It’s here to stay
Apropos the headline, “Democracy is here to stay: CJ” (Nov 11) we are reminded that “The superior judiciary had been taking difficult decisions and the parliament had purged the constitution of provisions inserted by dictators. The change has come.”
He calls it, “Momentous decisions taken by the Judiciary and the parliament over the past five years which had changed the country’s political landscape.”
On Monday (April 5) at roughly 1pm in the afternoon a loud explosion shook us from our complacency and reminded us that Peshawar was still in the war zone and that the TTP could still strike us at will.
Hardly five minutes had passed when a second, followed by a third and fourth explosion in succession rocked the most sensitive area of Peshawar – the Peshawar Cantonment.
Electric and telephone lines were hit and phones and mobile phones went dead. An eerie sense of helplessness prevailed when suddenly a deafening explosion that almost shook the earth below us and shattered every window pane in our house told us that we were in the eye of the storm. Four days down the road, totally oblivious of what had happened to us in Peshawar, DAWN headlined, “Politicians come of age, – NA unanimously adopts 18th Amendment – Parliament asserts supremacy – erasure of dictatorial vestiges from constitution approved.” Your lead editorial calls it, ‘historic.’
Yes, undoubtedly for those who wish to see the will of the people asserted this was a historic day. It reminds me of Dickens’ unforgettable lines, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.”
However, I admire DAWN’s sagacity in its editorial of that day (‘Historic’: April 9, 2010) wherein it highlights the shortcomings in this ‘Historic’ 18th Constitutional Amendment which today’s CJ calls ‘Momentous.’
A team of constitutional experts sat and drafted a 100 clause amendment of 280 articles to the constitution and surprisingly it never occurred to them what was Pakistan’s top-most priority. Their myopic tunnel vision of undoing Musharraf’s 17th Amendment blinded them to the fact that the ‘colonial status of FATA was not looked into.’
The nation is in the grip of a faceless and stateless enemy that bombs our civilian population from the Khyber to Karachi and yet the Parliament does not find it necessary to address this core issue that could very well destabilize the country.
Over 90 per cent of the Pukhtuns voted for Pakistan at the time of Partition and yet leader after leader in their short-sightedness continues to rule the tribal belt as if they were their colonial masters. A cousin of mine, a former ambassador to Afghanistan was kidnapped by the Taliban and kept incommunicado for 97 days in the heart of the Taliban land. He said, you won’t believe it but the people there are living in the Stone Age.
SARDAR AHMED SHAH JAN