Justice behind the bars
Where else does it happen that even judiciary is not spared
IRONY BY DR. MIRZA ASHRAF BEG
This subcontinent has a unique political history. Despite the fact history repeats itself we refuse to take a lesson even when it is at the cost of others. Only a couple of years back General Musharaf, the most powerful general of military Junta in Pakistan invited trouble from judiciary and bar in Pakistan. That perhaps may be the reason for him to enjoy a refugee status in London these days! An intelligent and smart General banked on US support hardly realizing people’s support back home was more important. Discretion is better part of the valor and a godfather can never be a substitute for a biological father. Thus US left his strongest ally in lurch for others to take a lesson and today Mr.Zardari is projected as the greatest champion of democracy in Pakistan. We also need to learn politics enjoys strange bedfellows! Similarly Mrs. Indra Gandhi’s tenure of emergency was a nightmare in India for which she too had to face the wrath of the judiciary when her election to the parliament was declared null and void by a high court judge in Alahbad.
We are taught democracy is a three tier system of governance. The administration, the parliament and on top of all this, we have the judiciary. These three constituents of democracy are interconnected in such a way that if disturbed there is chaos and confusion in the country. That is what we are seeing in J&K today. Memories of Zero Tolerance are still fresh with us despite fifty five innocents fell to the bullets of Indian security forces since these commitments were made. We are seeing our teenagers being shot at a point blank range. One wonders weather it is political hypocrisy or a communication gap between an elected government and its law enforcing security forces? So much so when the elected members of the government are asking for withdrawal of draconian laws the members of security forces have the cheek to brow beat them in support of AFSA pronouncing it as a bible for the men in uniform thereby pleading for a free license for fake encounters. Under the circumstances it will be unrealistic to blame Pakistan a country that is itself in a mess for importing unrest in the state. Some are branding the mysterious stone pelters as paid agents forgetting that stone has been used as a deterrent from the Stone Age. It also will be absurd to accuse other political organizations of destabilizing the government when it is clear that the situation thus brewing up is by no means going to restore them the authority they have lost. And yes counting the scores is all the more absurd.
As mentioned, the supreme authority in a democratic system is the judiciary-- when you allow it to function independently. The judiciary has its own constituents such as the judges, the lawyers and human rights organizations. Again these constituents of an independent judiciary system are interdependent on each other. Hence if one of these components of this supreme institution is disturbed for whatever reasons the establishment falls like a pack of cards and that is the greatest tragedy of a nation. The unwarranted arrests of the members of the bar, its President and Secretary at High Court Srinagar have dismantled the remnants of democracy like twin towers of New York with no signs of a hope of recovery. It seems the confused system of governance is not satisfied only by putting the judiciary behind the bars and hence is planing to lay its icy hands on our healthcare too. Penalizing some medicos from SMHS hospital for concocted subversive activities will be another example of exercising authority. We need to understand our educational institutions, universities or hospitals etc; are a part of our society. So they are bound to feel the pain of the society-- their reaction to pain stimulus is but natural. At the same time we also need to recollect that the administration has never reacted with such a callous approach to similar agitations in Jammu during the Amarnath land row that resulted in a communal divide in 2008.
Though it is already late yet before it is too late the governments in New Delhi and Srinagar need to have an introspection. The way they are dealing with the present turbulence needs to be revisited. Kashmir is a political problem hence needs a solution accordingly. Let us not confuse it once again with Bijli, Sadak, Pani. The hype of mysterious secret diplomacy or secret dialogue that has led to the present scenario has lost its flavor despite the fact that People of Kashmir are sick of curfews hartals and strikes. People are conscious of the recurring economic losses and a setback to the educational interests. We also are pained when our young men are shot at. So Kashmir too is in search of peace---peace with dignity and honor—peace with a permanent solution. Solutions to the problems have never come through the barrel of a gun neither has there been a solution in suicidal attacks in reciprocity. A dialogue with a firm commitment in the background of Kashmir history on a round table where every participant has an equal status is the only way out. We need to understand such goals are never achieved by sending justice behind the bars or by hanging the civil society on the gallows. Kashmir as we know is a sensitive place with India, Pakistan, Russia and China all the four nuclear powers as its close neighbors. That is why UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon has made repeated appeals to start a composite dialogue lest we unwittingly plunge in to a disastrous nuclear catastrophe. At this crucial juncture Kashmir needs a matured and a united leadership with a great foresight and a clear vision. That is why on way to a permanent solution through a people’s verdict, the peers of politics had thought of a special status as a makeshift phase to this special place paradoxically called the paradise on earth.
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Lastupdate on : Sat, 14 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 14 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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