The ‘GENERALS’ way OR the High way

By Majed Iqbal– On Friday 28th September, Pakistan’s Supreme Court declared the much awaited decision facing the Pakistani nation of shortlisting the candidates running for the Presidency. They ruled that President Pervez Musharraf could run again in the upcoming presidential elections, even though he is also currently serving as army chief.

The decision was met with fierce opposition from the enthused Lawyers movement who took centre stage in Islamabad in Protest and rioting against the edict of the court- which they believed went against the current sentiments of the nation. Rigorous debate and discussion arose over the TV networks in Pakistan airing astonishment at the courts response and analysing the consequences of the decision on the future of the country’s politics.

The situation was further made dire on Saturday when the Government cut off the Media from displaying any scenes when the protests began taking place. A spokesperson for Geo declared “Since the morning Geo, Aaj and ARY were off the air”.

The Lawyers movement rallied on Saturday and challenged the courts verdict on the grounds that the constitution forbids permanent government employees (including military officers) from seeking elective office and that a two years wait was required after resignation or retirement from a government post before seeking a presidential bid.Musharraf’s bid for re-election has been highly controversial as he faces growing unpopularity nationally, failing miserably to resonate and connect with the masses.

From the wars waged in Afghanistan, tampering with the constitution, opening up Pakistan to the FBI, allowing America to use logistical and airspace usage, rigging the 2002 Presidential elections, using the countries own army to fight in Waziristan in the tribal belt area, sacking the chief Justice, massacring over 1000 men, women, children and elderly in the Lal Masjid issue and fulfilling American orders by bringing Benazir into Power; Musharraf remains a rebel without a cause, fighting to gain balance of power in a time where political events are heavily scoring against him.

With Calculated manouvres, Musharraf in 2002 inserted a number of provisions in the constitution that exempted him from law, enabling him to combine the offices of president and army chief, and hold both titles.
Furthermore, with the recent devlopments, Musharraf has focused on appointing loyalists to key military positions to ensure his grip on powe beginning with the recent appointment of Nadeem Taj as head of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency whilst further key promotions are imminent, with both the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee and the vice chief of army staff due to retire next month. These appointments are critical, as the military will play a pivotal role on Musharrafs re-election as president and after if he stays on as army chief.

These have been the unfortunate scenes where the use of brutal force to quell any form of Political dissent were paraded by a goernment which talks of enlightened moderation. The scenes on saturday further highlighted the growing discontent with between the ruling elites and the masses. These events bring home the true colours of a ruler who believes firmly in exercing might rather than thought in dealing with Political matters.

The Prophet of Islam (saw) spoke the truth when he said: “The best of your imams (leaders) are those whom you love and they love you and who pray for you and you pray for them, and the worst of your imams are those whom you hate and they hate you and you curse them and they curse you. [Muslim] (narrated by Auf bin Malik al Ash’jayi)

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