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The unprecedented presidential position

Ours is a country where “anything can happen anywhere at anytime” and that notion has become a generally known and accepted fact. Logical limits, legal restrictions, democratic norms and even constitutional frameworks do not matter, here. Once, there was a phase when the most powerful person General Pervez Musharraf, despite being the Chief of the Army Staff, President of the Country and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, was seeking security, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Choudhry Iftikhar was longing for justice, and the constitutional Prime Minister of the country Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharief was dying for being allowed to enter his own country. Such moments were historical and quite often are quoted by all and sundry to referrer to the highly awkward and immensely ironic situations in the history of modern civilisations.
The latest odd and weird development, in this connection, took place in the afternoon of the 20th August 2023, when the President of the 5th or 6th most populated country of the world, with a title of being the 7th nuclear power, Dr Arif Alvi conveyed a complaint against his staff, the public servants, like an innocent and vulnerable child, to the masses through his below-mentioned tweet sent from his personal account;
“As God is my witness, I did not sign Official Secrets Amendment Bill 2023 & Pakistan Army Amendment Bill 2023 as I disagreed with these laws. I asked my staff to return the bills unsigned within the stipulated time to make them ineffective, I confirmed from them many times whether they have been returned and was assured that they were. However, I have found out today that my staff undermined my will and command. As Allah knows all, He will forgive IA. But I ask forgiveness from those who will be effected.”
Factually speaking, the under-discussion bills, passed by the National Assembly and the Sindh, were forwarded to the president by the previous government of Shehbaz Sharif. During the late morning news bulletins, nearly all the leading news channels clearly and loudly reported that President Arif Alvi had signed the Pakistan Army Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Official Secrets (Amendment) Bill, 2023 into law. This development spurred heated discussions amongst the socio-political circles and created hue and cry in different quarters who were advocating the assurance of human rights and the dignity of civil society. General public started talking about its background and prose and cones at tea-stalls and pan-shops, even in the small and remote villages. The highly shocking and equally incredible episode, in this whole drama of lust for power and struggle for survival, is that the head of the state, who is also the most concerning figure, in this matter, came to know about this news after the lapse of nearly twenty-seven (27) hours.
The president, by every yardstick of logic, sanity and normalcy, must have initiated proper and strict criminal and disciplinary proceedings against the officials of the President House, the crew of the government/public servants ranging from grade 17 to grade 22, and they must have been made an example for others and sent behind the bars for their highly serious and evil crime. But, the mindboggling veracity is that the President of this country was using his personal social media account to contact masses as the most helpless and the most vulnerable citizen in the country, and that, too, was only for the sake of information and lamentation. He did not take any action and the moment he was initiating his tweet, the same officials were sitting in his office and house, as usual. Neither did he express any wish or intention to take any action against those criminal officials. Is it convincing? Does that person deserve to be the head of the state?
Even after the lapse of one more day, the President’s Secretariat wrote only a letter to the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister that the services of Mr. Waqar Ahmed, Secretary to the President, are no more required and are surrendered to the Establishment Division, immediately. As per further reports, the President wanted that person to be replace by a female grade-22 officer, Ms. Humaira Ahmed. So, Mr Waqar will continue his services with same dignity, position, pay, perks and authority in another office. What the hell is this? Adding to the humiliation of the most dignified chamber of state, directly, and the 240 million masses, indirectly, both the above-mentioned so-called public servants, but, actually, the masters of the taxpayer public and its representatives, have thrown away all the written and verbal orders of the President.
Analytically speaking, the modifications in the Official Secrets Act and the Army Act would likely affect the PTI leaders and followers who are undergoing a sequence of cases for their suspected connections in the May 09 viciousness. So, the PTI appointed and supported President was, actually, caught between the devil and the deep sea, in these bills’ dilemma, and the latest move is just a pathetic and absurd attempt to befool his part and the masses of this country. And, if he is really at the peak of official impotency and is a victim of state maneuvering and manipulation forces, then it is a matter of sheer concern for me and all other wretched citizens.
Here, it is highly pertinent to mention that in case of major demonstrations of barbarianism and terrorist attacks in which any feudal lords, influential dons or police and other powerful officials would join hands and play havoc with any family, community or village by setting the whole village on fire or plundering, raping and killing the citizens at large, the final resort by the public used to be “the appeal to the President” for seeking assurance of justice and their rescue. However the powerful and cruel any district, divisional or provincial level racket of the bureaucracy might have been, just one application from a an insignificant and the poorest citizen, from any remote village, addressed to the President, used to positively and justly change the course of history. During last 5-10 years, the worsening situation of the system has deprived the masses of this self-reliance and hope. Especially, the latest exposure has stunned the masses with a smashing slap of the stark national reality.
To drive home the point, being a citizen of this alienated and downtrodden society and nation, I don’t have any concern with the validity or legal and constitutional status of these bills; neither do I cherish any interest in the consequential discussions going on amongst the caretaker cabinet members, legal experts, analysts and journalists, or wish to explore the details of Article 75(1), 75(2), or 75(3). I am dying to know about my real masters and lords or the pockets of the warlords ruling over me and my Pakistani brethren.
Military establishment says the politicians are at the helms of affairs and whatever is being cultivated today has been sown by them. The political circles blame all including the judiciary, bureaucracy, and military and, above all, the establishment-an undefined and abstract phenomenon-for oppressing them and their poor voters. Many army officers feel and express their concern about the fact that they and their families are living at the mercy of magisterial system, Police culture, and other civil bureaucracy-cartels. They have to face humiliation and bribe the civil servants for their legal and fair issues. Judicial quarters accuse the executive and the intelligence agencies for forcing them to opt for corrupt and evil practices. I know one thing that I was, I am and I will be a slave, but I have the right to know who my real owner is. Perhaps, various institutions or cartels are fighting for this privilege and we all will have to wait for our final and unchallenged masters and lords to be pronounced and declared openly.

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