Who would have thought that Ahmad Raza Kasuri would bask in so much media spotlight. While it is a dream come true for him, it has become a nightmare, of the worst kind for ex-President Pervez Musharraf.

The happenings of the week have also put the judiciary on trial, which has to now practice all that it has preached since 2007. (I wish Ardeshir Cowasjee, the ace columnist, had still been around to describe the scenario and put things in perspective).

And besides, most importantly, for the bulk of us, it has become such an unnecessary diversion from the excitement and process of the much-awaited elections.

Despite the fact that the last five years of the democratic dispensation  are not (said with a touch of satirical humour) a shining example of good governance, nonetheless, the majority of Pakistanis were not hankering after Musharraf or wanted him back in a position of power. We are, in fact, looking forward to a new chapter with a new set of elected people, who will do better by the electorate this time.

We continue to hope that the many wrongs and imbalances in our system will be rectified over time. In short, we want to move on.

Had Musharraf not opted to return, I think everybody, including those who had been wronged by him, were willing to let bygones be bygones and displayed no keenness to see him behind bars, instead of the comfortable environs of England and Dubai.

It was a natural fade-out from the national scene and one in which he could well have maintained his dignity. The only price to pay would have been the inability to return to Pakistan from a self-imposed exile.

It seems that the close circles of his party misread all the signs and did not advise him correctly. If they thought that his going to jail would be (a) unacceptable to his parent institution and (b) will recast him as a martyr, they have been proven wrong on both counts. He has walked back into a situation where, whether we like it or not, we have to prove that authority flows from the letter of the law and not the barrel of the gun.

He has also walked back at a time where the print and electronic media constantly reminds us of the submission to law made by some of the elected politicians of this country. He has come back to the very judiciary he deposed, which has to now prove that law is equal for everyone.

We are often reminded that many of the serving judges are the same, who took oath under Musharraf in 2000. Babar Sattar, the eminent lawyer, sums up this and I quote: “As a matter of principle hardly any distinction can be drawn between the PCO oath of 2000 and that of 2007. The only difference was that of public opinion. In 2000, the collective conscience of this country decided to live with the blight of the PCO. In 2007, it didn’t.”

While there are many who argue that Musharraf’s bigger crime was the takeover of the country in 1999 much before November 3 when he subverted the constitution for the second time, there remains the fact that the 17th Amendment provides Musharraf and all those who abetted him, including the judges a legal cover.

Conspiracy theorists continue to talk about some plan that has been hatched somewhere for the country’s future and of which Musharraf is a key player. But their talk does not seem to be gelling with the ground realities at all. The rejection of his papers from all the four constituencies speaks for itself.

The possibility that the ‘morale of the troops’ will get affected by seeing their ex-chief prosecuted is more myth than reality. I think the troops, if they were allowed to voice their opinions, would rather stay disconnected with what they can perceive as a power struggle.

It is Musharraf, the individual, who is being asked for accountability of his acts. He has, probably, discovered by now that the scores of sycophants, who surrounded him during his stay in power or those who counselled him to return to Pakistan, were not sincere in their opinions.

As far as making hay while the sun shines goes, it was almost unbelievable to hear that the caretaker Prime Minister’s son has been placed in a cushy job, much out of turn, in a government institution. As someone said, the more things change, the more they remain the same!

It is now only three weeks to the finish line and the caretakers ought to start winding down not acting up.

The Musharraf case intervention at this time is, again at the risk of repeating myself, so unnecessary. Things always move forward not backwards.

Postscript: I just love the fact that the PTI has given as many as 35 percent seat allocation to those who are under 40 years of age and who are all new entrants to politics at the national level. It is a reason to celebrate. I think the PTI does not really need to add anything else to their election campaign advertisements, as this one stand-alone fact makes them quite distinct from everybody else. It also happens to be Iqbal Day today and one is reminded of his verse:

“Mohabbat mujey un jawanon sai hai,

Sitaron pai jo daaltey hain kamand.”

As this new young leadership gets ready to play its role to carve out a different destiny for the country, it is also time to revisit Allama Iqbal and his philosophy, with fresh minds and in totality, when we make a new beginning this May. As a nation, we have everything clearly laid down by both Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal, and only need to dust the books that have their principles and start absorbing what they said in order to apply them to our collective lives.

     The writer is a public relations and event management professional

    based in Islamabad.