Apropos media reports about learned Attorney defending petition in SC of Pakistan challenging Election Act 2017 state that a disqualified person can head a political party. His reference was to Nelson Mandela’s conviction justifying the decision to NA. It is this which forced judges of SC to ask whether convicted robbers, drug dealers can qualify to head any political party.
Nelson was sent to prison for 27 years for opposing the internationally condemned apartheid regime in South Africa and never faced any charges of moral or financial corruption. Mandela refused to live in exile, nor did he own palatial residences in Pakistan or abroad and his sacrifices are recognized internationally. When he was released and discovered that his wife faced charges of financial misappropriation - he chose to divorce her, rather than benefit from illegal fortune. He was a prisoner of conscience.
Even in subcontinent we have had men like Bhagat Singh,who rebelled against British Colonial Raj and everybody across political divide including Alama Iqbal stood up to support him. While it is right of every convicted or accused person to have a fair trial or file a petition challenging any act, which violates the basic principles of the Constitution, it would be requested of lawyers representing them not to get carried away and belittle internationally acclaimed champions of human rights and freedom fighters like Nelson Mandela . I wish we had politicians with half the calibre, morality and ethics of Quaid e Azam, Allama Iqbal, Nelson Mandela , Gandhi etc instead of present lot who are accused of abusing their powers.
ALI MALIK TARIQ,
Lahore, February 16.