Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Hussain Haqqani and the Courts of Pakistan

When I read the title of Hussain Haqqani’s latest musing on the sorry state of Pakistan, I knew what was coming. This would be “How Pakistan Lets Terrorism Fester” in the New York Times.

The Pakistan People’s Party and its “friends” in the media have become as predictable as target killing in Karachi. Neither look like stopping any time soon too. Correlation, anyone?

Anyway, the standard formula for PPP media management comprises of 3 steps:

1)Identify the audience. In this case, and in most, the United States.
2)Identify what they are most bothered about. Terrorism.
3)Now link it to whoever you are most annoyed with.

Over the last 4 years the formula has worked wonders for the PPP. Screaming that anyone who opposes them is definitely a terrorist sympathizer, the party has managed to curry favour from the US all along. Taliban Khan is by now a well established moniker while PML-N has also earlier been put in its place, remember “Maulvi Nawaz”?

The PPP appointed head of ISI of course became a stout promoter of terrorist outfits during the memo-gate days.

Now, as chief protagonist of PPP-US relations, Mr. Haqqani has noticed that the pesky judges at the Supreme Court are really overstepping their constitutional bounds and clearly have their priorities all wrong.

You see where I am going with this?

According to Hussain Haqqani, the courts are now the major hindrance in eradicating terrorism. The court has a “partisan” agenda, where it is “trying to dislodge the government by insisting on reopening cases of alleged corruption from the 1990s”.

Yes, the court does seem to have it in for this government. After all, the NRO law that closed those cases in the first place was NOT promulgated by a military dictator, nor did the SC show any opposition to it before the elections of 2008. It certainly wasn’t hearing a case against the NRO before Musharraf sent it packing with his second martial law.

So the bias against a democratic government is pretty clear.

Haqqani also tells us that “our courts should be focused on identifying, arresting and prosecuting the individuals who helped” Osama Bin Laden. Because after all, identifying, arresting and prosecuting people is the job of courts, while the PPP has formed a government to pass judgements, in between partying at the beach and trips to the barber shop.

That is not all however. If you were to bear with Mr. Former Ambassador a while longer, he will show you how terrorists in the country are routinely set free “by judges who overtly sympathize with their ideology”.

Now at this juncture I will like to point out that Mr. Haqqani is growing old and his mind is not as sharp as it once was. Memory loss? Perhaps. He has in the recent past misplaced cell phones when most important calls had to be made, never mind simply forgetting BB Pins in awkward situations.

As the man chronically forgets stuff, he wasn’t able to fully expose the wretched judiciary of our fine country. The judiciary is much viler than the fair ambassador has suggested.

What the ambassador, because of his rather frail mind, forgot to mention here was that the judiciary also “overtly sympathizes” with the ideology of target killers in Karachi, of separatists in Balochistan, of smugglers, bureaucrats and of high handed intelligence operatives all over the country. None of whom see many convictions.

In fact, the judiciary even supports the ideology of Asif Ali Zardari, whatever that maybe, as the President hasn’t been convicted in any of the cases against him, at least in this country. The Swiss judiciary, as we all know, is the birth place of terrorism.

Seeing the raw data, some might suggest that the judges don’t actually support someone that they acquit of charges. That in fact they might just not have enough evidence to convict. Some even might go as far as to conclude that the justice system in Pakistan is broken, that massive reforms are needed in the system; laws need to be strengthened and loopholes closed.

Still others might point out to Mr. Haqqani that in the last 4 years the government that he has so ably represented in the United States did not legislate for said purpose, and does not intended to do so in the future. Instead, it has brought a constitutional amendment aimed at controlling the Supreme Court, by changing the process of appointment of the judges.

So, does the PPP consider it more important to control who sits in the apex court rather than to strengthen laws so that terrorists could be better prosecuted?

I could now accuse the PPP of never really wanting to reform the justice system. I could say people like Hussain Haqqani were the last people who would want our problems to be fixed. His kind of people, who change loyalties and ideologies out of convenience, who proudly boast of representing the IJI when there are still cases pending against that movement; would they really want stronger courts?

I would however do no such thing, because Mr. Haqqani is only human, he errs like others and obviously, as I said before, his mind isn’t as sharp as it once was.

His heart though, however ill and keeping him from attending court proceedings, is in the right place. This I realized at the end of his piece, where he passionately ask the Pakistani media to “be more focused on asking why those deemed terrorists internationally are celebrated as heroes at home.”

You see this gives me hope, because I know when Mr. Haqqani’s mental condition stabilizes, he will surely ask his government why those deemed terrorists internationally are celebrated as coalition partners at home?

Let’s all pray the Alzheimer’s wears off soon.


  1. It's really awesome. I must say he hs lost it all at once. To most of educated pakistanis, he doesn't matter anymore. Shame on him and congrats to the writer of this piece.

  2. Zardari and Haqqani have Dementia, Wajid Shams has heart problems. They are happy to run presidency to embassies but become patients when get caught in any of the corruption cases.