IAR on NRO ruling

I.A. Rehman, one of the clearest, sanest voices in Pakistan analyses the NRO ruling in his op-ed today in Dawn, ‘Pause, sirs, and ponder

Extract: “…the issue before the Supreme Court was not an amendment to the constitution that would have attracted the basic features theory. The issue before it was an ordinary presidential ordinance. And for laws and ordinances that conflict with the constitution clear remedies are available.
“By invoking Article 227 in the present case the Supreme Court seems to have put Islamic injunctions in command of the whole constitution. Quite a few lawyers argue that this amounts to overruling the court’s judgments in the Hakim Khan (1992) and Kaneez Fatima (1993) cases.
“…The people of Pakistan have every right to ask whether Ziaul Haq’s agenda has been revived.”

5 Responses

  1. If you look at the events in the ‘land of the pure’ in ’95-96… two things stand out.

    One was the initiation or rather signing of the IPI. i.e., the Iran-Pak-India gas pipeline. This was initiated by a certain lady who was the PM then.

    The other being the arrival of the ‘Taliban’. These were students of various Afghan madrassas and the children of the mujahedden, etc.

    In a country which had not known peace for decades and there were no scope for employment/education or even proper institutions… one cannot expect people to go back to agriculture. And except for poppy cultivation there were hardly any farming activities left.

    She and her interior minister built them up to counter the weak Afghan govt, and to oversee law and order. But most importantly to assist in the land of the pure’s plans of opening up the old trade route to Central Asia and provide security to this route, etc.

    These steps angered Unocal – the American oil giant (Cheney and Kissinger among others have close ties to them). Even the exotic flora’s family (who occupied the most expensive piece of real estate in the land of the ‘cowboys’)… is into the oil business.

    They got her govt. dismissed through the then President (who is known to be a favourite of Unocal) – on charges of massive corruption.

    The Taliban thereafter took on a different role.


  2. Stabilizing Afganistan is not on the agenda of the US. Infact the lady… had indicated that the US wants to do to the land of the pure what they have done to Iraq. And that… it should be resisted. No wonder she met her maker… shortly afterwards.

    Have you thought about the great cull… that of strong and popular leaders especially in this part of the world… ??? It cannot be mere fate or even coincidence. Or the handiwork of assorted terrorists.

    Pak today blames India for fomenting trouble in Baluchistan. While it is common knowledge that the UK is involved. And the UK is a crony of the cowboys.

    Why… ??? Baluchistan has great oil reserves. The IPI project has been in cold storage and offlate India has all but backed out of it. Even Afghanistan has great reserves of energy.

    Once they succeed in their plans with the land of the pure… India is next.

    Not that they aren’t ‘involved’ now. All the top brass of all the separatist/terrorist outfits operating in Inda find sanctuaries in the US and/or the prominent countries of Europe.

    They even indulge in fund raising activities there.

    These powers are trying to destabilise this region through their proxies… and who those proxies are everybody knows.


  3. And last but not the least… I did read that a certain hereditary Pir… from the smallest province in the ‘land of the pure’ too is a blue-eyed boy of Unocal. The same chap who raised a hue and cry about not being given a certain post after the mother of all elections – 2008.

    Note how the media, analysts/experts et al… a majority of them that is… took up cudgels on his behalf. Even the ones overseas.

    Tarang, tarang…


  4. Zia’s greatest collaborators were superior judges, as were Pervez Musharraf’s when he seized power in 1999. It is a sobering thought that all the 17 ‘pillars of wisdom’ now in the SC (of the ‘land of the pure’) took oath under Musharraf’s Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) in 2000. The Constitution may have had a ‘conscience’ even then but it wasn’t strong enough to deter baptism in the waters of the PCO.

    Nor was this all. Just as earlier coups had been validated by the superior judiciary, Musharraf’s coup was validated too in 2000 in the famous Zafar Ali Shah case. Among the luminaries on that bench headed by Chief Justice Irshad Hasan Khan was an up and coming judge by the name of Iftikhar Chaudhry.

    Now, if dictatorial regimes are unwelcome and unconstitutional, 17th amendment – a black law, Coup d’état not supported by the constitution, and above all, the PCO is held illegal… how on earth can folks who were sworn in under the same illegal laws and who supported the above mentioned illegal and unconstitutional events… be considered legal/legitimate… ??? What are their locus standi… ???

    There cannot be selective interpretation of the law… everyone is equal in the eyes of the law. And the men-in-black are the ones who should subject themselves to legal scrutiny… and set an example. What???


  5. In his note to the detailed judgment written by CJ Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad Khawaja writes as follows: “At the very outset it must be said, without sounding extravagant, that the past three years in the history of Pakistan have been momentous, and can be accorded the same historical significance as the events of 1947 when the country was created and those of 1971 when it was dismembered.” He goes on to say: “It is with this sense of the nation’s past that we find ourselves called upon to understand and play the role envisaged for the Supreme Court by the Constitution.”

    Without sounding extravagant?

    if it is history we should consider, it must be history in its entirety and not slices of history susceptible to selective interpretation. Nowhere is the judgment’s take on recent history more evident, and perhaps more startling, than in its analysis of the meaning of the word ‘reconciliation’. It says that the NRO was a deal between two individuals – Pervez Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto – for their personal objectives. (Wonder why was she ‘foolish’ enough not to make the same so-called ‘deal’ in 1997, 2000, 2002…)

    “We are of the opinion,” says the judgment, “that the NRO was not promulgated for ‘national reconciliation’ but for achieving the objectives which absolutely have no nexus with the (sic) ‘national reconciliation’ because the nation of Pakistan, as a whole, has not derived any benefit from the same.” In attesting to the subjective nature of the NRO, the judgment quotes this from Benazir’s book, ‘Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West’. (I too have read the book…. and I have not come to the same conclusion as the 17 ‘pillars of wisdom’. Maybe thats why I am not a part of the black coat community).

    The keystone, the flagstone, of Musharraf’s rule was his position as army chief. And here when Benazir is negotiating the removal of Musharraf’s uniform – in which she eventually succeeded – their lordships are of the opinion that this deal between the two was just confined to their two selves and had no wider significance whatsoever.

    This is a selective reading at its worst.

    The most important chapters… in the restoration of democracy was written by Benazir Bhutto and, much as folks in the ‘land of the pure’ may dislike the notion, by their American friends when in tandem they prevailed upon Musharraf to shed his uniform. Yes, his ‘uniform’ – the one he referred to as his ‘second skin’ and in which several politicians including the ‘famous’ Chaudhury brothers of Gujrat vowed to ‘elect’ him as President – 100 times.

    Nothing should detract from Benazir’s role… who played her cards shrewdly and engaged with Musharraf in a manner which persuaded him to hand over the army baton to a successor. Remember, the erstwhile proud supermodel of the very exclusive ‘Bushshirt’ was the generalissimo Pervez Musharraf… who enjoyed blind powers and carried all the cards… apart from having very powerful backers, that is.

    The final chapter was written in Benazir’s blood when she was assassinated in Liaquat Bagh (in broad daylight). The lawyers and the judiciary had only (somewhat) weakened Musharraf. They hadn’t destroyed him (and they couldn’t have). Benazir’s death rocked the Musharraf order/boat by bringing the latent anger of the people to the surface. There was nothing that could save Musharraf thereafter, Benazir proving more powerful in death than she had been in life.

    How can the learned gentlemen see themselves in isolation from all this history? The NRO was a bad law and there can be no cavil with this. But it was part of a larger picture of which there is scarce a mention in the entire judgment.

    I wonder how can 17 people think alike… all the time. Be it the PCO, condoning the Musharraf Coup d’état, dismisses the petition against General Musharraf’s dual role of Army Chief and the President of Pakistan, and now the NRO.

    This is heights of ‘telepathy’… a medical miracle, no less. Even twins or clones… do not think and behave alike!


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