Since the existence of Pakistan we are witnessing the fall of democracy gradually as no one ever tried to strengthen it because of one reason that the leaders who got power were not willing to leave the power and wanted to cling on to the seat. It was very unfortunate that father of the nation Quaid-e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah passed away with in short period of one year and thereafter the entire burden fell on the shoulders of Khan Liaqat Ali Khan who was assassinated on 16 Oct 1951 while addressing public meeting in Rawalpindi. That was the beginning of blow to democracy and that continues unabated. We saw quick change of Prime Ministers from 1951 to 1958, that prompted Gen Iskander Mirza to impose martial law in the country. He appointed Gen Ayub Khan as Chief Martial Law Administrator and tried to remove him but in turn he was overthrown by Gen Ayub Khan.
A mad race to grab power continued for years. The feudal lords, jagirdars and zamindars joined hands together and started looting the country, details have already been discussed on print and electronic media. The army enjoyed pivotal role in grabbing power due to incompetence of our politicians and they gave free hand to army by extending full cooperation. Somehow or the other politicians always had a fear of army take over whereas it was not true, In fact no army commander conspired against any civil government to overthrow them but they paved the way and created such circumstances that army was left with no choice except to take over the government. Army commanders needed legitimacy and that was readily available from the politicians who would beg to come to close to the military rulers. Having served under Zia I am witness that our politicians always wanted to be closer to Zia and would fix date of marriages of their sons and daughters after checking his availability, if that was the case there is no justification to accuse the army.
Nation may excuse Nawaz Sharif on corruption charges but he cannot be forgiven in agreeing to 18th amendment that has shaken the foundation of Pakistan. His personal interest to become third time prime minister of Pakistan forced him to swallow this pill without realising its consequences. Today’s mess in politics is on account of 18th amendment. The provinces enjoy complete independence but forget that 18th amendment does not allow them to ignore the centre. No state can allow any province to overrule their decisions. The federal agencies actions cannot be challenged by any province in spite complete autonomy. This is what is happening at this stage. All those politicians who indulged in massive corruption are facing NAB and other courts. Since corruption charges are fully documented therefore these are being resisted by the offenders with full support and they call it centres interference in provinces, that is not true
Critiques raise question as to why only Nawaz Sharif and Zardari are being hauled up. The point to understand is that it is only the government in power that can indulge in corruption and not the opposition which is always snubbed and dubbed by the party in power. It is unfair to criticise the NAB or PTI government, because all the cases were framed during the period they were the rulers. They had all the authority on the earth to amend and change the laws even dispense with NAB as they had the requisite majority. Why it did not happen because both parties PPP and PML N were busy in targeting each other. Surprisingly when they are caught, charged with documented evidence start criticising Imran Khan for which there is no justification at all. The grace of politicians does not lie in making victory sign while appearing and leaving the courts but it lies in facing corruption charges with some dignity and grace without accusing the institution.
No one has right to challenge the writ of the state, abuse NAB and criticize judiciary. You don’t gain anything by doing such acts but complicate your own case. JIT formed in case of Omni group has made startling disclosures of alleged massive corruption by Zardari so much so that household bills were being paid from Benami accounts. How any able barrister can contest these documented corruption charges? There is no point in wasting time of courts and creating a situation of confrontation without any justification. The situation has become very serious it is alleged in the JIT summary that Government of Sind is involved in money laundering and hundi. This is very serious and has resulted in direct confrontation between Centre and Sind province. Opposition in Sind assembly has demanded resignation of Murad Ali Shah but has been brushed aside. As retaliation some of the Sind leaders are openly threatening government of dire consequences that is simply ridiculous.
Nawaz suffered due to confrontation with the establishment and judiciary. What did he achieve is open history. Law is law, and no one is above law. The only solution is to respect the law and bow down before law. PPP has a long history of facing charges specially Zardari but it should be done gracefully without confrontation. Regardless of the merits of the cases against opposition or PML N and perception being built up of selection accountability shall not help anybody except real harm to all not understood by many. How PPP and PML N who have been actively engaged against each other could reach to some compromise, it is basically tactics to get support to bring people on streets that may not be possible. People have become wiser now and they fully understand when to come out and for what? Over the past few years, the road to confrontation has shown its consequences: loss of innocent lives, destruction and fear. Most costly, however was the loss of hope. The most precious gift we can present to people is to end confrontation, sit together and resolve all the issues. An advice to information minister speaks less and speaks only needed, all the time same old rhetoric’s doing no good to party. Bring changes if so desired through parliament and Tamasha of threatening to each other must end as it may destroy harmony and that would be too late
The writer is a freelance
journalist and defence Analyst.