The proceedings of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s contempt case have revealed the fact that the rules, regulations, judicial laws and even the articles of the country’s constitution have been framed with such laxity that any lawyer can interpret them the way it suits him and his clients. Those who drafted them perhaps did not realise that a time will come when even the top political leaders of a democratic government will resort to openly ridiculing the legal authority. The Supreme Court of Pakistan sentenced the PM to imprisonment till rising of the court for deliberately ridiculing the apex court. Considering that under article 63-1/g of the Constitution Mr Gilani was liable to be disqualified for holding a political office for up to five years, the court did not include the fact in the verdict. Taking advantage of this omission the Prime Minister stood up with his head high to say ‘no one can force me out’. Even the Attorney General Irfan Qadir said, ‘the court has over-stepped its authority in this case. The verdict was invalid from the very start, the case even does not need an appeal’.

Apart from the country’s intelligentsia even the common man feels that PM Gilani should have resigned from his post immediately after the court’s decision. They perhaps do not remember that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto laid the foundation of the PPP on the principle of ‘power, power and power’. Possessing no conscience, no ethics and no shame they have always ruled Pakistan on this basis. While enjoying full power is their top priority, stepping down from a post is not included in their mandate. There is a common feeling that ‘too simple a verdict’ by the Supreme Court has spread a wave of confusion in the country’s political atmosphere. Had the clause of ‘disqualification for holding a political post’ been added to the verdict, the case would have been settled without anxiety that it has created.

RAFI NASIM,

Lahore,May 9.