioning the credentials of a newcomer to the federal cabinet aka Hafeez Shaikh, but it smacks of rivalry going on in the cabinet for grabbing the lucrative slots. The senator is unlikely to have a motive to push these lines by disputing the transparency of PTCL privatisation on the floor of the House, but it remains a fact that he was very much a contender for the same position during the fag end of this rat race for the Finance Ministry.

It does not need the kind attention of only our ruling elite, but that of all the political players with one thing in mind that four parliaments and two courts throughout 1990s were sacked on charges of corruption and misuse of powers, respectively. Many of the current political stalwarts, including President Zardari, Premier Gilani, both Sharifs and even honourable judges have paid a price for all those (mis)deeds. But the question arises, especially for politicians that have they learned anything from their past or they just don’t want to practice good governance because it might bring an end to the victim-game or would improve the image of the politicians and shut-down the gates for some aspiring and emerging new undemocratic forces.

The love for the constitutional and judicial supremacy was certainly oozing out of our re-born democratic leader from Jati Umra who authored and pushed the classic 13th followed by 14th amendments in such a haste that even his own party could not believe the autocratic behaviour of their Ameerul Momineen. From that moment on his ‘love’ for judiciary became an epic story of our fractured political history as from mere name-calling like Jiyala courts or Kangaroo-courts, to using vigilantes for dislodging the judges with utmost ‘respect’ and ‘honour’ remain ingrained in the minds of all the embedded journalists.

Lots of details of that episode have become public but what remains illusive was shared with us by one of the section officers in the cafeteria to cement the views that how ‘dear’ judiciary has remained to the two time primer—all set to get his third attempt. He recalled that as the attack on the Supreme Court building was being discussed in the morning on October 7 1999, principle secretary of Ameerul Momineen, Saeed Mehdi called him to convey the message of his boss that get the official premises vacated from the deposed chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah by 5pm the same day.

He said that when he called the house of Sajjad Shah, his son-in-law picked up the phone to receive the orders because the dethroned CJ was in Karachi. Sajjad Shah, he said than responded from Karachi that shifting of residence was not possible on few hours notice, therefore, promised to vacate within 15 days. Meanwhile, divulged the section officer that Gen Musharraf took over on October 12, yet Sajjad Shah fulfilled his promise and returned the keys of the House to him October 22.

Nevertheless, one can hope that all sides would learn from their past and reconciliation remains the mantra all stakeholders who were weighing their options in the face of worsening political battles.

Source: Daily Times