HOT FOCUS: 22nd March and Beyond

In Current Issues, Pakistan Issues on March 16, 2009 at 7:16 pm
Welcome Back to the CHIEF!

Welcome Back to the CHIEF!

[Please respond to the poll at the end of this post]

Alhamdullillah, our government has finally shown some sense and the judges are back. Our legitimate Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry will be back InshaAllah on his rightful post on 22nd March. 15 March was a very active day in Lahore and Islamabad and finally ended with some good news for us. One suspects, however, that a lot of drama is yet to unfold. For the past two years, frankly, the ordinary Pakistani citizen is getting a lot of high drama to watch, often being unfortunately the most tragic party in it all!

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry on receiving news of his restoration

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry on receiving news of his restoration

First a few words on this big occurence. How did it come about? How was Zardari prevailed upon at all, whereas he stands the chance to get the straightest blow from CJ Chaudry’s just hammer. Was there deep down a fear of being left alone, or was it simple ‘social pressure’. Because of his blatantly undemocratic policies, his own friends seemed to be getting wary. Two of his federal ministers,  Raza Rabbani and  Sherry Rehman, recently resigned for various alleged reasons. Prime Minister Gilani was of the express opinion that the Long March was legal and should not be stopped. Three key government officials also resigned on 15th protesting over the use of illegal means to curb the peoples’ rights. The sentiments of the police staff of Lahore were definitely on the side of Nawaz Sharif and the lawyers’ legitimate movement. It was clear that not only the Long March was on in full spate, but that no cheap manoeuvres on the part of the government were going to stop its progress to Islamabad. And once the March had reached Islamabad things would have definitely been out of control!aitzaz_ahsan_1-245x300

The final straw, however, came from Ashfaq Kiyani, the Army Chief. He held a two-hour long meeting with PM Gilani on 15th. Both then met the President and got his consent. At that moment, I bet, Zardari must have realized that a mere position as a President and the alleged support from America does not necessarily mean: POWER. The real power always lies with the PEOPLE. And thus Aitzaz Ahsan’s confidence that people’s pressure can really bring about change has been finally vindicated after a hard struggle of two years.

I can’t help but think about Zardari. What is he thinking now? He knows he cannot afford an independent judiciary, so what is brewing in his sly mind now? Any cats in the bag? Is he thinking that he will be able to pull some strings and halt the re-appointment of Iftikhar Chaudhry as the CJ, come 22nd? The Long March has been called off so the impending doom is below the horizon for now. May be the people will not be able to react as strongly as they were able to support the for-months planned event of the March?

If he’s thinking (and planning) like that, we must prove him wrong! Kurd and Aitzaz need to keep applying the pressure. They should make it VERY clear that any such move on the dawn of 22nd will be met with a much stronger reaction than 9th March 2007 met.

Let us suppose (and hope) he has lost the guts to try to pull something off on the 22nd. Still he must do something! We know Zardari offered the Sharif Brethren the exchange of a verdict in their favor if only they ceased to support the CJ restoration. Is he planning to ‘offer’ things to CJ now? To make a deal of some sort? To put pressure Musharraf-like? Whatever he’s planning (desperately, of course)  I’m sure he knows in his heart of hearts he WON’T be successful.

What then?

Okay, let’s stop thinking from his side, let us think this out ourselves and try to anticipate the drama that waits come 22nd March!

A fantasy awaiting realization

judges-hammerIt’s 22nd March and Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry returns to his rightful office after a gap of around 500 days. After a lapse of a few days (let’s not be too idealistic!) he opens a suo moto action investigation (or responds to a case filed in his court) into the unlawful recession of all charges against Zardari. Zardari, after having tried (and failed in) his best to keep this scary moment off, finally resigns his place as the President and i) flees the country (a favorite of our statesmen) OR ii) accepts the humiliation of being jailed like before (hardly likely). We all rub our palms ;-).

OH how I wish this would come true. That is the Question of the Day. Will it? I have a fear Zardari won’t give up too easily!

Kindly share your views below.

What will Zardari do? What are his options? Can you anticipate any tricks? Vote in the poll below and also suggest ideas which my dull mind could not pull out of its bag!

Finally, I congratulate Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Aitzaz Ahsan, and Ali Ahmed Kurd for their integrity, courage and persistance. It’s their day!

The Restoration Jubilee

The Restoration Jubilee

All prayers for Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry!

  1. As far as Zardari is concerned, he was pressurised by the PM Gillani and Gen.Kayani to restore the CJ otherwise if the long march and protest sit-in had taken place,there would be a lot of blood shedding and some suicide attack too could have happened. As again and again warned by the so called Advisor of Interior Affairs tht Nawaz’s life had some threats and so had the Lawyers.He was in full plans to get Nawaz away from the political path.When the PM had announced the CJ restoration, there was no single statement of Rehman Malik there….He along with ZArdari and many butterers were not at all in the mood to restore the judiciary….
    If Zardari dares to do something to CJ after 21st, there’s going to be a huge sea of people protesting in Islamabad,even more than the long march…..and this time Zardari will not be spared by the common public if he does something..he might make some agreement with the CJ not to reopen his corrupt cases.On the contrary, the CJ doesnot seem to be pulling his leg since he has got more things to do for the betterment of the country such as controlling oil prices and all….I have been listening to his speeches and watching him on tv travelleing for 18 hours for their movement,struggle and bearing hard times by lathi charge and tear gases and all possible in-human acts, i dont think tht he’s going to be concerned about “zardari” (aathween pass)…

  2. Its a small step in the direction of democracy in Pakistan,for sure but the real tests lie ahead.Too many players with vested interets are present on the political landscape and Zardari’s ethics are questionable to say the least.
    Hope he does not damage the nation in the pursuit of power.Best of luck.

  3. For a series of questions that arise with the PM’s address, checkout http://www.ibitians.com/2009/03/17/hum-jeet-gaye-iftikhar-muhammad-chaudhry-is-back-but/

  4. Zaradari is hiding in the background for the time being. He has this golden oppertunity to score and gain popularity for his government by congratulating the CJ and co-operating with him which is not very likely!
    But i am being opptimistic this time…Coz I was surprized to hear about the restoration, so my fingers crossed. 🙂

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