HUMAYUN GAUHAR | 4 APRIL, 2017
Pakistan Minus 3: Altaf Hussain, Nawaz Sharif, Asif Zardari
ISLAMABAD: The chessboard represents our odious status quo created by our man eating political system; the pieces are the beneficiaries of the system and their minions. They drag the country down and deny the people their rights and pull them down increasingly into poverty and deprivation.
That the trend has started going against Nawaz Sharif is that Imran Khan and Jahangir Khan Tarin have won their cases against the nefarious references sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) by Nawaz Sharif’s henchman and obedient servant National Assembly speaker Ayaz Sadiq.
The ECP threw out the references as not maintainable, which means that the government had no case to the extent that they were tantamount to nonsense. Big victory for Imran; big defeat for Nawaz, which may be a precursor for a bigger defeat in the offing. Nawaz’s lawyer must have a hundred eggs on his face, because it means that he is not capable even of making a maintainable case.
Shamefully, Sadiq (Ayaz, not Mir) refused to send the ECP the reference against his master. Mud on his face, not egg. That he is biased is patently obvious. That he is not custodian of the House but Custodian of the House of Sharif is patently obvious too. That he will not resign is also patently likely for it is patently obvious as well that he is shameless.
People say he is ‘not a bad guy’, but then what is ‘not a bad guy’ doing in such a bad party under such an awful leader? This applies to all the ‘not so bad guys and gals’ in all our cannibal political parties. Shamelessness stalks the land like the Grim Reaper. Funny to see Nawaz Sharif’s attack dogs squealing like stricken bull pups whose tails have been stepped on talking errant nonsense and saying that Imran only won because of a ‘technicality’.
Fact is that he (and Tarin) won. So lump it and stop whining. Too bad for the stricken bull pups. Three cheers for justice. Actually, ‘not maintainable’ means that it is such rubbish that time cannot be wasted on it. Let me labour the point: Imran and Tarin won a great victory and Nawaz Sharif faced an embarrassing defeat.
The nonsense of invoking the alleged corruption of Imran’s and Tarin’s fathers, even if true and I don’t know whether it is or not, not having seen any proof, is to forget what God has told us, that the sins of the father shall not be visited upon his children. So what the hell are they squealing about anyway? Go home and stop disgracing yourselves and polluting our television channels with your sycophantic claptrap.
The ‘Minus Three’ formula has been doing the rounds for some time now, whose essence is that Pakistan can only be saved and the status quo upturned for one better if three demons are ejected from its body politic, namely Altaf Hussain of the MQM, current Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of the PML(N) — ‘N’ being the first letter of his name, so personalized have our politics become — and Asif Zardari, co-Chair of the PPP (with his son Bilawal Zardari as ceremonial chairman) and President of the PPPP — People’s Party of Pakistan Parliamentarians would you believe, the neatest piece of sophistry I have seen for long.
Who came up with this admirable Minus Three formula I don’t know, but it has to be one or some of the usual suspects, foreign and national. Its admirable not only does it makes eminent common sense to get rid of the virus in one’s body politic, they are letting it happen in the natural and legal course of things.
Minus One: Altaf Hussain has already been ejected already by the revolt of his party against him, his MQM splitting into three factions. He has ceased to be a relevant factor in Pakistani politics. Karachi has been liberated of his baneful influence.
Minus Two: Nawaz Sharif may be on the cusp of being ousted by the Supreme Court in the Panama corruption scandal. The judgment has to come any day otherwise you know what justice delayed means — justice denied. The people are thirsting for balanced justice, Adl and Insaf. It is the bounden duty of the Supreme Court to provide it and set the precedent for the lower courts to follow.
A State without justice is no State at all, just an unruly mob led by mobsters each with a piece of his own ‘turf’. Go and see the film ‘Godfather’ again and see what I mean. The Godfather was above the State and the law. But Pakistan is not a movie or an illusion that something on celluloid is. It is a State with real people who have been incrementally suffering far too long while a few godfathers and their henchmen have been raking it in and prospering far too much. It has to end now if Pakistan has to survive.
Minus Three: Asif Zardari has been put into deep trouble amounting to treason by his own appointee, former ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani. Haqqani has long been regarded, rightly or wrongly, as a US agent and an ISI agent too. If true, that’s some achievement.
Feelings cannot be ‘proved’ or ‘disproved’ until they come right or wrong. I have this feeling that happy days lie ahead. The chessboard will be upturned and with it the status quo; all the pieces will fall off and be smashed to smithereens.
Yes, we have Hussain Haqqani to thank for confirming in an article in the ‘Washington Post’ what we already knew, that he had issued hundreds of visas to unverified unofficial CIA ‘contractors’, assassins really, bypassing the normal checking procedure of the intelligence agencies on the illegal orders of his master, President Asif Zardari through his puppet prime minister, Yusuf Reza Gillani, who was later thrown out by the Supreme Court for other reasons to do with Zardari’s corruption. Haqqani should have known the difference between right and wrong, patriotism and treason and resigned.
It is all very well for the PPP’s leader of the opposition Khursheed Shah to call Haqqani a traitor and try and wash his hands of the affair, but the bigger traitors are Gillani and Zardari and I’m sure many others. They and all their henchmen should be hauled up and tried for treason and if found guilty punished under the law. It will be a long-delayed cleansing exercise.
The PPP’s Sherry Rahman, Pakistan’s ambassador to the US before Haqqani, may be unwitting right, that Haqqani may have written the article under some pressure. Sure, but whose pressure? Conscience? I wouldn’t bet on it. Nawaz Sharif’s through some common friend? Possibly. Or was it US pressure to get rid of him and achieve Minus Three? We may never know.
What, one may ask, was the army doing during all this? The ISI? Were they asleep or were they complicit? When Osama Bin Laden was allegedly killed in Abbotabad, were they asleep or were they complicit here as well?
What made former ISI chief Lt. Gen. Shuja Pasha to make winkle out Raymond Davis, of one of the CIA contractors and killer two, and send him back to America? Time that former army chief at the time General Kiyani and General Pasha stood up. No more holy cows please. Just by blaming Haqqani for doing something he could not have done alone and not get those who made him do it because they all kowtow to America will not do.
And what about the other Pakistani missions in the Middle East from where such visas were also issued in like manner? It’s a long story in which many a Mir Sadiq and Mir Jaffar are involved. Time to exterminate them like pests.
Why could the Supreme Court be taking so long? What follows is pure conjecture. Mine could be over optimism. The judgment could be a damp squib, but I find that highly unlikely given what’s at stake. The judges know that better than I, that their judgment will determine the future course of Pakistan and it’s 230 million people. Five judges hold Pakistan’s future in their hands and if they don’t come to deliver justice, history will never forgive them and neither will the Almighty.
The judges might also be contemplating what rocking the boat might portend and what the post-Nawaz scenario may be like. No one knows but whatever it is, it will be better than what we have now.
I hold before me what the head of the bench Justice Khosa said when at the end of the arguments, that the judges are Muslims who fear God and that their judgment will be so seminal that history will remember it even 20 years later. More power to their elbow. May God be with them.
As to the army, now that the judiciary is getting rid of those who spread ‘Fitna’, the mischief-makers, the military should remain focused on getting rid of ‘Fasad’, discord and disharmony in the land spread by Fitna. They should not try and ‘engineer’ the natural evolutionary political process; instead they should try to encourage it along, however painful it may be.
Only if the State is in danger should they intervene directly. Our dark night of plunder and mayhem may, just may, be about to come to an end. No one should delay the dawn however well meaning they think they are. The long, frightening nights of wailing and gnashing of teeth may hopefully be nearly over.