Resisting temptation

'I can resist anything but temptation', said Lord Byron, British romantic poet of the nineteenth century. Extremely handsome Byron was congenitally clubfooted. To limp like Byron was a fashion in London of his time. Z.A Bhutto, while he was Prime Minister could not resist the temptation to transgress, gave a political mandate to ISI. Had Bhutto been able to resist, the ISI, a vital organ of Pakistan defence, was saved of much controversy it has faced within and among the vested interests abroad. American media are the sole carriers of venomous charges against ISI. But all such American press reports are unsourced and simultaneously admit that they have no substantial evidence. The fact of the matter is that America cannot resist the temptation of finding a scapegoat for its utter failure in Afghanistan. The ISI is an easy object to put blame on, to pacify American citizens who suffer the unbearable brunt of Bush's misadventures. Succumbing to temptation to 'jiayalise' every office whether of party or of public at large is still a weakness of Bhuttoites, though at present controlled remotely by Baloch blood. A highly neutral, purely professional and quite competent civil service is the lifeline of parliamentary democracy. Z.A. Bhutto sounded death knell to this lifeline by ending constitutional guarantees in respect of its security of service. This tamed the administrative service and ended intellectual inputs in the decision making process. According to a press report names of thoroughbred politicians like Nayyar Bukhari and Fouzia Habib are being considered to head Federal Directorate of Education. Education has much wider connotations than learning a few facts and fiction. It should aim at building impeccable (faultless, extremely exemplary and not liable to be biased or partisan) moral character. Education was extremely abused on American dictation under the garb of enlightened moderation in the past. The US Secretary of Education had been mandated by the Congress to report after every ninety days to what extent educational system in Pakistan had been impaired to American liking. The nation can no longer afford the luxury of leaving education loose-ended. The majority ruling party in a democracy does have the privilege of steering national policies including education. But the process does need non-partisan inputs by educationists and competent bureaucrats at the Directorate and Secretariat levels. Judiciary is another important state pillar on which PPP's 'jiyalism' had blurred its vision not only now but in the past as well. Benazir Bhutto once, while she was prime minister, had wished to elevate a 'Jiyala' Jahangir Badar as Chief Justice of Pakistan. Zardari party has had taken divergent stances on the issue of reinstatement of judges of superior courts illegally deposed by Musharraf in a mini martial law. It assumed the responsibility of restoration of judiciary to pre-Nov 3 position within thirty days in Bhurban declaration. The modus operandi agreed between Zardari and Nawaz Sharif in this behalf was a resolution to be adopted by the National Assembly to be followed by an executive order. Subsequently it dawned on Zardari that an executive order might not suffice to undo the mischief made by Musharraf. Asif Ali Zardari declared that the Bhurban declaration signed by him in the glare of TV cameras was a political statement carrying no sanctity as Hadith of the Holy Prophet (SAW) bore. He got an 85-point constitutional package prepared for the purpose. Nobody, however, took the so-called constitutional package seriously. This was sent to other coalition partners. None of them cared to look at it, not to speak of sending back their comments or recommendations. The common man's mind is quite clear. On November 2, 2007 the constitution was holding the field. The Chief of Army Staff, a government functionary under the Constitution, had no locus standi to impose emergency and send home the judges he did not like or who refused to take oath-bearing allegiance to his personal whims.  Pervez Musharraf's position is precarious as far as common man is concerned. For him he was reneged on his oaths and public stances as many times as cannot be counted. For him Musharraf is illegally and unconstitutionally holding the office of President. Musharraf's stubbornness to stick to that office is further compromising his position. His credentials and credibility have zeroed. For the common man Asif Ali Zardari and Pervez Musharraf sail in similar boats. According to a press report his Law Minister Farooq H Naek got a summary approved by Pervez Musharraf reinstating eight deposed judges of the Sindh High Court. The common man cannot resist the temptation to ask if eight handpicked judges can be restored through an executive order why their peers cannot. The judges in question are reported to have had accepted the government offer to make fresh oath. Earlier, they had been refusing fearing isolation from their community. The common man has the satisfaction that every person that matters in public affairs is being exposed whether he can resist the temptation or not. After prolonged hesitation the ruling coalition partners have announced their decision to impeach Pervez Musharraf. This is in consonance with the will of majority of people of Pakistan. If the will of the people partially prevails, even after sixty years of freedom won by them through a democratic struggle, this is no small success to mark the 61st Independence Day.

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