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Avoiding the inevitable?

28 August 2012 09:14 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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THE PAKISTANI public is not likely to get respite from the ludicrous game of hide and seek that the judiciary and the parliament are playing. On Monday, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf finally appeared before the Supreme Court for the hearing of the notorious NRO case.

And guess what? He has managed to evade the axe dangling over his dead— but just for three more weeks. The prime minister faced the five-member judicial bench for 60 minutes, as the entire country watched and speculated with bated breath. During that tense hour, the beleaguered prime minister assured the judges that he will take steps to “end the uncertainty in the country”. But for that, Ashraf said, he needed more time since his trip to China is due in a few days. The court subsequently heeded the PM’s request and gave him more time—the new deadline is September 18.

The PPP might be thumping their fists in the air at being able to buy more time, but what will this actually accomplish? It is painfully obvious that the Pakistani government is desperate for a brilliant idea (not like they ever had any in the first place) to expunge itself from this mess. Since there’s none in sight as usual, it’s just decided to dawdle to its downfall. But does the fate of a convict, whose death penalty has been delayed by a few days, actually change? Not really. When the gallows await, no amount of grace period can turn tables.

What good will dillydallying actually do? Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani also strived long and hard to defy the court by not writing the letter to Swiss authorities for reopening the graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. He tried to protect him till the last moment— National Assembly speaker Fehmida Mirza even annulled his disqualification notice issued by the Election Commission. But despite this formidable defense, all that ultimately awaited Gillani was a very quiet exit.

And now the wrath of Pakistan’s activist judiciary will soon be unleashed on PM Ashraf. Earlier this month, the ill-thought contempt of court bill, hastily passed in the parliament with the intention to protect the new premier, was annulled by the apex court. And Gilani’s ghost looms large as Ashraf gears up for his fall.

The entire scenario seems like a complete farce. The judiciary is hiding its gung ho mission to punish the country’s awry elected representatives, behind the garb of ‘justice’ and ‘impartiality’. While the representatives are feigning respect for the judiciary and vowing to mitigate the uncertainty that plagues the country— Ashraf, for instance, assured the bench that he will “resolve the issue”. But, it’s obvious that both parties deep down know that they are gearing for a head-on collision that will only create more uncertainty and instability to the country. Another high drama awaits Pakistan.
Khaleej Times
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