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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2374

President’s House and Zardari House, One and Same?

By Adnan Gill

Pakistan maybe short on food, water, literacy and electricity, but remains surplus in sagacity. Look right to the President’s House, look left to the Zardari House, you will find peremptoriness oozing out of these two powerhouses. The source of their lordliness is much debated; however the similarities between the two cant be blanketed. One grabbed power to (allegedly) save the federation; the other took it upon himself to grab the power to (allegedly) save the party and the federation. Both muscled their way into the thrones of power complex, and suffer from the messiah complex.

Both kneel to the House that is White, not the one that is right. Both love to lecture endlessly, but can’t listen even momentarily. Both believe in the freedom of unrestrained power for self; moreover believe in freedom of restrained speech for the rest. Both swore their allegiance to the ‘establishment’, which never ceases to implement their commandments. Both defend the hand that penned the PCO and NRO. Most importantly, both share antipathy of the judiciary.

Collapse of ‘London Talks’ have confirmed, what even the armchair commentators had been predicting for a month, the President’s House and the Zardari House are the same and one. But what shocked even the most seasoned political analysts is how brazenly and how daringly, Asif Ali Zardari sabotaged every chance of restoration of the judiciary.

If one deliberately or accidently enters a dead-end street. First thing one does is reverse out of the street and then advance in a corrected direction with speed. Similarly, Pakistanis also want to reverse the dead-end PCO -- which blessed the NRO -- hurriedly, and then worry about the so-called “modalities” of supposed Constitutional legality.

On a talk show with Kashif Abbasi and Faeza Dawood, Mr. Zardari voiced his doubt; a hasty reversal of the judiciary may come costly, but never pained at NRO’s obscurity.

Mr. Zardari again and again reminded the journalists, the media should be indebted for the freedom given to the critics. However, his men, who also claims themselves to be the establishment, remains under the impression; free-media doesn’t need the freedom of expression. Why else, mushrooming lists of 17 journalists are shown the fists? The News’ reporter Ansar Abbasi, summarized establishment’s mood correctly, “Naked warnings are being overtly given. Lists of ‘troublemakers’ in the media are being compiled and the NRO-laundered intelligence sleuths are being assigned to straighten out the ‘crooked’ pen pushers.”

Mr. Zardari argue, the order to legally restore of the deposed judiciary is a complicated issue, which merits comprehensive deliberations over unspecified time to be issued; therefore setting specific dates would be cuckoo. Imagine if a specific date of 14 August wouldn’t have been set for the creation of Pakistan; would there have been an independent Pakistan? Imagine if President Musharraf wouldn’t have set a specific date for the national elections; would Mr. Zardari’s party bee in action? Perhaps, Mr. Zardari could best answer the question.

Considering Mr. Zardari’s wisdom, naturally one wonders about the conundrum:

1. For how long the public will have to live in a state of uncertainty, before the parliament would be able to deliberate with certainty?

2. How many minutes did the parliament deliberate, on the Constitutionality of the NRO i.e. infamous? Obviously, the principal of ‘what is good for the goose is good for the geese’ doesn’t apply on the PCO and NRO.

3. Which untainted law gives legal or moral cover to the disputed NRO, which was mothered by the prohibited PCO?

In the paramount interest of national harmony, President Musharraf bestowed the tailored NRO on his fraternity. Reciprocating President Musharraf’s generosity, in a spirit of forgives and tranquility, Mr. Zardari’s also gallantly crossed the insurmountable party lines to be comradely. Being cognizant of the unprecedented spirit of national reconciliation, would it be fair to expect these two gentlemen to expand the exclusive NRO to plebeians, who are rotting in jails for the high crimes of crossing the path of the dominant? Would it also be fair to expect these two gentlemen to extend the NRO to the deposed judiciary too, so the anxious masses could move on to nation building too?

But this will be a tall order for the two, who owe their fortunes to the few. One clings to the top, courtesy of the men in a House that is White. The other rose to the top on the coattails of the Bhutto family and a piece of paper in black-and-white. The critics decry, to marginalize the establishment is for pride. But the two contrive, to abide by the establishment is to survive.

When all said and done, most likely, PML-N will throw the last punch. Hopefully, PML-N has read nation’s pulse correctly, or they will be routed out hastily. Their principal on the crisis of the judiciary, and their refusal to share the bed with the Presidency will become the source of their popularity.

- Asian Tribune -

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