Oh my sweet Valentine

“Oh my sweet valentine, I guess I knew you well,
Left my old better half to be all by myself.
Oh my sweet serenade, I guess we tore it up,
Night-time sang our song until we gave it up.

Though I don’t have long I know, I’ll just let my lovin’ show,
Cause there ain’t nothin’ like a petal in a rainstorm.
No there ain’t nothin’ like a petal in a rainstorm.”

These are the lyrics of a song, ‘Oh my sweet Valentine’, by Ryan Adams. It seems as if these lyrics were written keeping in view this year’s Valentine’s Day in Pakistan. Imagine President Asif Ali Zardari singing this song for Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and you will get my drift. On the eve of Valentine’s Day, President Zardari sent a ‘romantic’ gift to his beloved chief justice in the form of a notification that elevated Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khwaja Sharif to the Supreme Court and appointed Justice Saqib Nisar as acting Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court. Unfortunately, the chief adjudicator was not impressed with this gift from the Presidency and within two hours he returned the gift with a suo motu notice attached to it. A three-member special bench of the Supreme Court was constituted in the evening, which suspended the said gift (read notification). Working at such late hours is not a norm for the Supreme Court, but in this ‘land of the pure’, nothing is considered unusual.

In these trying times, with the Pakistani nation starved for some good news, our judiciary and the executive have bestowed upon us one of the biggest conflicts between two state institutions. Without going into the complexities of the notification or its suspension, I would really like to know who will be the greatest beneficiary of this grand collision.

My mind is still reeling from hearing incessant analyses of this issue on our news channels by legal analysts, journalists, politicians and all sorts of ‘experts’. As if that were not enough, the PML-N held a press conference in Islamabad on V-Day itself. The love-hate relationship between the PPP and the PML-N is no secret. Both parties love to hate each other, a sentiment very much on display at the said gathering. Mian Nawaz Sharif, a leader reincarnated, did not like being overshadowed by President Zardari. Ah, the mind boggles at this political ‘brotherhood’. Reminds one of the ‘brotherly rivalry’ between the Mian brothers themselves. The elder Mian sahib must not have liked being out of the limelight in view of all the attention that Shahbaz sahib is getting after his ‘open’ meeting with General Kayani. Unlike his last ‘secret’ meeting with the army chief, this time Shahbaz Sharif got the approval of Nawaz bhai, or so barray Mian sahib would have us believe. Apparently, the Khaadim-e-Aala met the general to review the training of the Punjab Elite Police by army personnel, among other things. Now that is very sweet of the chief minister; he sure knows where the real power lies in this country and does not hesitate to pay homage every now and then.

Well, enough of this digression! Let’s get back to the real issue here. So, the big brother – Mian Nawaz Sharif – seemed very distressed at the antics of the president and once again vowed to save the independence of our rejuvenated judiciary. He said that the PML-N would go to any lengths to save the country from plunging into yet another crisis. If only his younger brother thought the same way, the atta crisis, the sugar crisis and many more crises could have been avoided. (Forgive me dear readers, for I have digressed again. I think Cupid has something to do with my wandering thoughts!). Coming back to the press conference, Nawaz Sharif said that President Zardari has done a great disservice to democracy by taking this uncalled for action vis-à-vis the judiciary. In a voice that would put to shame Dilip Kumar’s highly dramatic tragic tone, Mian sahib declared in a whisper (okay, maybe not a whisper since he had like a thousand microphones in front of him) that President Zardari was the ‘biggest threat to democracy’ today. Wise words from a very wise man guilty of letting a charged procession attack the very Supreme Court back in the 1990s. Those were the very days that Mian sahib, a democratically elected prime minister, decided to become a grand monarch of Pakistan by declaring himself ‘Amir-ul-Momineen’. Thankfully for Pakistan, his dream did not become a reality. But now this very democratic ‘dictator’ has mended his ways or so it appears. How things have changed.

As a responsible citizen of this country, I would like to request the executive, judiciary, media and politicians to exercise restraint before this crisis turns into an avalanche and sweeps away our fragile democracy. Mr Asif Ali Zardari is a democratically elected president. Whatever mistakes he may have committed, the only way to remove him should be through the ballot, for which we should wait till 2013. The only beneficiary of this political leg-pulling will be the undemocratic forces lurking in the shadows at the moment. Pakistan has enough troubles as it is – terrorism, sectarianism, women’s rights abuses, violation of the rights of minorities, energy crisis, sugar crisis, and unemployment. We do not need to be pushed into another dark dungeon of political confusion from which we might never recover this time around.


Ather Naqvi said…
At least we agree on this:
"Mr Asif Ali Zardari is a democratically elected president. Whatever mistakes he may have committed, the only way to remove him should be through the ballot, for which we should wait till 2013."
Anonymous said…
The poor nation's tolerance level is very low. How come they would show their passions to wait till 2013. As they have many excuses if they find none then they immediately manufacture a new one to derail the system. Democratic nations tolerate the irritants as US people tolerated the previous guys for 8 Years. The advice is …. Wait! Until 2013. Sanam Naz
Anonymous said…
aapne aisi angrezi istemaal ki hai ke nawaz sharif ko kuch samajh nahin aayega!
Lamat said…
You are very brave Mehmal!
uzairsdad said…
This is perhaps one of the most sane comment on the situation anywhere! We must also recall that the elder Mian had said that if the judges were restored he would not raise any other issue and wait for 5 years. And look at the lies the PML (N) leaders tell; In his interview with Hamid Mir the CM Punjab Mian Shahbaz accepted that he had discussed political matters with the General. That very day Chaudhry Nisar, who had accompanied Shahbaz Sharif, stated on another channel that politics was never discussed!!! And why is Nawaz not contesting elections? Why does he not tell the people the truth that he had signed an agreement not to contest for 10 (or was it 5) years? Why does he continue to tell blatant white lies? And our media? It is a shame for all of us.

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