Long March, Judiciary and Farooq Naik

Posted on March 14, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, People, Politics
Total Views: 48409


Adil Najam

The Lawyer’s Long March from Lahore to Islamabad is literally hours away as I write this. Arrests of activists continue and a number have just been arrested in Lahore. As if things were not complicated enough, the unseating of the Shahbaz Sharif government in the Punjab and subsequent political developments have added new fuel of Pakistan’s many political fires.

The Zardari government, already losing some important allies from within its own ranks, has gone all out to make sure that the Long March does not succeed. The Lawyer’s movement and Nawaz Sharif (for rather different reasons) are going all out to make sure that it becomes a game changer. In the next many hours we will begin to get clues about which it will be.

Meanwhile, there can be no better commentary about where we have been and come from on this then these clips from now blocked GEO TV. It shows before and after ‘power’ comments from Farooq Niaq – until recently the PPP’s Law Minister and now Speaker of the Senate (and, therefore, next in line to the Presidency).

55 Comments on “Long March, Judiciary and Farooq Naik”

  1. ASAD says:
    March 14th, 2009 11:35 pm

    This could in fact be a momentous turning point in history.

  2. ASAD says:
    March 14th, 2009 11:36 pm

    How can Farooq Naik live with himself after that video. It is amazing. Just amazing. And all this reversal in a matter of months.

  3. Eidee Man says:
    March 14th, 2009 11:43 pm

    To me, what’s most amazing about recent events is not that Zardari would attempt to do something like this, but the fact that he really is that much of an idiot to believe, even for one second, that he can get away with this! He’s giving politicians and crooks a bad name.

  4. Daniel says:
    March 15th, 2009 12:24 am

    a ray of hope by lawyers movement,the turning point in a blessed way in the history.

  5. Kasim Mahmood says:
    March 15th, 2009 1:53 am

    What Zia couldn’t do, what Musharraf was not able to deliver, Zardari has finally achieved. The first major break up of PPP is finally around the corner.

  6. auk says:
    March 15th, 2009 3:43 am

    “Who can tolerate an independent judiciary?” An absolute classic by Ardeshir Cowasjee, DAWN Sunday March 15th, 2009.

    Now, what with the word

  7. Zakintosh says:
    March 15th, 2009 5:00 am

    Zardari needs to remember Jalib:


  8. Vijay Goel says:
    March 15th, 2009 6:11 am

    One thing good about democracy is that it will t0lerate this much and not more.Many a despot who start thinking much too much of themselves have been cut to size.This seems to be President Zardari’s nemesis.”Shayad Paap ka Ghara Bhar Gaya”.All Kudos to the Brave Pakistani people fighting against the excesses.As I mentioned earlier democracy will tolerate for a while but will then retalliate.Keep up your resistance The Brave Pakistani People and slowly but surely you will progress in this journey.Good the Army is keeping away.

  9. Saleem Toor says:
    March 15th, 2009 7:28 am

    The people at control of power in Pakistan have unfortunately been the one who can give all sorts of solution other than political solutions:

    a) Musharraf was trained for providing battleground solutions
    b) Rahman Malik is trained to provide adminstrative solutions
    c) Nayak is trained to provide legal solutions
    d) Well, not sure for what is Zardari trained :)

    None can provide a political solution, which is needed the most.

  10. Sohaib says:
    March 15th, 2009 7:31 am

    Some Long March-related humor:



  11. Mohsin says:
    March 15th, 2009 8:39 am

    Shame on him. He referred Quranic verses and now he is making fun of these ….. I guess he can do and say anything for political gains

  12. March 15th, 2009 9:26 am

    This long march is a march for the Quaid’s Pakistan. It is one based on securing a Pakistan that values principle over profit.

    It must succeed, it is led by the lawyers who have sacrified beyond all expectations. At times like these, Faiz, Faraz and Jalib are never far away, indeed this is Ahmed Faraz’s long march too, for more details see the links below:



    Feimanallah Pakistan


  13. Laal Salaam says:
    March 15th, 2009 10:19 am

    I hope NS has not overplayed his hand. I am more scared than hopeful. I hope and pray that this does not go terribly terribly wrong.

  14. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 15th, 2009 10:31 am

    We have to be pragmatically optimistic. There is a mass political movement. That in itself is a good thing. It’s better than being a moribund, comatose nation… which we never were, really… as we even agitated against martial law regimes. That this is a middle class movement is good. It includes religious fascists like Qazi Hussain Ahmed, and unimpeachable democrats like Asma Jehangir and Tahira Abdullah. While the middle class is learning about rule of law and some concept of democracy, it is yet to even begin to address its entrenched religiosity. The equivocation that allows us to tolerate the intellectual and social rape of the female population of Swat is, in many ways, the bigger threat. We must steadfastly remain optimistic that neither these politicians nor military adventurists will get the better of us and our new found political virility. To help remain pragmatic you may wish to read http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/Dawn%20Content%20Library/dawn/the-newspaper/columnists/who-can-tolerate-an-independent-judiciary

  15. PPP Jiyala says:
    March 15th, 2009 10:31 am

    I think people power is speaking again. ANd my hats off to the lawyers movement and civil society.

    But I am worried that thsi movement is being highjacked by Nawaz Sharif and I hope Aitizaz Ahsan will not let that happen.

    I want to see a President or Prime Minister Aizizaz Ahsan in a PPP government of real PPP for whom people voted.

  16. FYSAL says:
    March 15th, 2009 11:28 am

    Long March Will Succeed InshAllah

  17. Taimur says:
    March 15th, 2009 12:08 pm

    The government has now blocked all SMS ability on cell phones so people cannot send SMSs… and the telecom companies are assisting the govt in this.

  18. Javed Durrani says:
    March 15th, 2009 1:08 pm

    Spoke to my sister in Islamabad and it seems:

    1. SMS is blocked
    2. Schools are closed
    3. Offices closed for 4 days
    4. People are hoarding up on food, etc.

    Has anyone calculated the economic cost of this.

  19. March 15th, 2009 1:15 pm

    Thanks to NS and wukula for paralyzing the country for the sake of one individual and for making a mockery of democracy.

  20. Aamir Ali says:
    March 15th, 2009 1:17 pm

    Whole country paralyzed because NS lost his govt in Punjab. What a disgrace these politicians are. And poo on the people of Pakistan for always being ready for a new hungama and tor-phor.

  21. ali qureshi says:
    March 15th, 2009 1:45 pm

    “Thanks to NS and wukula for paralyzing the country for the sake of one individual and for making a mockery of democracy.”

    sorry for the inconvenience guys!

  22. auk says:
    March 15th, 2009 2:14 pm

    “And poo on the people of Pakistan for always being ready for a new hungama and tor-phor.”

    Pooh on you “Aamir Ali” for being such a hypocrite. You call yourself a “Pakistani” – you don’t know the meaning of the word.

  23. ASAD says:
    March 15th, 2009 2:14 pm

    Just noticed on your “2 YEARS AGO ON ATP” button in the column that two years ago today the headline was about Musharraf banning the Kamran Khan show. Some things never change!

  24. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 15th, 2009 2:34 pm

    “poo on the people of Pakistan ” which includes the Pak Army… unless they come from Mars. They vote in the same elections, for the same politicians that every body else does. Pakistani politicians are corrupt and have little or no regard for the law. The military dictators we have had had no regard for the Constituion or their oath. The Corp Commanders had little difficulty in ditching their oaths, too, and their loyalty to the Consitution in favour of loyalty to the Chief. As for corruption, is it possible to even imagine accountability of the military? Even Gen Yahya Khan was burried with full military honour. On the other hand, ZAB had to face judicial murder. In the Mehran Bank case, despite a full admission by Gen Mirza in open court, about the ISI subverting the 1988 General elections, only a civilian ended up in prison. Gen Musharraf publicly admitted that his Nov 2, 2007 action was “extra-constitutional”. Yet, any number of politicians have spent time in prison, even Attock and Lahore forts, convicted or not. It’s the people of Pakistan rising that will put poo on the corrupt elite – be it political or military. For this change to remain right minded and democratic, it will have to be a slow, painful process. Cynics and pessimists are unlikely to make a useful contribution. Nor the intolerant. Their vitriol can only spur on those who take pride in being Pakistani and care about changing it for the better, through a determined, tolerant and constitutional (therefore slow) struggle.

  25. ali qureshi says:
    March 15th, 2009 2:34 pm

    “Whole country paralyzed because NS lost his govt in Punjab. What a disgrace these politicians are. And poo on the people of Pakistan for always being ready for a new hungama and tor-phor.”

    aamir ali. continue earning your dollar-denominated income.

    and let us pakistanis be.

  26. Aamir Ali says:
    March 15th, 2009 2:59 pm

    @Bloody civ

    Pakistan Army and bureaucracy is not creating the mess here, its exactly the same politicians who in the 1990′s wasted an entire decade by being at each other’s throats and conducted long marches and political conspiracies to bring down the govt.

    These same politicians have been voted back in by the people of Pakistan, because Pakistanis miraculously believe that leopard can change its spots.

    Now enjoy de-stabilization, national paralysis and destruction of property. There is nothing democratic or progressive here.

  27. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 15th, 2009 3:58 pm

    Aamir, what were Gen. Musharraf and his Corp Commanders thinking of when they extended the same immunity from accountability before law to these same politicians through the NRO? An immunity that the military dictators themselves have always enjoyed and continue to enjoy without the need for any law or constitutional amendment. The “de-stabilization, national paralysis and destruction of property” at the hands of these politicians, created and/or given blanket immunity from the law by the military’s whim, is a result of the military’s repeated devastation of the democratic process. This process is progressive, in the long run (only if allowed to run), as an evolutionary – 2 steps forward 1 step back – process. Now we have the added problem of these military-created politicians looking over their shoulders to the military either in apprehension or in hope, every time they flounder or fail. Neither is good either for democracy or for evolutionary progress, which must be allowed to go interrupted through its failures and blunders. The sorry precedent started by the military in 1958 has meant that both politicians and the military can abdicate responsibility to each other every 10 years. The people losing out every time, remain excluded. Without accountability, no matter how poor, through regular elections, no matter how flawed, will this evolutionary process begin. Except, in our case a further retrogressive step would have to be overcome in the first 25 years, i.e. a precedent will first have to be established beyond doubt that the military will not intervene and interrupt the process, before the democratic evolution can even begin.

  28. Aamir Ali says:
    March 15th, 2009 4:34 pm

    @Bloody civ
    NRO was the demand of the PPP , and neither Musharraf nor the army has created this crisis. There was no Musharraf or NRO in the 90′s either, yet we saw the same old confrontational, conspiratorial politics by the same old faces, which have been voted back in by the same old Pakistani awam.

    Nobody in Pakistan knows what is democracy or cares two bit about the country. Its just every man for himself.

  29. ATP Administrator says:
    March 15th, 2009 4:56 pm

    The News is announcing that the PM will soon be announcing the restoration of the judges, including CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry in a 2am speech.

    The Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani will address to the nation today at 2am, Geo news has reported.

    According to well-placed sources, an important meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and PM Gilani is underway at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

    Talking in Geo news program

  30. Adil Najam says:
    March 15th, 2009 4:58 pm

    Pakistan is not unfamiliar to 2AM speeches, which nearly always tend to be important. If the now nearly official rumors are right, this will be another milestone in Pakistan’s history. Although one still wonders what happens next!

  31. Khurram says:
    March 15th, 2009 5:03 pm

    2 Nov. Position of all judges is restored. (per Geo News – source is Ch. Nisar Ali Khan who was informed by the PM).

  32. zia m says:
    March 15th, 2009 5:11 pm

    News of unconditional restoration of deposed judiciary if true
    will be a great victory for people of Pakistan.

  33. AF Ahmad says:
    March 15th, 2009 5:16 pm

    There is a great way for the military to absolve itself of prior sins and promote democracy in the country. And that is to become the guarantor of a free judiciary.

    The military sees itself as the sole functioning institution of the country in time of crises and this image, which may arguably be true, has not helped it much. This has only forced it to put itself in situations where it eventually fails and brings disrepute upon itself and causes more problems in the country than it solves. It is certainly in the military’s long term interest to help develop other institutions and a free judiciary seems to be logical starting point.

    Judiciary has a critical role to play in the maintenance of law and order and the military is supposed to be the force of last resort in these matters as well. So the two institutions joining hands in this sphere makes all the sense in the world.

    The only downside for the military would be that an independent judiciary will never accept a complete military takeover of the country. This, I hope the military has learned by now, is actually in its own interest as well as in the interest of the country.

  34. ASAD says:
    March 15th, 2009 5:18 pm

    The real question now is, as Adil says, what happens after the CJ is restored. What will he do? What will the government do? What will opposition do?

    I hope whatever happens will leave the country strengthened and not weakened.

    This is a great day for Pakistan if it happens.

  35. Watan Aziz says:
    March 15th, 2009 5:21 pm

    The deniers of justice and equity have received a measure of determination and resolve from those who seek equal justice before the law.

    Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
    (Thanks WRC)

    If true, this is no victory; it is the first step towards the long march of equity and justice.

    Democracy means nothing without free and independent judiciary.

    Justice means nothing when it is not expedient and commonly available.

    None of this means anything, if the archaic laws, procedures and rules are not thrown in heap of history’s dust bin.

    No nation has prospered, if it denies justice to its people. People can live without many things, but not without justice.

  36. Aamir Ali says:
    March 15th, 2009 5:25 pm

    A judge appointed by a military ruler, and who served that ruler for many years has been restored through street agitation and mobs creating disturbances and destruction.

    I don’t see the justice or democracy here.

  37. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 15th, 2009 5:30 pm

    “NRO was the demand of the PPP”. PPP had no authority or power, so they could only make a demand. It was Mush and the military that had total de facto power who allowed PPP/politicians a total immunity from law. For the NRO to stand and be confirmed by the Supreme Court, the second martial law of Nov 3 was necessary, and duly delivered.

    The decade of the 1990′s started inauspiciously by the ISI’s Political Wing’s dirty work as fully disclosed by ex-ISI chief Gen. Asad Durrani’s affidavit and admitted by Gen. Mirza’s written statement, both submitted to the Lahore Hight Court in the Mehran Bank case. The admissions made no difference whatsoever to the military’s total impunity. “There was no Mush or NRO in the 1990′s”, but there was the Zia-created Nawaz Sharif. The musical chairs of military dictatorship wrought failure followed by civilian failure and the impunity with which all responsibility is abdicated, started with the first Martial Law (or Gen. Ayub becoming Defense Minister in 1954). However, while the military can and does force the civilian’s out, time and time again, the civilians cannot force the military in (and save themselves from facing the music through a continuation of regular elections). “Every man for himself” is a perfectly good place to start an evolutionary process towards democracy.

  38. Watan Aziz says:
    March 15th, 2009 5:40 pm

    Brutus was a Julius companion, till he saw that the Cesar had exceeded. History is full of examples like that.

    And people are confused, CJ is not justice. It it the people who are the judge and jury of the independence of judiciary. It is they who will ultimately guarantee justice. If today the CJ disappears (God forbid), the equity and justice that throbs in the people will not stop.

    No matter happens in future, unbenounced to him, Sultan Musharraf gave an ultimate gift to the people when his goons slapped the Chief Justice of Pakistan and mishandled his wife. The message was, if the Chief Justice of Pakistan can be slapped like an ordinary criminal, then no one means anything.

    Many thanks to the photographer who took that picture. If you were Western photographer, you would be doing interviews with Larry King, etal. You deserve our gratitude for spawning a movement that no one knew then.

  39. Nostalgic says:
    March 15th, 2009 5:43 pm

    Yes, as the Urdu saying goes, we are all stark naked in this bath house…

    Chaudhary had no problem working under Musharraf prior to March 9, 2007… hardly the personification of the opposition to military rule…

    And I’ve got serious issues with people of Aitzaz Ahsan and Asma Jehangir’s stature and liberal inclinations, including the good lady whose tearful (and heartfelt) complaints forced Sherry Rehman to apologize, allowing Maulvi Nawaz Sharif, Maulvi Imran Khan, Maulvi Qazi Hussain Ahmed and other such rightwing nuts to spearhead their movement, in particular the PML-N of the Supreme Court attack infamy, and the JI ghundas and their street power…

    If Chaudhary was to be reinstated in the end, the PPP should have stolen the rightwing’s thunder and done it long before things came to such a head… the rightwing will take all the credit now, and what should have been a victory for the PPP a year ago is now a defeat…

    I cannot help but feel what Tahira Abdullah said to Sherry Rehman… save this party (the PPP that is)… as horrible as they are at ruling, as horrible as it is for them to have submitted to a Zardari presidency, as terrible as it was for them to have defenders of honor killings in their cabinet, every other alternative to them that has a shot at power has a decidedly rightwing bent… saner elements, Ms. Rehman included, should come to the fore and do something before it is too late… the thought that people of Maulvi Nawaz Sharif’s ilk will be champions of a free judiciary and democracy should have remained a big joke, but because of the PPP’s incompetence, the worst has come to pass…

  40. Aamir Ali says:
    March 15th, 2009 5:47 pm

    @Bloody civ

    The military certainly played its cards in the 90′s but it was not the ruler. The failure of democracy in the 90′s is not due to the military or Musharraf, it is due to the politicians, namely BB and NS.

    These same politicians were voted back in by the people and you see the same mess as the 90′s today.

    The last 2 years have proven that militancy and street agitation are what work in Pakistan. Elections, parliament, civilian or military rulers don’t matter. Perhaps some people see “democracy” and a great future in this, I don’t.

  41. Pure Indian says:
    March 15th, 2009 5:59 pm

    A good day for democracy

  42. Neena says:
    March 15th, 2009 6:22 pm

    Hope everything goes well, since I see Fundamentalist faction of Army in this blackmail.

  43. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 15th, 2009 6:26 pm

    Aamir: “The military certainly played its cards” = illegally manipulated = fudged = unconstitutionally perverted = frustrated. What legal business is it of the army or the ISI to “play its cards” in contravention and defiance of the law and the institution’s constitutional role, e.g. Re. Mehran Bank? I see you once again chose to ignore the fact that NS was a creation of Zia and the military. But I accept that you choose to be selective in what you respond to. After all, this is not an argument.

    “These same politicians were voted back” after the military had made a deal with them and already given them the illegal NRO.

    As to claims to what the future holds… why argue. Lets wait and see…. over the next 10, 25, 50 years. I pray you will live happily and healthily to see it all and beyond. I too, perhaps, might get to see some of it at least.

  44. jk says:
    March 15th, 2009 6:29 pm


    Chief justice, dismissed by Musharraf, will return to post!

    Protests work :D

  45. Aamir Ali says:
    March 15th, 2009 6:43 pm

    @Bloody civ

    You drag military into everything so that you can hide the fact that its the politicians in charge of Pakistan during the 90′s. They are the ones who committed gross corruption and crimes against Pakistanis, and they continue to have the votes of Pakistanis.

    NRO would not have stopped Zardari becoming President, neither did it stop Musharraf from losing election.

    However NRO, parliament and election have proven irrelevant today as street agitation and mobs, alongwith militancy is what has succeeded in Pakistan in the last 2 years. On the basis of that, your future 25 years from now is not so great.

  46. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 15th, 2009 6:51 pm

    Aamir, apologies for the double post. You’re half right. Chaudhry was appointed by Mush whom he served faithfully. Until he started creating ‘trouble’ and was referenced against, and when that did not work, sacked through the martial law of Nov 3.

    Also, imagine the guy responsible for physically assaulting the Supreme court 12 years ago, presuming to lead the movement for restoration of judiciary today! That is what happens when politicians are not allowed to undo themselves and come to a natural, logical, political end after repeated failure through regular elections. 58(2)(b) disrupts this natural undoing that incompetent politicians deserve and are quite capable of. Military coups not only disrupt this process but trap national politics in a time warp. A time warp that distorts, reverses and destroys democratic evolution and allow the same politicians to re-emerge ‘cleansed’ and ‘forgiven’. Indeed, unfortunate acts like the NRO make a bad situation worse.

    If the process of regular elections and full term Parliaments is allowed uninterrupted and uninterfered with by the military, and if still people keep electing the same failures after 20/30 years, and learn nothing, and the nation fails to produce any improvement, whatsoever, in the quality of (at least some) politicians… then at least it will be difficult to blame the military for it. It would be more difficult to argue for a lasting impact of 1958-2008, if the military can keep its political nose clean for the next 25 years.

  47. Farrukh says:
    March 15th, 2009 7:06 pm

    I will be ecstatic if this turns out to be true but not just yet.

    First, it’s two hours later than given time and still no speech.

    Second, we have seen announcements before.

    Third, I want to see fine print about restoration at what terms.

    So, I say they are under pressure but battle is not won yet.

  48. ATP Administrator says:
    March 15th, 2009 8:34 pm

    This news item, from Dawn, is of great importance in understanding what has been happening in Pakistan, and why.

    District Coordination Officer (DCO), Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operation Lahore and Deputy Attorney General of Pakistan (DAGP) on Sunday resigned from their respective offices to mark their protest against the torturing of lawyers, locking up of the High Court and tear-gas shelling in Lahore.
    Sajjad Bhutto while refusing to perform his duties in the capacity of DCO has announced to tender resignation. DCO Lahore has refused to accept illegal directives keeping in view of the uncertain situation of the country.

    DAGP Abdul Hai Gilani has also resigned from the post to mark his protest.

    He told the media that the lawyers have been subjected to torture and tear-gas shells have been fired in the vicinity of the Lahore High Court. He said the whole country has been blocked with the help of containers.

  49. Watan Aziz says:
    March 15th, 2009 8:50 pm

    My eyes are welling!

    Pakistan Zindabad
    Pakistan Paindabad

  50. Watan Aziz says:
    March 15th, 2009 8:56 pm

    Justice Munir!

    Shame on you.

    It took us all these years to bury your decision. Pakistan is bidding good bye to “doctrine of necessity”.

    Let there be a record for all who aspire to conspire with law breakers, you will be remembered infamously and rebuked repeatedly.

    No buntings yet. Miles to go before we sleep.

  51. Eidee Man says:
    March 15th, 2009 9:14 pm

    The old guard of the PPP redeems itself! Things are nowhere near complete yet, but we’re on our way:

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. — Samuel Beckett

  52. omar ali says:
    March 16th, 2009 5:26 pm

    This is, of course, not the end, nor even the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning. Personally, I foresee the most serious threats to the evolution of a better, more democratic order (and i hasten to add that my standards are not high: Indian style corruption ridden democracy would be enough for a start) to come from 4 interconnected forces:
    1. The intelligence agencies that became the unaccountable masters of the state under army rule and which still have potential for mischief. Those who are simply corrupt are not the biggest threat. They can readjust to new realities and continue with several kinds of financial corruption in a more democratic, civilian led order. But there are still ideologically motivated cadres in these agencies who see their role in messianic terms and will not easily cease their various conspiracies or give up their proxies.
    2. The MQM, which has real public support and ability, but may find it hard to adjust to even minimal rule of law. They are not an insoluble problem though. With some delicate handling and (this is a bitter cup for most of us, but may have to be swallowed) if not pressed too hard on May 12th, they may yet opt to function semi-reasonably in a pakistani context. But Its not going to be easy

  53. Bloody Civilian says:
    March 16th, 2009 6:09 pm

    Omar Ali, it would be difficult to be more on target than you have been. You haven’t mentioned the effect of all this on the nation’s mentality, though.

    How, being forced to learn what does not add, through Zia’s textbooks, they are now either confused or have abandoned logic altogether (since a school kid cannot be selctively logical. he can either rebel agains the lies, or decide that reistance is futile because he does not want to disown what is his. and as a kid.. has no way to counter the lies being taught to him).

    The result is that people are either cynical about absolutely everything, or still have very little patience with politicians and associate practically magical powers with the military. They condone the state’s unforgivable capitulation in Swat. Or, at least forgive it as the only way to achieve peace! Accept that an army of 587,000 cannot sort out at most 8,000 militants.

    They do not see the TSNM as a threat. Indeed they see it as close to their ideal. Even if Sufi Muhammad defies the Consitution and has sent the judges home and appointed his own Qazis… exactly as Musharraf did on Nov 3. Yet there are no calls of a long march against Sufi Muhammad!

    You can confirm this view, tendency and mentality by surveying the media. Especially the electronic media and the Urdu print media. Everybody is in denial as to the only logical trajectory and destination of such a mentality.

    Why don’t we question the fact that not asingle terrorist who attacked the Sri Lankan team was apprehended? Because we don’t want to hear the answer.

    We do suffer from parochialism too. How else would you explain the rest of Pakistan’s apathy towards the little innocent girls of Swat who can no longer go to school?

    Yet, it was good that the middle class experienced some kind of empowerment today. But much much more needs to be done. Minds need to be changed and opened up.

  54. Bonobashi says:
    March 17th, 2009 9:41 am

    @Omar Ali

    Greetings from an Indian style corruption ridden democrat. Congratulations on coming to the end of your beginning – nobody can accuse you of precipitate haste or undue obsession with the passage of time. As you prepare for the next part of your journey, and fend off the four fierce elements that are likely to obstruct your successful progress, you might like to consider some free advice from your neighbours.

    Only factors 3 and 4 are likely to be of any consequence in the medium term.

    It is unlikely that the MQM is proof against the glorious prospect of power; in our style corruption ridden democratic analysis, no politician can give up the opportunity of playing with the laws, fiddling with institutions and attempting to put their own mark on processes that they find working perfectly when they come to the chair. It is like children dressed neatly who face a patch of delectable, gooey mud – irresistible. Your problem 2 will vanish during the course of multiple elections. I agree that holding multiple elections is a major achievement, but can assure you that it becomes a matter of habit after a while. Give it about thirty or forty years before getting impatient and calling Nanny back from the barracks; she needs her beauty sleep.

    The Americans are likely to be a greater problem, if only because once they decide to befriend a nation, it can be a stifling embrace and a cloying love affair. You have to break it off tactfully and with delicacy; try to prevent your public officials going to Washington for the next 30 years, for instance. Since from our personal experience, they are prone to interfere even with those whom they dislike, a break-up may not immediately solve your problems.

    Regarding problem 4, you will solve it once you decide to solve it. Unfortunately, there is at the moment no clarity in Pakistan regarding what you ought to do about them, when and through whose instrumentality. There is nothing else standing in the way.

    Regarding problem 1, learn to live with it. It’s part of your DNA now and you won’t ever get rid of them. You have already understood that it’s no longer a question of corruption, but of permanent power and authority.

    Before I forget, a very warm welcome to noisy, smelly, corruption ridden democracy. It’s so ethnic and colourful, and totally unlike the neat, clean, clinical processes of other methods of governance, as is well known. Just remember to shower afterwards.

    Now, with your permission, I will remove my tongue from my cheek.

  55. March 21st, 2009 5:04 am


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