The way that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was removed was bad enough. But what has happened since then is even more disturbing.
One can debate whether Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry should have been removed or not, or even whether the way he was removed was appropriate or not. But there is no question that the way the government is dealing with this issue is shameful, distressing, and dangerous.
The shamefulness is obvious in these pictures; just as it was when a young man’s shalwar was taken off as he protested ‘disappearances’ some months ago. It is distressing because it demonstrates the sanctity of our most important institutions – the judiciary and the media – is under stress. It is dangerous because if one keeps slipping down this road then it is not merely the future of this government but that of the entire country that will be at stake.
Whether the lawyers here instigated the violence or not, I do not know. They very possibly did, and that is itself disturbing. But that is not the point. The question is how a society and a state deals with dissent and protest. Once again, the answer is: “Shamefully.”
I do not know who is advising the government on all of this. I just pray that someone is. I hope there is someone who stands up and says:
“Don’t do this.
Please don’t do this.
This is not good for you.
This is not good for the country.
This cannot be good for anyone.
Please – for God’s sake – STOP!”
I wish I had something more profound to say right now. But as I stare at these pictures and this video clip, I hold my head in shame; I am distressed; and I ponder on the dangers before us.
All I can think of right now is: “Allah khair karey!”