Thursday, February 7, 2008

Inspirational Meeting with Justice (R) Wajeehuddin

Yesterday some of us had the honour of meeting Justice (Retd) Wajeehuddin, fondly known as the Real President of Pakistan, at Hamid Zaman's home. We thank Mustafa Ramday - Justice Khalil Ramday's son - for arranging the meeting.
For the benefit of all, I would like to recap some of his comments:

1. The movement for the restoration of the judiciary is historic, and *will* succeed.
2. Contrary to what a certain thug has been saying, it will *not* require two-thirds majority in both houses for his actions to be undone. They can be reversed by executive order backed up by even a simple majority in parliament.
3. After the elections, the lawyer's movement will give a certain deadline (backed up by civil society) for the new parliament to reverse the unconstitutional orders passed by musharraf. if need be, the entire nation will be asked, at a predetermined date and time, to come out of their houses, offices and factories briefly to show their unity and solidarity with the movement.
4. If the incoming government fails to restore the judiciary within the proposed time period, we will start a peaceful movement for civil disobedience.
5. At no time, not for a moment, must we allow for another dictator to come and replace the current one. Pervez Musharraf is a symptom of the disease - he is not the disease itself. The disease has been the army's string of forays into governance, administration and politics, directly through military coups and indirectly through behind-the-scenes manipulation of political governments through the ISI.
6. This disease has to be eliminated. If today Kyani is asking for army personnel to not meet politicians - he is only doing his job. Do we commend or put on a pedestal every Pakistani for doing what they are supposed to do anyway? Do not give any army chief the room to feel he is anything more than a servant of the state, as the Founder of our Nation told a complaining colonel once.
7. He also urged members of civil society, to look for amongst themselves, people who possess the qualities of sincerity, selflessness, competence, and above all, compassion for the common man, who could become candidates for the future from different political parties. The political process has never been allowed to mature in Pakistan- and the corruption we see in the political arena is also another symptom of the disease - but we must not give up on this process, nor lose sight of the disease behind these symptoms.

Finally, it is important for all of us in civil society to remember and be prepared for the fact that the the restoration of the judiciary is a key facet (but not the sole one) of our fight for the institution of civil rights, freedom, democracy and rule of law. Our battle will be a long and drawn-out one, and we must not lose energy, nor hope, nor focus.

In Continuing Solidarity,

Concerned Citizens of Pakistan (CCP)

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