The M-1 is a federal motorway that connects Peshawar with Islamabad the capital of the republic. On October 31, 2016 this thoroughfare was blocked at Swabi to stop the Chief Minister (CM) of KPK from entering Islamabad. While the pitched battle was raging between the Punjab Police sent by Takht-e-Lahore and KPK entourage two military helicopters landed on the motorway. Their presence was significant as the maintenance of road is the responsibility of FWO a military outfit. Government of Punjab has no jurisdiction to block this passageway. In Islamabad the Federal Interior Minister had no knowledge of this illegal blockage by a provincial government as such it constituted a serious constitutional violation.

The helicopters left while the tussle continued. KPK entourage was able to break the siege at Swabi. Punjab Police retreated to their second blockage at Burhan. As the sun went down, the PTI workers decided to rest before the next showdown. I was hoping that the illegal blockages on the federal motorway would be removed but they remained intact. While Pervez Khattak was getting ready to revive the battle on November 01, 2016 he received a telephone call from Kaptaan to retreat and go back to Peshawar. Hearing started in the Supreme Court against the Prime Minister and his family in the Panama Leaks case. Around 1400 hours Kaptaan called off the march on the Capital. It was rumored that the third empire had intervened to cool off so that the blockages could be removed as a convoy heading to the port of Gwadar had to pass through the motorway. Everyone had to comply and go to the Supreme Court instead for the redressal of their conflict.

Incidentally when the street battle was being raged I was teaching sectionalism to a Total Quality Management (TQM) class. Pakistan will continue to suffer unless this undesirable sectionalism is replaced with nationalism. On August 14, 1973 Pakistan was declared a constitutional democracy. Which meant that every state institution was required to follow and defend the constitution but unfortunately it has not happened. Sectionalism still thrives. Leaders and workers of PML-N blindly follow their leaders without question. Altaf Hussain ruled over MQM with an iron hand, PPP reveres the Bhuttos while PTI obeys its leaders.

In the nineties PML-N goons attacked the Supreme Court and the judges had to run for cover. No state institution including the Pakistan Army under the command of General Jehangir Karamat came to their rescue. President Farooq Leghari was a weak but honourable leader so he decided to resign. The Chief Justice was also removed. The ‘Badmashi’ did not end here, the Army Chief was also sent home. Pervez Musharraf was promoted to replace him. When Mian Sahib tried to dislodge him he was captured and taken to the Attock fort on River Indus.

General Zia, the third Khaki usurper openly ridiculed the constitution and disfigured it beyond recognition. General Musharraf had a strange approach, he often maintained that what is more important to follow the constitution or save the state. Little did he know that there can be no state without a constitution. He too tried to amend the document at will. The lawyers movement finally toppled him and out voted his PML-Q in the next elections. The 1973 constitution has now been restored into its original form but its implementation still remains.

The blockage of M-1 Motorway by Takht-e-Lahore was a blatant violation of the constitution. The courts had already declared the containerization of roads as illegal. There should have been constitutional action to keep the federal thoroughfare open even if it was not required for the passage of the convoy for Gwadar. The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) as custodian of the rule of law should have issued clear instructions to open the federal motorway blocked by a provincial government. In case of lack of compliance the CJP should have called in the Army to enforce the writ of law. The constitution should have been followed but it was not.

During the Supreme Court hearing on Panama Leaks case an interesting situation developed. The Railway Minister was there to save the skin of his party leader while an accident happened outside Karachi. Shah Mahmood Qureshi (SMQ) advised Khawaja Sahib to attend to the third major disaster this year in his ministry. Prompt came the reply, ‘I do not live off the income from the graves of my ancestors’. It summed up the political arena well, it was all about survival not service to the nation, while some rely on the benefits of the dead others on the hardly alive.

The entire lawyers movement was sparked by the abrupt removal without due process of the Chief Justice. It was the same individual who had earlier declared the military take over legal and took oath under the PCO. The civil society and the lawyers came on the streets in support of rule of law but once the judiciary was restored it went in the opposite direction. Today the entire judicial process is in disarray thanks to the restored CJP who instead of putting his own house in order wanted to raise his personal clout/stature.

There is a perception that the judiciary by and large has a soft corner for PML-N as it played a major role in its restoration. This sectional narrow approach can be deadly for the nation. All eyes are now focused on the Supreme Court it must uphold the constitution and rule of law. Political Badmashi (Vandalism) must be contained by the collective efforts of all organs of the state (Executive, Judiciary, Military). I have not included legislature in this list as it is in the control of the Vandals. Kaptaan alone cannot dislodge them without the constitutional support of each organ of the state. In the interests of the motherland we must look beyond sectionalism and enforce the constitution in letter and spirit. As a nation we came very close to achieving this goal but Musharraf’s NRO neutralised all our efforts and brought the Vandals back into the corridors of power, here is another opportunity to get rid of them once for all otherwise we will be back on the streets with vengeance.

It was rumored that the third empire had intervened to cool off so that the blockages could be removed as a convoy heading to the port of Gwadar had to pass through the motorway.