Lost credibility

Events since the last week of February have boldly demonstrated that sadly for the majority of the people in the country there is now an utter loss of trust in PPP's co-chairman as a politician and as president. Constitutionally, politically as well as in his wideranging policy announcements and priorities, there is no coherence or a nationalist emphasis. Article 41 clearly provides that the president would be the representative of the unity of the federation. This clearly implies that he is: i). Non-political in office thus being the perceived nominee of all political factions of the country, but ii) also that he does support the federal principle. But most regrettably he openly made it known that he is still the head of the PPP as a political party in which capacity he has convened its formal meetings and gone about his role as such merrily without any hesitation. Indeed, he has violated the time honoured fundamental rule of Conventions, which in Pakistan's case is constitutionally binding that it is the Prime Minister who runs the affairs of governance and not the President. The recent political and societal mess in which Pakistan found itself was the consequence of the conscious expansion of the ambitions of the President. In doing so it seemed he was not even bothered by compromising the security of the nation. The coming to light of the attacks of drones from the national territory of Pakistan through a press briefing by Senator Feinstein had established the fact that not only the President never told the whole story accurately to nation and the people of the country. The spree of almost daily bombings and explosions resulting in innumerable deaths in Pakistan is giving any one with any sense of realism the creeps The final witting on this continuing saga of national calamity for Pakistan is the attack on the Sri Lanka cricketers in the heart of Lahore. It proves that despite forewarnings, the Governor of Punjab who was hand picked by Zardari and Musharraf to fight their political battles in the country's largest State, instead of looking after the safety of these national guests of Pakistan, was busy changing the entirety of police forces in the province to make sure that he thereby acquires for Zardari the province and its members of the Assembly; he was also thereby ensuring that lawyers long March now approaching is given proper reception by his new police force structure and officers. It is only in this background can one understand the lack of confidence in any person living in this country. This is in reality the gross uncertainty of the alarming situation now prevalent in the country. With Swat and frontier regions still in the grip of hostilities even if somewhat subdued since the agreement with local commanders of insurgency, we are in for the long haul of unpredictable events. With the assault on the Punjab by the Federal authorities, the awareness of tension and danger is becoming really too alarming. I only hope we are not witnessing an evolutionary collapse of the infrastructure of a nation which won its place in history after monumental struggles in the last century. The writer is a barrister-at-law (UK), attorney-at-law (US), and professor at Harvard University

The writer is barrister at law (US and UK), senior advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and professor at Harvard University.


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