Confucius famously said: “By three methods we may learn wisdom. First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest”. History is the biggest source of wisdom where mistakes and their stark consequences lie bare. Tragically, we simply refuse even to learn from experience that surely has been and still remains the bitterest.
Before invading Afghanistan, saner elements warned George Bush about Afghanistan being the graveyard of empires. True to his narcissist self he retorted, “History is for losers” and invaded Afghanistan. It took millions of dead and maimed with trillions of dollars down the drain for the US to finally accept that history is not for losers but for winners that seek and accept the truth from it.
Our decades-long abysmal and unaccountable governance has bequeathed on us an equally checkered institutional history. Both the military and equally autocratic civilian regimes have always harbored ambitions and actively worked towards having a servile judiciary and state organs. This is proven by the perennial allegations (factual in certain cases) that all top-level institutional appointments are based on self-interest alone.
This policy has been pursued by both our military and civil rulers; the consequences have been monumental in disaster and tragedy. Even the most naive would have refused to take over the reins of government in the circumstances in which the coalition of otherwise disparate forces were thrust into the corridors of power again.
PDM Against Imran Khan
The subsequent actions of tailor-making NAB laws, doing away with EVMs, the overseas Pakistani vote, the stated intent of “regulating” the powers of the Supreme Court and the political elimination of Imran Khan mirror the true intent of the untouchables of Pakistan. Many believe that the appointment of a new COAS in November is the ever-fabled and sought-after jewel that this motley lot seeks to adorn in their self-anointed crown.
History proves that the ruling coalition’s constant emphasis on the integrity of a few honorable SC judges is in no way their newfound love for honesty and professionalism. It is only that they fallaciously believe that some Justices are anti-Imran Khan. They also falsely believe that cases against Imran Khan shall be based on this malicious and ill-founded premise.
In 1997, the military leadership ignored President Leghari’s advice to provide security to Chief Justice Sajjad Shah who was hearing contempt and corruption cases against Nawaz Sharif. This was the carte blanche that reinforced the haughty mindset of this untouchable cabal. Pakistan and the people still bear the terrible consequences of the unchallenged and ignominious storming of the Supreme Court and the subsequent eviction of Sajjad Shah as the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
This unthinkable PMLN affront saw no justice as it continued its brand of politics with renewed impunity. Ironically, the untouchables remain cocooned in a time warp. The people have proven that today is not the Pakistan of the ’90s. Former US Supreme Court judge Sandra Day O’Connor was spot on in affirming that, “Statutes and constitutions do not protect judicial independence; people do”.
Morality is undoubtedly a virtue, selective morality and dubious means to mete it out are exactly the opposite. The ECP, mandated to keep an annual check and balance on party funding, remains mum about the means of funding all the ruling parties. It also remains a mute spectator as those embroiled in corruption and money laundering take over the highest offices of this land.
It also goes comatose when convicts and absconders dictate governing policies to this lot. PTI remains the only party in Pakistan’s history that has always declared that it is funded and has the proceeds audited by known accountancy firms. The paucity of anything against Imran Khan sees the collective might of PDM and their well-wishers clutching at conspiratorial straws.
The Indian media is gleefully portraying the ECP decision and branding Imran Khan as the wolf of the murky dealings of the financial world. Meanwhile the COAS, with a ruling coalition merrily smothering their corruption cases and riveted to personal-power preservation, personally seeks an economy-saving handout from the US, a country that has been a perennial master and never a friend.
The survival of any nation is contingent on its ability to remain the master of its destiny. Economic resources sustain and boost a nation’s freedom. Its alarming depletion inevitably results in a failure to confront and overcome hostile external and internal forces. History proves that it is not hostile military might but destitution that has subdued many nations into fragmentation or servility.
Ruling a nation requires honesty, wisdom and prudence. What could be a greater travesty than being in power, the legitimate authority, yet blatantly misusing it for personal gains as has been the norm here? Imran Khan is the hope that has motivated, what had over the decades been reduced to an apathetic multitude to stand up for their usurped rights and become the crucial harbinger of change.
The people have proven their trust in Imran Khan by unparalleled public participation and candor throughout the country and through their vote (against all odds) in the recent Punjab by-elections. Like it or not, these facts compounded by a tottering economy is a mayday demanding wisdom and prudence from the untouchables and their promoters. The pipe-dream of PDM to banish Imran Khan from politics is as frivolous as it shall be dangerous for Pakistan.
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