‘My lord, if you want to degrade the Prime Minister, then I can’t help it - this was what defense counsel barrister Aitzaz Ahan was able to utter in a contempt of court case against Prime Minister Gilani on Feb 2. In Pakistan when an accused is given a beating at a police station, regardless of his innocence or extent of physical torture, he never attempts to infuriate the police officer by blaming him of wrong intentions. That was the position of barrister Ahsan; he was unable to say in simple words that what’s going on in superior courts for sometime is nothing but witch-hunting (otherwise, he himself might have been indicted in contempt of court case!). Who is directing this witch hunting episode – ego, bias, or our usual kingmakers? Who can question the superior court - when the constitution is very clear, without any if and buts, that serving president and governors have immunity against any prosecution while in the office then why the court is so assertive on this extra-constitutional demand. One wonders why it is in such a hurry that barrister Ahsan was cut short during his arguments and passed the order to Prime Minister Gilani to appear in person in court on Feb 13 to face the contempt of court charge. True, time is running out for kingmakers to make a decisive (perhaps a last one) attempt to destabilise the government before the senate elections in March this year. I don’t know what other word is there for destabilisation when for some time federal ministers and bureaucrats have only few things to do - attend court hearings, engage defense lawyers, preparing for court cases . Why to worry about shortage of power and water, ailing economy, general deterioration of law and order situation, rise of religious, sectarian and ethnic terrorism?


Jubail, Saudi Arab, February 3.