Bane haiñ ahl-e-havas mudda.ī bhī munsif bhī

kise vakīl kareñ kis se munsifī chāheñ’- Faiz

(The greed stricken are the plaintiff and the judges too

Who shall we engage as counsel and to whom shall we plead innocence)

The word ‘munsif’ means a judge. But here, this day, I do not use this verse by Faiz to lash out at the judiciary. Here, this day, by the word ‘munsif’ I intend to symbolise those in power, those who hold the state machinery hostage; and that state machinery too, is enshrined within my usage of the word ‘munsif,’ that has since long developed Stockholm syndrome for its captive.

We, the citizens of the Abducted State, have always been conscious of the abduction. Yet, we have comfortably ignored the abduction. We are the children pushed into this world by the Abductee. While playing in the play ground, we have on several occasions, seen the shackle bounden ankle of the Abductee mother. Often, the shackle is a hindrance when we roll marbles across the play ground. And often, while joyfully running after our pet dog, we have stumbled over the ugly shackles and scraped and bruised our knees. Yet, we have learned to self soothe; and that too as individuals, not collectively as those who are sharing the same fate. So, today again, as I aimlessly rolled a marble across the playground, my marble made a distinct ‘clink’ as it hit the shackle and stopped. The ‘clink’ generated a feeble wisp of thought in my mind. And this the story of that thought. 

I do not know to whom I shall address this. All I know is that, this has to be said. And by golly, say it I will! The thought and its story are shorter than the introduction. It is not even a story; it is a description of that wisp of thought. I am not a good story teller. So, do not get your hopes too high. It is not a fairy tale, it does not have a happy ending (if any at all); it may however have an evil king- that is for you to decide.

Let me assume that, we are all aware of the accusations made by the JIT on how the state institutions are being used to pin down the JIT and render it harmless. Even if we are not aware, we all always had the inkling that this will happen. Lo and behold, it has happened. Allegations were expected and are not the startling part at all. The IB strong arming the JIT members; the SECP tampering records; and the good old NAB, fearing it will lag behind, has tried pressurising its employee sitting in the JIT. It is all there, everything has been thrown into the mix. The Abducted State’s institutions are a lot like the select Italian herbs I keep in my kitchen cupboard - I throw them into everything I cook to just get the satisfaction.

By the way, did I say the story is a horror story? Not a very good horror story though. A lot like those that are written for Bollywood where there is no surprise element and you only watch to laugh at the failure of the product. (This last bit reminds me of Sahir Lodhi more than anything else).

Let us skip to the relevant part. Let us also accept that the Abducted State’s institutions are actually involved in brow beating the JIT into subservience. The JIT has gone to the Supreme Court and laid bare its grievance before it. Let us also assume, the Supreme Court will consider the allegations to be something very toxic for the health of the Abducted State. In fact, they may, and in my opinion they should, declare it as State tyranny. What happens next? The Supreme Court, unfortunately, does not have the keys to unshackle the Abducted State. The Supreme Court can only order enforcement; it cannot hold the enforcers by their ears and make them enforce the orders. The Supreme Court has no executive wing that can execute its orders. Sadly enough, the Supreme Court does not even have a military wing like some of our political parties. And even more sadly, the Supreme Court is not military. (I wanted to add a cute sad emoticon here, but I will refrain).

This is where the scary thought comes in. To whom will the Supreme Court look for implementation of its order to protect the JIT members? Clearly, the law enforcing agencies are the ones against whom the JIT members need protection! We all remember the episode where the NAB chairman obstinately kept getting rebuked and reprimanded by the Supreme Court, and yet refused to resign. Agreed that, the Supreme Court in that instance did not out-rightly ask the chairman to hand in his resignation, but the episode is sufficient to show us the attitudes of the investigating/enforcement agencies.

One of these days, the Supreme Court will order something and one of the Abducted State’s institutions will straight up say, ‘asan nai karday!’ (‘We won’t do it!’) I think this is where the critics will go bananas and bring out big words like ‘Constitutional deadlock’ or something similar. For it is these big words, which I do not even comprehend, that tell you that something has gone horribly wrong. Would such a brazen reply by any and/or all the State Institutions expose their Stockholm syndrome? Would we finally accept the syndrome? And would we then consider the syndrome an illness? Or would we brush it under the mat which says ‘status quo’ on top? The JIT’s allegations make one thing clear that, it is not a small group of individuals which help maintains the State Tyranny, in fact it is institutional. Whole institutions are involved in arm twisting and leveraging the interests of a few individuals through the institutional might.

Now, allow me to strike horror deep into your hearts. The sovereignty belongs to the people. I do not use the word ‘ultimate’ as a qualifier to sovereignty, for that belongs to Allah Almighty. But, after that, the constitution gains its strength from the will of the people. The people accept the constitution, therefore it exists. The natural progression of this line of reasoning is that, the Supreme Court, when all has gone down south, will look towards us- the people. Although we do not have a judiciary elected by the people, but still, the judiciary draws strength from the people. The question then is this: will we be able to find in the depths of our hearts the morality to realise the State tyranny, and would we then find the courage and strength within our hearts to call out the Stockholm syndrome?

When all the institutions, hell bent on perpetuating the tyranny upon us, unify against us, would we be able to march as one column to protect our right to exist? Would we - the people - finally feel like not only reclaiming the right to life, but to do so with dignity? Would that be the day when we realise that the greed stricken have indeed taken the whole system hostage and it is that band of greed stricken that will hand down the sentence and carry it out by bludgeoning to death whatever conscience remains in us?

‘nisār maiñ tirī galiyoñ ke ai vatan ki jahāñ

chalī hai rasm ki koī na sar uThā ke chale’- Faiz

(I pay tribute to your streets, O country of mine, where;

It is in vogue that we walk with our heads bowed down)

The thought may not be very reasoned. It may be wrong, it may be right. My mind might have over played the importance of this thought. May be I got carried away with my emotions. Some of us may agree to the questions that my thought has brought to the forefront. Some of us may out-rightly reject my concerns as merely fanciful. Some will call me biased in favour of one political entity or ideology. Some may even call me an anarchist; beckoning and inciting the people to take up arms against the State because, frankly, this whole affair sounds like a cry to thwart the shackles of the Abducted State by violence. In fact, you know what? Let me confess. I do not know what will happen and what, if anything at all, I shall do about it because I am scared. That one wisp of flimsy thought has instilled fear in my heart. When one is afraid, reasoning and rationality does enter the mind.