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Change of Command and Rule of Law

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Rule of Law in Pakistan is like a tomb standing in a grave yard. Attack on a cardiovascular Hospital in Lahore on 11th December by those who claim to stand for implementation of law is a best example of this situation. The lawyers in Lahore came on road like a mob and ruined the hospital that resulted in death of more than 4 patients. The Punjab administration, its police and other forces remained silent during this attack and than finally came with tear gas attack. Now different theories are cropping up like it was planned by PML N, like different lawyers groups tried to use this incident to win Bar election, like some goonda elements were in the mob, like PTI government did not want to use this incident to turn it in to a model town like police shooting in 2014. But in spite of all these theories some facts are for sure like PTI government and its new administration allowed this incident to happen whether it may take lives of heart patients instead of stopping the mob with force. Now after few investigations and meetings of committees everybody would get free including more than 250 lawyers arrested in the incident. Finally like other incidents in Pakistan this incident was preplanned to divert people’s attention from their actual issues. Hence for responsibility it is very simple to find the answer.

Now coming to decide about actual command it is a fact that in this world, working like a village, different areas of commands have emerged that can broadly be defined as of Military, Politicians, Judiciary, Civil Bureaucracy and Media and a tussle always goes on in between them that which area of command is in command of all commands. Pakistan is a classical example of this tussle for its 74 years where Pakistan’ military has ruled the country for more than half of its 72-year history.

Now with these areas of command we are witnessing some movements of change in power at the end of 2019. So 2020 would remain interesting to see.

 At a time when Pakistan is going through serious economic crisis, the tussle between these areas of command can create further political instability and even derail the government. After targeting politicians in the name of anti-corruption or accountability the attention is now towards judges media who are not in the good books of power corridors.

Earlier PTI government had moved a reference or a case against Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the Supreme Court and Sind High Court judge KK Agha to the Supreme Judicial Council, claiming that they have not declared their overseas properties in their tax returns. Interestingly, a reference can be filed by a private person but in this case it was filed by Pakistani President Arif Alvi, to show that the Khan government is carrying out its anti-corruption drive across the board.

In Qazi Isa reference one cannot forget first Quetta blast in August 2016, in which many prominent lawyers were killed. Justice Isa, who headed a commission to investigate the blast, gave his report on this, than we see a second case in form of Isa’s verdict on “Faizabad dharna,” a sit-in protest led by fundamentalist outfit called Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) in 2019. The comments and verdict of Qazi Isa have not been liked by the power circles.

Now after Qazi Isa case another matter has emerged in case of Chief Justice Khosa who has granted a six-month extension to the term of the country’s army head General Qamar Javed Bajwa, after initially blocking a three-year extension of his tenure. On this verdict PTI circles had started a campaign to malign CJ Asif Khosa who is due to retire on 20th December 2019.

The main problem of PTI government is not these problems but virtually the economy that is in shamble. The public is reeling under a day-to-day survival struggle because of a sharp hike in prices of essential commodities; the IMF bailout program will further aggravate these miseries. Economist Hafeez Pasha predicts that actual inflation of Pakistan has gone up to 15% and can touch 20% in near future. He says that In 2019, 70 lacs to one Crore population has further gone under poverty line making total people under poverty line around 8 to 9 Crore. Thus people under poverty line around 30% of population before 2019 would now inch up to 40% of population. This is alarming that instead of decline of deficits Government has not been able to correct the economy in favor of its people. Hence In such a time, Pakistan hardly needs any other crisis.

On the other hand the list of “advisers,” has created a serious rift in the PTI. As of now, out of 48 ministers and advisers, only five belong to Imran’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The accountability or anti-corruption drive has also brought Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari and now Moulana Fazlur Rehman (who always acts on some hidden agenda) together and they are not allowing parliament to function.

Another group that is under attack is media. Some years back Jang group was on target but now Dawn group is under attack. This is happening when with hike of social media, print and electronic media are in decline, thousands of journalists have been made jobless and the rest are suffering due to cut in their salaries. This is a tough time for media.

So when actual Command of all commands is going to take its actual place. The actual command in simple words is the Parliament but for that fair and free elections are required. Secondly Local Bodies system needs to come in place with their true role with backing of their financial requirements. Through these local Bodies Pakistan can get leadership from the middle class or less than middle class people.

But till such formalities do not materialize than what is required. In fact free information and social media has now made everything accessible to the knowledge of every one and this creates pressure on all commands whether they like it or not. This is the inevitable future for all whether it may be a country like Pakistan or USA or UK or China.

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