Sunday, November 14, 2010

forex trading ARDESHIR COWASJEE ARTICLES : Going somewhere, or nowhere?

Of late, the two most vociferous ‘institutions’ are the executive and the judiciary, the foremost members of which go to great pains to assure us gullible citizens that the relationship between the two is fine and dandy.
We must ask, is it? We think that both sides do indeed protest too much. Were there no differences there would be no need for the daily assurances.
The one major, most powerful, richest and most disciplined institution of state, the Pakistan Army does not regularly appease us or assure us that all is tranquil. Rocky as may be the relations between it and the executive, in the form of the head of state, its chief keeps his reservations to himself.
This happy situation may not persist in face of the executive/judiciary upcoming NRO stand-off and a case now being heard in the Supreme Court. The former may involve yet another bout of military interference, while the latter may provoke the military ‘agencies’ to dig in their substantial heels.
Now that the court has done its best to deal with a seriously dishonest and unconstitutional piece of legislation, the NRO, and has handed down its orders, orders with which the executive is expected to comply but is doing its best to wriggle its way out of, it has moved on to other matters, amongst them none so important as the case of the missing persons which has been hanging fire long before that March 2007 day when Gen Musharraf made his irredeemable error in taking on the chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry.
A three-member bench, headed by Justice Javed Iqbal, is doing its best to trace the missing persons, allegedly ‘lost’ by the ‘agencies’ of the past military government. It is hearing the petition of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and that of the former senator, now transformed into a pliant presidential spokesperson lacking credibility, Farhatullah Babar.
There is some confusion as to the number of citizens still missing, but whatever be the number they must be traced and their fate disclosed. The agony of their families has been prolonged for far too long.
We must hope that the two-week deadline given by the court to the government to finally come up with numbers and names is not flouted and that this case will be decided as announced. It is a tough call — the ‘agencies’ are set in their ways. Can they afford to and will they agree to come clean?
What must be asked is does any government have the right to whisk its citizens away in the dark of night and make them disappear? On this, in the present and past circumstances with the curbing of terrorism and its perpetrators being one of the country’s foremost predicaments, there may be differences between the ‘agencies’ and the people, but it is up to our adjudicators to now heed the people rather than those who rule in the name of democracy but have little to do with that happy form of governance.
The adjudicators have a tough job as no ruling clique of this country, past or present, has been able to tolerate an independent judiciary as their tactics and mindset are geared towards the bully-boy form of dealing with matters political. Having great respect for the third editorials of this newspaper of record, that of Jan 28 dealing with the subject of the missing persons is a must-read. The subject is the present conflict taking place in the Peshawar High Court over the non-cooperation by the ‘agencies’ in providing information to the court relating to the missing persons. What is written applies equally to the Supreme Court.
“The court felt that its authority was being defied when some people allegedly held by the intelligence agencies were not produced before the judges on their orders. In the eyes of the judiciary this is a constitutional transgression.” Such was the situation under the former military government and such is the situation now that democracy has found its way into Pakistan.
“Now that the judiciary has, after a concerted struggle, won its independence it is disturbing to see a tussle brewing once again.” Disturbing indeed, particularly as it was the mighty army that came to the rescue of the embattled judiciary with the culmination of the ‘lawyers’ movement’.
Yes, it is often necessary in these fraught times to detain and interrogate suspects, but, as ends the editorial “laws and procedures have been prescribed for this and there is no justification for not observing them fully, as the judiciary is trying to emphasise.”
There is much palaver from all sides about the supremacy of parliament and the supremacy of the constitution, notwithstanding the glaring fact that both are at extreme odds with the other. No interpretation of the constitution will justify a government condoning the disappearance of its citizens caused by its intelligence agencies albeit they are controlled by a body of men which is out of control of the government.
If this government wishes to persist on a collision course with the judiciary by ignoring the Supreme Court NRO decision, and by not, as is constitutionally demanded, coming to the aid of the court in the matter of the missing persons, so be it. It will only have itself to blame if it falls apart — and as things stand it will be largely un-mourned by the populace, even by those who voted it in.

No comments:

Post a Comment