March 16th, 2009. The day that the judiciary of Pakistan was restored. The day that the deposed judges of the November 3rd Emergency were restored. The day that the 2 year struggle of the lawyers was awarded. The day that Ch. Iftikhar was said to be reinstated as the Chief Justice of Pakistan on 21st of March, 2009. The day that the long march, rallied on and muscled on by lawyers, political activists and civil workers brought fruit to the cause. The day that Nawaz Sharif probably ended with a gloating smile the boundaries of which might not be measurable. His party had gained immense ground.
Apart from the obvious political inferences in this entire event, the restoration of the judges does at a level also go beyond the personalities involved. It goes beyond Musharraf, Ch. Iftikhar, Nawaz Sharif and Zardari. It stands as a symbol for the people of Pakistan. It stands as the point where people might just restore hope in our nation. In the future of our country. In the direction in which we can be headed. It stands as the symbol for the people and by the people, that if pushed, a revolution will not be far. This long march and the eventual restoration of the judiciary stands more for this than anything else in my opinion.
The fact that Ch. Iftikhar will once again be the Chief Justice of Pakistan holds little meaning to me unless he upholds the faith put into him by the supporters and strugglers of this cause of the past 2 years. It holds little meaning unless he actually works in the good benefit of the country, rather then putting it into further turmoil.
What is important in my opinion is to see that people did rise. They didn’t rise for their love of Mian saab. They didn’t rise for the love of Ch. Iftikhar. But rather for what these 2 individuals and their mandates stood for. What they symbolized. That we the people of this nation are capable of holding “democratic’” or “undemocratic” dictators accountable. That all the leaders of this nation must realize, that we are no longer willing to be pushed against the wall. We have the ability to rise for our better fortunes. We have the ability to fight for our rights. And we will not be made victims under a false pretence of democracy.
I hate almost all the political leaders of our nation, because more often then not, 90% of their agenda is selfish, rather then selfless devotion to the cause of a country, to the cause of prosperity of Pakistan. These ‘leaders’ come from all parties, PPP, PML-N, PML – Q, MQM etc etc etc. (let us not forget the Qazi Hussains and the Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehmans). They have all proven time and again they work only for their own personal agendas and their own personal gains.
However in the present event case, I think the PPP was not completely to blame. It wasn’t the PPP going back on the ‘Charter of Democracy’ or the agreements made with the PML-N over the restoration of the judiciary. It was rather the actors and forces which had quite conveniently hi-jacked the party in the name of their slain leader. It was the man I am sure many do believe was against reinstating Ch. Iftikhar because of the consequence that might have on the controversial NRO.
But at last, the party has also shown to have broken the shackles of this hi-jacking. PM Gilani announced what everyone wanted to hear. Even if not for the sake of Iftikhar, but perhaps in the hopes that this will signal the end of Zardari, the end of political instability. Sherry Rehman’s resignation over the handcuffing of media was courageous and principled. Zardari was doing all the things that a year ago he quite conveniently was blaming Musharraf for. Being a dictator.
Even Mian saab to be honest, in this particular issue, that of the judiciary, was taking principled stands. Although I have no doubt he was doing so because he had something to gain from it, but at least it was the right stand.
I’ve been against embroiling this nation in the judges issue for such a long time because well I knew it would drag on for such a long time. I knew there would be resistance from the top to bring back Iftikhar. And there were (and still are in my opinion) far more pressing and threatening issues in this country. Like the situation in the north and the continuing uncertainty in the country affecting the economy. And at the end, lets be honest, Nawaz Sharif is the last person you would think of being in so supportive of an independent judiciary. After all, he has deposed judges as well. Almost everyone has. But now, the judiciary and more importantly the people have stood up and said “enough is enough. no more playing with our lives” .
Though Nawaz Sharif was behind the long march and threw the weight of his party in support of the lawyers’ movement, even he must take this as a strong message “No more”.
In the end, it is my wish that this restoration of the judiciary, this historic moment for Pakistan, does actually bring fruits to our nation. That it brings a restoration of the hopes of our nation, the hopes of the 170 Million people living in Pakistan. That it is indeed a blessing for Pakistan.
For now all we can do is pray, and hope…….. the actual results and aftermaths of this decision are yet to be scene. Till then , all we do is hope and pray.