May 062008

Dear Sir
I saw your interview on a private television channel a couple of days ago and was deeply affected by some of the things, which became very clear. Since I think it would be impossible to meet you before you take some vital and crucial decisions, I am taking this opportunity to write to you on behalf of a large number of people from the civil society whose hopes, aspirations and lives will be greatly affected by what you decide.
You mentioned the victimisation of yourself, BB, Nawaz Sharif the MQM by the judiciary during the last few years as well as the judicial murder of ZAB. I cannot agree with you more on this. But since you have been personally affected, it seemed that your arguments for not restoring the judges were more emotional than objective, whereas, at this time, objectivity is required for the betterment, liberation and future of the whole country.
Have you ever examined why this victimisation happened in the first place? Because the judiciary was a mere rubberstamp of the establishment and doing its bidding, whether under the doctrine of necessity or for any other reason. How do you think this will not be repeated with others like yourself if the judiciary remains controlled rather than truly independent? 
That you can identify yourself with this very same “establishment”, which has subverted democracy and the constitution, brutalised society, illegally removed the superior judges and perhaps even has a link to the assassination of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, is at the very least hard to comprehend – specially when you have become the leader of the largest popular based party, which has always built its philosophy on the principles of democracy.
Your stance is even more difficult to comprehend given the present circumstances: your party’s popular mandate.
Even though this country has always been betrayed, it has at different times afforded great opportunities to certain individuals to do the right things and set the record straight by righting previous wrongs. 
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had it when he came into power on a wave of popular revolution. BB had it when she came back in 1986 and came into power in 1988. Nawaz Sharif had it when he acquired absolute majority in the parliament during his second tenure as prime minister. Unfortunately, they all squandered their opportunities and wasted great chances.
But your time is NOW, Mr Zardari. You have a popular mandate and the support of coalition partners, which provides you the required absolute majority in the parliament enabling you to bring about positive changes. But most of all, you have a judiciary, which for the first time has stood fast on the basis of principles – a judiciary which will validate all correct and good decisions, taken in the interest of the nation and in accordance with the constitution. This is a judiciary, which will provide protection to the government against all vested interests, for all the legally correct measures it takes without fear or bias. Of course, by the same token it will be a check against any excesses committed by the government itself – which I am sure will delight all true democrats and patriots.
Starting from the dismemberment of the country in 1971, the nation has been pushed towards the brink with every successive betrayal. Today we stand in very real danger of destabilisation. This is all the more ironic when we consider that after the recent elections, the popular vote has given the parliament the means to restore true democracy and thus take the first step towards eliminating the power of the dreaded and ubiquitous “establishment”, which is responsible for the current crisis.
So Mr Zardari, what will it be? Will you help restore a truly independent judiciary, which will become your greatest ally in quest for justice and democracy, while giving you a special place in the history of the country and the immense gratitude and prayers of the entire nation? Or, will you become another unfulfilled dream in the tragic history of this country, while leaving a legacy where your children and their generation will be at the mercy of an unjust and iniquitous system, where they will perhaps suffer the same trials and tribulations that you yourself claim to be a victim of?
So rise above yourself and your personal prejudices and then make the choice, Mr Zardari. The establishment and the status quo? Or, the people of the country? We the people impatiently await your decision and hope you will choose the country above all else.
Yes Mr Zardari, we are all hoping you will bring back the real judges of Nov. 2, do your duty and fulfil the commitment made by Mohtarma (Shaheed) Benazir Bhutto outside the residence of CJ Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry when she was denied access to him last year.
Hamid Zaman

 Posted by at 6:55 am

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