Press Gallery: First Military, then a Mullah and finally Attiqa Odho
First Military, then a Mullah and finally the Odho
Islamabad: If national assembly was echoing with military bashing and verbal brawl was on in senate over a Mullah, budget and its ramifications for the common man remained very low on agenda of parliamentarians except of course the MQM stalwart Dr Sattar.
Such was the interest of our senior parliamentarians, the custodians of the Upper House in budget that they spent maximum time fighting each other out on the floor to ensure that Maulana Ghafoor Haideri’s nomination for the Opposition leader be revoked to let the Dollar-Dar assume the office. But neither from Opposition benches nor from the treasury anyone deemed it necessary to join the lonely Senator Ahmed Ali in the committee room where he was sitting to discuss 192 proposals for the federal budget.
Following the usual bursts from Khawaja Asif against Military in the lower house, speech from Dr. Farooq Sattar could invariably be considered as a budgetary one because at least he talked sense and asked the government to come out of geo-strategic thinking to develop a geo-economic approach for the country. Laced with lots of figure work, which shows that at least someone (other than Dr Hafeez and his imported team) has given some heed to the books and has tried to show some way out of the miserable financial crunch? How much heed his proposals will get? Well your guess might be as good as mine because what Sattar was talking about is certainly beyond the TORs of Dr Hafeez Shaikh while Premier has many other important projects (including the return of Qadir Gilani from forced leave to London) to handle, therefore, keep guessing.
Many of the issues raised by Khawaja Asif (Noon Leaguer) have become so mundane that it hardly matters that how hard you hit at the thick skin of the military, therefore wouldn’t it be better that instead of stating the obvious blunders of the army in recent past, Noon League should come out with some workable plan to ascertain that how and what should be the defense allocations should be and how to develop a mechanism for keeping a check on its spending? It’s not a matter of favouring ruling party against the down and almost out Opposition party but it’s a matter of concern that after knowing the crude reality that they are up against three-some challenge in the forthcoming elections in their home province of Punjab, they have started a trigger-happy approach towards national institutions and that too without giving any solutions.
But what remained hilariously interesting was the scene in the committee room where Senator Ahmed Ali, the chairman of the standing committee of Senate for Finance and Revenue was sitting with some officials of the parliament to discuss almost 200 proposals submitted by various parties with regard to recently presented federal budget. After he had played with the documents shuffling and his cell phone and all possible gadgets attached to his petite attire, he found out that neither anyone from treasury side nor from opposition side has taken the pain to walk in for even a customary meet and greet session (and claim the huge amounts of TA/DA for this). The meeting had to be postponed by a lonely and dejected Ahmed Ali. Later we found out that opposition parties have boycotted the standing committees but what about members of the committee belonging to treasury benches, there was no one to answer that because everyone these days are busy ensuring that premier allocates some portion of the development budget to his/her constituency and that’s why from speaker of the House to ministers and even from presidency are calling on him to have some share of the pie before the next elections.
Meanwhile, Chief of Black Robes was left with no option but use his magic wand of suo-mottos to reign-in one of the close hubbies of his nemesis (Gen. Musharraf) for carrying only two bottles of banned substance through Islamabad airport. An eyewitness, who had to handle the angry actress-cum-TV anchor-cum political activist-cum-a supply chain owner at the airport security counter, however, revealed to this scribe that she was not carrying two but 20 bottles of super deluxe and deluxe sort of specially canned beverages in her baggage when she arrived at the airport terminal to board PK 301 bound for Karachi. Since these details were captured on not one but at least ten different CCTV cameras planted on the spot by various agencies like FIA, Customs or FBR, PIA, CAA, ANF, etc. therefore, the embarrassed rather harassed employee of PIA along with certain FIA officials disclosed that everything is on tape.
But since the furious actress, amidst swearing, shrieking and threatening the staff for daring to stop her, kept ringing various friends (both uniformed ones and off duty ones), therefore, the staff had to cut down the number of bottles from twenty to two and let her go without even registering a case under Hudood ordinance. Though fate of the rest of 18 bottles is not known still but most chances are that she managed to get hold of them and now she certainly will be paying the price for not carrying the bottles but for carrying the burden of Musharraf’s party. Otherwise, the common saying amongst the movement lawyers and now even non movement ones remains that Chief uses this discretion only for a certain media group whose many assets are held on stay for years or on issues which somehow get linked up with Mushy times or with the serving President. They seem to have a point here because be it the salary issue of journalists, their wage board award (rather it was his honourable office which issued a stay order against its implementation some years back), killing of journalists or many other major happenings like suicide of journalists and even the OBL issue, his desk remains still.
But since these are trivial issues as compared to more financially viable issues, therefore, let’s see how much of court’s time and resources of the summoned bureaucracy (all these secretaries charge hefty TA/DA for appearing there and for stopping the work on various files) will be spent on actress and whether it too will end up with a decision or will be used just for a catharsis. It’s the lesson we have learned so far in Swiss, 18th amendment and many other cases of graft and craft where nothing but screeching slogans remained the output. But here is one stark contrast which one of the senior lawyer who is minting money from these corridors for over half a century now mentioned that just like our successive prime ministers (you can include Mian sahib, Shoukat Aziz and Mr. Gilani in this list just to keep it brief and relevant), our Chief of Black Robes has lately developed a habit of bringing some fresh scents to the otherwise dreary corridors of justice just to keep them as freshening as PM House has remained throughout the tenures of the above mentioned premiers. First we used to see model-actress Sofia Mirza sitting on the benches from start till the end of the day for almost a year to get recovery of her children and very recently we have seen subtle directions to keep Sassi Palejo and Shazia Murree affixed on the front rows throughout the retrial of Bhutto’s murder case. Lets rejoice that at least they have more than one things in common, said the seasoned law guru adding that, and hope that the chief continue to keep meaningful distance from the deeds of our (especially the ones mentioned above) premiers. Perhaps looking at this pattern, a Que Leaguer admitted that we have to ask our women wing begums to occupy the front rows in the court during the hearing of NICL case where Moonis Elahi is being tried for graft charges. Does it indicate anything, I hope not but as any politicians would have said I would say that people are the best judge and leave it to your good judgment.
Tags: Military , Mullah , Attiqa Odho , Actress , Chief
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.