ISLAMABAD: As the budget debate resumed in both the Houses on Monday amidst all political and security chaos surrounding this nation, foreign visitors, meeting between the troika and of course Supreme Court continued to play on the minds of the parliamentarians.
With the usual show of Nawaz league on the budget and their walk-out from the house coupled with the enraged PPP senior from Balochistan staging walk-out against his own party’s budget, there was hardly anything which was noteworthy throughout the evening.
However, intermittent backdoor parleys with the visitors from US and the state of Khaki’s mind-set after a nerve-wrecking month of May and their future course of action with regard to Afghanistan and US continue to attract much more attention than the budget itself. Knowing that after a mandatory couple of weeks’ debate when everyone would have vented out their anger, budget would ultimately be passed with Que and MQM on the government side; therefore, neither the opposition nor the government was bothered about it.
What certainly is bothering every thinking parliamentarian, though there are very few of them but yes they are there, was the post-budget scenario and the next move of the Pakistan Army in the wake of mounting pressure to start an operation against their declared strategic assets in North Waziristan. Recent in the run-up to persuade our Khakis, of course, not without consoling with them for OBL and Mehran Base incidents, was Karzai who came to do a follow-up on Senator Kerry, Secretary Clinton and numerous US military commanders seeking to show some tangible progress on the new demand against Haqqani network. As the steam generated by these dignitaries continues to choke the thinking chambers of our establishment, troika of the country sat for yet another round of talks to gauge the temperatures of each other—perhaps to report to their respective masters which eventually will be made public by Wikileaks—regarding the new set of demands streaming in from US, Afghanistan and even NATO.
As a senior bureaucrat-turned-politician from KP remarked while discussing all these developments that after playing victim and oppressed, the troika has to think of some action in near future just to avoid any other commotion coming their way. He said that though Maulana Fazalur Rehman and Company will continue to sell the fear to the establishment and the rest that going into North Waziristan might have negative consequences but eventually the army has to weigh the options because they are under tremendous pressure to deliver or lose their hegemony (or may I call it relevance) not only on country’s politics but also in the region.
Going from geo-strategic to geo-political mode, this group of senior parliamentarians soon was discussing with utmost disgust the terror act of Rangers in Karachi. But as they discussed various aspects of this gruesome act, they soon started bashing the superior judiciary for being very choosy in picking up the cases of human rights violations.
As one of them mentioned that no one is against suo motu actions of the superior judiciary but it has to be done in consistent way. Practice of picking up easy targets or underdogs is neither beneficial for the society nor for the judges, one of them added while sipping his cold coffee. Unfortunately, just like Mian Sahib has failed to learn anything from his political as well as Khaki’s drilling, restored judiciary too is unable to differentiate between Gen Musharraf and the army as an institution, therefore whatever remotely is linked to Mushy is considered an agenda item by them and then no matter whether they have any liking for the issue or not they just go for it, was the next sentence from the lanky parliamentarian without any fear of being caught up in action by the watchful watchdogs of human rights cell of the Supreme Court.
Endorsing this point of view, another belonging to Seraiki belt just jumped into the arena to say that if our superior judiciary is so clear in their minds that Rangers should not have opened fire on the young boy no matter what he was involved in, then what were they doing when Late Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer was gunned down by an indoctrinated police guard and what happened to their conscience when many of them love to have some fabricated drink but still went after an actress for just holding a couple of bottles? Since things were really getting high, we decided to cool them down by ordering for this Tuman Sardar a glass of chilled (guess what)……..
As the discussion moved on, we were joined by a constitutional expert-turned-Senator, considered to be hailing from the few saner elements often seen prodding in the aisles of Senate. He proved quite handy for the rest of the group because he added real fuel to the fire by telling them that how human rights cell of the Supreme Court works.
A retired PCO judge, Justice (Retd) Saifur Rehman Khan, who was demoted by the chief Justice in 2009 as session judge for siding with Mushy during movement days is serving this cell in his capacity as acting director general. Whereas this cell, which has no budgetary allocations and neither any legal cover has an assistant sessions judge from KP as its director. Then more than a dozen internees including a daughter of the Chief is also part of this cell to carry out the monitoring of newspapers, TV channels and thousands of letters sent to Chief for action. Only selected letters, clippings and things then make their way to the chief for possible suo motu. Here the Seraiki Tuman just could hold himself to the chilled thing and without seeking any interruption into the narration just kicked in by saying that “and then only those gets picked up which matches the listed agenda items which were mentioned earlier,”
The constitutional expert just hoped that when Chief Justice might ask the government to bring in 20thamendment to correct the wrongs of the 18thamendment, he might also get the idea of making the HR Cell legal so that he can not only appoint anyone he wishes to the DG or Director’s office and pay them from legal accounts without referring to their expenses as miscellaneous ones.
But where came this issue of 20thamendment from asked one of us and the answer by the serene Senator was that whatever you may choose to call it either haste of Mr Raza Rabbani or sluggishness of Mr Gilani, someone has to bear it out and since this poor nation has paid for so many broken glasses then why not for a kind hearted Rabbani or busy Mr Gilani. On instance, his briefest brief before saying good bye was that all the bye-elections, including that of Senate and national or provincial assemblies held after the passage of 18thamendment could be turned ultra constitutional because under the amendment all elections in the country should have been held by a completed Election Commission and not only by the Election Commissioner. So here comes more work for Mr Rabbani.