By Saeed Minhas
Amidst the turning and twisting political and judicial scenarios and the arrival of US and NATO campaigners, the Upper House somehow managed to conclude its debate on the presidential address with the closing remarks of Law Minister Babar Awan on Wednesday with an end note that the adventurous judo-cratic ride is not yet over.
Be it part of a strategic manoeuvre by our political engineers or a counter strategy to look for alternatives, developments are shaping up on both internal and external fronts of the country, revealed some concerned faces of the Upper House who are often seen near the hill-top areas with top-notch babucrats (especially the one now suffering in grade 21). From the Faisal Shahzad-led chain that pushed an otherwise cordial relationship between the US and Pakistan to uncertainty, to a strategic phone call from Premier Gilani to an on-leave Quaid of the Noon League, Nawaz Sharif concerning the fate of self-exiled dictator Gen Musharraf; conspiracy factories are blowing hot and in full swing on all issues. On the internal conundrum, the same factories are roaring at finding the clinical strikes from vagabond information secretary of thee PPP Miss Fozi and our jaunty Law Minister Babar Awan on the credibility of the blackrobes as more than mock-shots.
Ironically, these new phrases of ‘credibility’ and ‘biased’ have been added to the current tug of war between the closely-knit judiciary and fragmented democratic (thus making it judo-cratic) forces by none other than the person who was a catalyst for initiating the lawyers and then the judicial activism by sending a letter to the then Kamal-Attaturk of Pakistan (Musharraf); i.e. Naeem Bokhari.
His diatribes against the failing standards of the judiciary and especially the then chief justice formed the basis of that infamous judicial reference that can never get a judicious hearing, but certainly turned the entire national polity on its head. Resultantly, a general was stripped off his skin-like-uniform, the presidency and even his luxurious farm house and under a US-UK-Saudi deal was forced to live in self exile in the proximity of his political hubby Altaf Bhai in houses bought by Tariq Aziz for him in London and Scotland.
One of our moles chipped in to reveal that Musharraf seems to have some grace left in him, as he is avoiding living in the same flat that he bought for one of his journalist pals in Paris. The reason is that Tariq Aziz and his sponsors have advised him not to unnecessarily travel outside the safe abodes of MI6 (Abu-Dhabi falls under them as well) and also because the pal has leased-out that flat on a long-term basis.
Anyway, coming back to the events of the coming week, a full bench of the SC is going to hear cases on the issues of the 18th Amendment and the review petition against the NRO verdict, while smaller benches will hear cases of the Harris Steel Mill, involving Bank of Punjab’s Hamesh Khan and the implementation of the NRO verdict involving Babar Awan.
The Chaudhry’s of Gujrat might be having sleepless nights on the Harris case because if Hamesh opens his mouth, which the Chaudhrys will make sure he will not, then their ‘golden days of Punjab’ theory might see daylight and many politicians and industrialists might be looking for lawyers of the movement for bails against you know what.
No matter how next week’s contest between the judiciary and the government might fare for the stakeholders and bystanders, it certainly is proving to be a tailor-made situation for our politically motivated and socially deprived media moguls and the screeching pack-of-six anchors.
With chest-thumping champs creating the perfect aura like in WWE or an India-Pakistan cricket match (that too in Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla ground with the series hinging on the bout) and with the odds heavily tilted in favour of the bookies; all is set for a perfect showdown next week. Just to give another perspective, much like a pre-match summary, many political pundits believe that under perfect open skies and no chances of thunderstorm or lightening, both teams will play to the galleries because they know that with the advent of the remote control technology, bluetooth devices and the introduction of a TV umpire, they will be trying to put on an impressive show. Since it is not a time-bound match, teams will have to decide between themselves or the TV umpires may choose to help any or both of them in this regard (remember Nawaz-Ishaq match).
Here I would like to issue an unofficial and non-binding advisory for all those weak-hearted and emotional people out there that please maintain a safe distance from the TV cameras and anyone seen holding a mike and wearing odd colours or clothing that do not correspond to the current hot weather. Rather, throughout the next week, avoid any activities outside your home and while being inside your electricity-starved houses, if Raja Rental gives you some relief, then try to focus on sports channels instead of the news, and if the temptation proves too much, then turn to the Pakistan Television Network for only G-rated news under parental guidance.