Tallat Azim It finally arrived and that, too, in the middle of the whirlwind tour of the Punjab that was going great guns by all jiyala standards 'It being the detailed version of the Supreme Court judgment on the infamous NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance), which has really put paid to all fond hopes of smooth sailing for the Peoples Party government. The defiance mould, which they had selected for themselves earlier, when the short judgment was made public, is not going to be very helpful now. Things have moved beyond posturing and difficult decisions wait to be taken. The judg-ment comes from a large bench of 17 judges and delivers justice, without fear or favour. Th-is is what the battle, fought by the lawyers and the citizens for two years, for the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution, was all about. No more expediency or laws of necessity designed to suit individuals. The truth, however ugly, must be revealed and accepted. The corruption cases against the President and some others have reopened, leading to the larger debate of his eligibility for the office of the President, which has since overshadowed the debate of him having immunity while in office. The judg-ment cites examples, amo-ngst others, of Filipino President Ferdinand Marcos whose laundered money was brought back from the safety vaults of Swiss banks. It is a little surprising, though, that quite a few among the staunch supporters of the lawyers movement are choosing their words very carefully while expressing their opinions on the judgment. Perhaps it is the fear that, if the system gets derailed, their names may be among those who were responsible for it, which is making them tread so carefully. Come now comrades, what use is a system anyway that does not allow for a spade to be called a spade? It would be a good idea for everyone who enjoys Urdu poetry to revisit Noon Meem Rashids famous poem: Zindagi sai darte ho Zindagi tau tum bhi ho Zindagi tau hum bhi hain Unkahi sai dartey ho Jo abhi nahi ayie Us garhi sai dartey ho Us garhi kai aane ki Agahi sai dartey ho Aadmi sai darte ho Aadmi tau tum bhi ho Aadmi tau hum bhi hain There were also objections raised to the timing of the judgment, as it came well into the evening hours, which argument is really neither here nor there. It would have been just as disliked by some and just as welcomed by others had it been announced in the daytime. In fact, the evening hours gave more time for people to read and absorb the judgment. Predictions and analyses by the media, who are having 'an orgy of over-interpretation, include all kinds of scenarios; but not even one independent analyst has predicted a graceful submission to the Supreme Courts verdict. Lets hope they are all proven wrong and that the government opts to take the road less traveled and saves the situation. It would be a balm to the ordinary citizen, whose fate and facilities are all botched up any-way, if the judgment is taken through to its logical conclusion and punishments are meted out to all those who have exploited their positions of power. The institution of the Army is projected to be permanently waiting in the wings to take over the country. The ground realities, this time around, are somewhat different. The Army is fighting a battle and in no mood to do an encore. The Peoples Party must exorcise its demons, fight its cases in court and try to go-vern wisely. It is the only way it will save itself from imploding from within. It goes without saying that a democratic dispensation is so much better th-an a military dictatorship. The brilliant philosophy and vision of the party can overcome the shortcomings of individuals, pr-ovided it allows new leadership to emerge. On another aspect, one of the 17 judges of the Supreme Court, Justice Khalil ur Rehman Ramday, reached retirement age this month. He was among the judges of the Supreme Court who were put under house arrest on Nov 3, 2007 wh-en emergency was declared in the country by the then army chief and which was declared illegal by a 7 member Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Chaudhry. Justice Ramday was honourably restored on March 16, 2009 along with the Chief Justice. He is a prince among men with great qualities of heart and mind - fearless and intelligent, independent and capable. People like him are few and far between in this country. If he has no objections, he must be given another assignment where he can be invaluable, like Justice Bhagwandas as head of FPSC. Postscript: General Deepak Kapoor, Chief of the Indian Army is in the news again. His statement of a few days ago, to the effect that the Indian Army could engage and win with Pakistani and Chinese armies simultaneously, elicited strong responses from his counterparts in both countries. More recently, a document accessed by CNN IBN revealed that the General has sensor neural hearing loss, which happened after being exposed to loud gunfire during weapon training. When it comes to understanding the Pakistani point of view, with or without aman ki asha, most influential Indians display a singular loss of hearing. Its like they develop a collective sensor neural hearing loss Scott Brown, an unknown Republican has caused a furor in American politics by unexpectedly winning a solid Democratic seat in Massachusetts, long held by Edward Kennedy. He overcame a 3 to 1 Democrat registered area on the voter rolls and not long removed from an easy win by Obama in the state. This has been a stunning upset victory over heavily favoured Democrat Martha Coakley. It has made me think of an interesting election coming up in Rawalpindi. If Shiekh Rashid can win from NA 55, a seat won by a huge majority by PML N only two years ago, it will reveal which way the voter wind is blowing, a la Massachusetts The writer is a freelance columnist. Email: tallatazim@yahoo.com