I wrote this poem on 7th May, 2007, the day after the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry reached Lahore in a huge procession. This, after a historic night of warm and enthusiastic reception by the masses all along the way.
The poem does not revolve around him, however. It focuses on the role of the antagonist who had brought the axe on his own foot by tampering with the judiciary. The poem was strangely prophetic of 12th May next-week. I’d kept this poem private, but since the restoration of Mr. Iftikhar I’ve been thinking may be I should share it after all.
[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
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!
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.
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
It’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!