Monday 24 August 2009

Forgiveness is not yours to give, Prime Minister!

Prime Minister Gilani has stated that he forgave General Musharraf the day he became Prime Minister. Forgiveness is not yours to give, Mr. Prime Minister! Desecration of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and utter contempt for and attempts to destroy institutions of state are crimes committed by General Musharraf for which people of Pakistan are the aggrieved party. None of Musharraf's crimes were personal against president Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani or other members of the ruling elite for which they have any sort of moral or legal right to grant forgiveness.

And it is not personal against Mr. Musharraf as well. Musharraf is not an individual - he is the current representative of a chain of adventurers who have raped and pillaged the constitution a their whim. ‘Any person who abrogates or attempts or conspires to abrogate, subverts or attempts or conspires to subvert the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason’ - so states the Article 6 of the Constitution. Power hungry adventurers from General Iskandar Mirza, General Ayub Khan, General Zia-ul-Haq and General Musharraf have all trampled over the constitution and laws of the land for most of the 62 years of Pakistan's history. Using crooked judiciary to provide them the cover of doctrine of necessity and low cost feudal political leaders providing help with constitutional amendments these generals got away (blew away in case of General Zia) scot free.

With an independent judiciary that is earnestly trying to set its own house in order and a media supported and generally agitated civil society timing has never been more right to set up an example for future adventurers like Ayub, Zia or Musharraf by putting the living one in the dock.

Only obstacle I see in achieving this is a government and parliament that suffers from lack of confidence in its own powers. By not taking action against Musharraf It is leaving the door wide open for another adventurer to walk in and kick them out.

Dithering on this issue by the government is not helping its credibility as conspiracy theories about a safe exit deal between current government and Musharraf with guarantees from US and Pakistan army have taken ground. US government has already made its clear that they do not want to be involved in Musharraf's future - for them he is a used bullet. Image of Pakistan Army, as an institution, has suffered the most during Musharraf's term. In some parts of the country and some sectors of the society it is hated as an occupation force. Army is working hard on rehabilitation of its image that will take time. How strongly will it come out for Musharraf's defence and destroy any remaining credibility will be tested soon.

There have been talks of "truth and reconciliation" in Pakistan South Africa style. Fact is that to stop future adventurers like Musharraf, Pakistan requires trial and retribution.

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