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Democratic Norms

01 April, 2008

By Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)


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Musharraf has been too often castigated for being a dictator, imposing a one-man rule and acting beyond the constitutional authority, by the black coats, the politicians and the media. Therefore, with the change to the democratic rule one naturally expects the new rulers to govern strictly in accordance with the rules of the business and law of the land. Or, else the people not finding any change in the practices heretofore will not only be disillusioned but also soon disappointed. The new rulers, probably in their euphoric flurry for the victory, have overlooked and trespassed on a few occasions which they must guard against in future. These were:

1. On being elected the leader of the house – Mr. Yusaf Raza Gilani (YRG) said that the first thing he would order would be the release of the judges. He had very correctly used the words ‘would order’- as he could not order it there and then on the floor of the house in any capacity unless he had been sworn as the PM of the country which was two to three days away. However, the Jialas, understandably ignorant of the law but surprisingly the Black Coats led by Aitezaz Ahsan , supposed to be the most knowledgeable in such legal matters, interpreted the ‘would order’ to ‘have been ordered’ and took the law in their own hands to ‘free’ the ex-CJP. The same evening Mohtarma Tehmina Daultana, in her characteristic vigorous manner was seen on a private TV channel asserting further that the CJP was not only free but would also sit in his chamber the next morning to hold his court there. Tehmina was obviously ignorant of the legalities involved and proven wrong. The point is, when the CJP had suffered incarceration of five and half months another two or three days would have not mattered much for the proper legal course of action to take place. Freeing’ the CJP in such a manner was a trespassing on the part of some one.
2. On 24th evening Mr. YRG used an official chartered aircraft to make a dash to Karachi for the wedding of his son there and return to Islamabad the next day. Naturally there must be quite a few others too on the free joyride. In what capacity did he use the official aircraft before becaming the PM of the country? Who authorised him and others with him to do so? Can the democratically elected leaders squander the tax payers money on their such private trips? It was again a trespassing and transgression of authority – an authority which was ironically not even as yet bestowed upon him/them.
3. The way the MNA elect Jialas, the august invitees in the visitors’ galleries and the media men jeered and booed during the proceedings of the very first inaugural session of the national assembly – much to the apparent helplessness of the Honourable Speaker - leaves much to be desired from them Let the new political culture of compromise and co-operation for the betterment of the country promised by the political parties and their leaders be visible and seen during the proceedings of the assemblies. It wasn’t there on the 24th and the dignity of the house was missing. It was a case of transgression of belittling the authority of the Honourable Speaker.
The nation wants democracy to flourish in the country with dignity. The nation wants the Rule of Law. It is now for the leaders to nurture it properly with decorum and grace. Let it not be said that we did not prove equal to the task.

Reader Comments:

GOOD OBSERVATION COLONAL

Nice article and thanks for not Bashing India as a routine which is very sickening without facts.

Arshad Ali, Pakistan - 01 April, 2008

Keep it up

Dear Sir,
I adore your observation.
It is true that new Kings and Queens must not forget that whole country did not vote for them and they have just won seats from the most undemocratic rural Sindh, which in it self is a open example of undemocratic norms of our pouplar party.

Siddique, Pakistan - 01 April, 2008

Democratically elected PM misusing public funds

Yet another great article which entire nation must see with care and give their opinion and if possible start some kind of protests against the newly elected Prime Minister, YRG. All those who speak against President Musharraf that he is a dictator they fail to understand that he gave the democracy to Pakistan in a way that entire world has witnessed it, clean, fair and transparent. The guests who were in the gallery to watch and listen to the speaker were out of their senses and hooting the President GO MUSHARRAF GO AND NOT LISTENING THE ORDERS OF THE MEDAME SPEAKER SHOW HOW RESPECTFUL THEY ARE INSIDE THE PARLIAMENT BUILDING WHEN THE HOUSE WAS IN SESSION.MNA elect Jialas AND Aitzaaz Ahsan a lawyer who is said to be a very wise man is out of his lines as well. Why the hell he should support an issue which is not an issue and courts are there to see all that. Media should play their role to show with the big HEADLINES IN THEIR PAPERS ABOUT THE CHARTERING OF AN AIRPLANE
FOR Prime Mininster's son's wedding and all those who accompanied him be asked who paid their fares and where the money came from. Most certainly its tax payers money and why PM should be allowed to make use of the funds on which he got no entitlement. Its a misuse of an authority and be summoned in the parliament and then in Courts to answer. By the look of it democratically elected leaders squander the tax payers money on their such private trips? It was again a trespassing and transgression of authority an authority which was ironically not even as yet bestowed upon him/them. PM got himself into a muddle already and Media being very active will highlight properly and will spread this news all over Pakistan and around the world. Let the people give their verdict on PM's case.

Mohammad, Pakistan - 01 April, 2008

Musharraf has been "castigated too often"?? He should be brought to trial and charged with every single crime he has committed - starting with sabotaging peace talks between two democratically elected governments with Kargill. And for the death of every single life lost in Kargill and later in his quest for personal glory.

Tauheed Ahmed, United Kingdom - 01 April, 2008

Musharraf should be castrated

Col Jafri need not be reminded that Gen Musharraf has been taking extra-constitutional and illegal step all along to keep himself in power. Ever since he thrust himself in power he has been supporting parties like PML-Q and ethnic terrorist party MQM.

Whatever happened in the aftermath of the famous words uttered by the PM is nothing in comparison to what MQM did on the May, 12th.

Bashir Solangi, United Arab Emirates - 02 April, 2008

Weaken Pak Secrurity yard scale

I do not believe that CIA insult about NWFT or Bush recruitment of East European for NATO to fight Afghan War to the finish
or Negroponti Visit to Pakistan and Pakistan Govt retracting from previous stand at Swiss Court amid lowering the status
of Pervez Musharraf at Pakistan Security related is justified.Nothing seem is befitting when foreign Military is winning working
with a new format just being installed.

ZB, Canada - 02 April, 2008

Keep it up

I do go along with the opinion of Mr. Siddique of Pakistan who appreciated the words and wisdom of the writer of this article. PPPP and PML N never had any elections within their parties. They fail to understand the meaning of democracy. They should start from their own parties first and perhaps after that they might be able to say much about a democratic system. No matter what people say about President Musharraf he gave more to Pakistan than anyone else so far. PUlling forces from Kargill was the fault of Nawaz Sharif who went to US and agreed with Clinton for pulling out troops. While pulling or withdrawing troops they were attacked by Indian Army and the losses were too much for Pakistan Army and that was not the fault of Gen. Musharraf at that time. How people forget that I don't know perhaps a short memory. We talk about the present sitution of Pakistan where elected PM has misued his authority and travelled on government expense chartering a flight for his son's wedding. This is a burning issue which should be highlighted by the Media in Pakistan. Voters should wake up and speak out on this very issue so that misuse of power/authority is checked.

Mohammad, United Arab Emirates - 03 April, 2008

in the name of Democrary

COAS gave briefing to our Prime Minister, why was Nawaz Shrief and Mr. Asif Zardari were invited. They are not member of the NA nor CM of any province. Again, tis should have done with body "NSC" already in place. This seems like Kangroo gathering to make these people important.

mian Riaz, Pakistan - 04 April, 2008

let the democracy take shape

This is true that every body must be accountable but the high security risk in country
Is big issue .Now the democratically elected government has been installed and a very
Unique coalition has been established. The politics of forgive and forget is taking shape and very new political culture is developing. I think there is no harm if the P.M
Uses official protocol for a private ceremony. The PM is human being having lot of personal and family affiliations. The marriage ceremony of son is unavoidable occasion in the life and I think it happened due to security risk. It is clear from the news that so many previous ministers like Aftab Sherpow and other even retired police officers are using full protocol and protection. The country is not in position to pay such expenses but again the reason is security. I think it is too early to judge the performance of jialas . Let the democracy take its shape and be hopeful for positive changes in personal and official activities of the new rulers.


ABID ALI SHAH, Ukraine - 05 April, 2008

Poor thinking

I have gone through the writers version. Some how, he managed to get some negative points to talk of the elected PM of Pakistan. By the way who is Musharaf? How many standing rules he has flouted to remain in power! How many constitution rules he chnaged to suit his interest? He has done mockery of all the established norms of the country where leaders never lacked any good ideas. This is a country which has produced top notch scientist, engineers and doctors, only to be squandered by Khakis, and you colonel included. Does he deserve to be still clinching in the post of highest constitutional authority as a President of the country, as a limpet? Does this colonel know how much tax payer's money he has wasted during his tenure? And why he should not be declared as War criminal after Kargill fiasco? Dear writer should see what is written in the wall, instead of living in a make believe world of old pakistan where khakis ruled everything.

P.K.SHOME, Hungary - 07 April, 2008

Re: in name of democracy!

Mian Riaz is correct why were
two non members at the moot.
We are indulged in politics of Idol worship? should we not shed this cloak of dual
worship and change our myopic
vision.

Khalid Rahim, Canada - 09 April, 2008

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