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جمعرات، 9 اگست، 2012

Premier Raja in the dock over contempt of court

The Supreme Court on Wednesday summoned Premier Raja Pervez Ashraf to appear before it on August 27 to face possible contempt charges for failing to revive NRO case against President Asif Ali Zardari a move that could lead to his disqualification like his predecessor Yousuf Raza Gilani. 

 One thought that the Himalayan obstruction of the Swiss letter may perhaps be surmounted at long last and a way out of the impasse be found. But that has proved a vain hope. The Supreme Court had earlier asked Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to write the letter until August 8 to the Swiss authorities to reopen the graft case against President Asif Zardari. For his failure to do so, it has now issued a contempt of court show cause notice to the prime minister and summoned him on August 27 to respond to the notice. And the people’s earnest hopes for a return of a measure of normality to the statecraft for their multiplying tribulations to be addressed now also lie dashed to the ground.

Their dismay on this score has escalated to new highs for some disconcerting signs on the horizon. For the first thing, it appears that the PPP this time round is rather in a defiant mood and may not take the court order the way it did in the case of Yousuf Raza Gilani, the incumbent prime minister’s immediate predecessor. If indeed federal information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira has been quoted correctly, it is still to be decided if at all the prime minister would appear before the apex court. “Ultimate decision will be taken in consultation with law experts”, he reportedly told the media in Islamabad. The signs are decidedly sombre for the inter-institutional relationships and harmony.

And for the citizens, a prime minister under the clouds could only be the worst thing to happen. Such a retarded incumbency, enmeshed in court battles, would carry much less weight with a bureaucratic leviathan that needs to be pushed forcefully to tackle the people’s nagging problems adequately and to an extent effectively. And those problems, for the present, are manifold and all very gigantic. It is not just a sagging national economy that has pushed the citizenry into an economic impoverishment it had never ever experienced before in its lifetime. Unprecedented security concerns have made its life just unlivable. On top of it, the alien threats to its national security, sovereignty and integrity are growing menacingly vicious with the day.

To cope with this unenviable predicament, the unlucky citizenry needs a leadership at the top that is assured of itself. But a leadership entangled in court battles couldn’t be such one. It will be all the time on the watch of its own back, having no or very little time for the citizenry. Still, one fervently hopes for a miracle to get out of the impasse the citizenry has been caught up in for no fault of its own. Already, for this impasse the statecraft in the country has become a big joke. And if the heads of the country’s chief executives start rolling, this country will become a butt of jokes internationally as well. None will come out of it with flying colours. All will be held to public disdain and pillory.

Wisdom and sagacity should hence prevail all around. And a way out of the imbroglio should still be found out. Confrontation of any sort must be eschewed religiously, as this may ultimately hurt the nation irreparably.

 The Frontier Post,

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