NRO and future issues
Akhtar Ali Kureshi
Once again we are facing a critical situation in Pakistan as the Supreme Court has decided the burning issue of the national Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). The forthcoming turmoil in Islamabad may be heard through the arguments of the lawyers and politicians. The outcome of the February 2008 election could not satisfied the public at large as various national issues seeking sincere indulgence of political leadership and deserve more welfare as the common man feeling himself injured like previous regime of the dictator who absconded from the national fiber of politics. In earlier episode, the NRO was accepted by all and avail maximum benefits by the present government and in later part of the play; when the Supreme Court re-open the issues in its historical judgment of July 31, the whole complexion was changed and the government withdrew the bill from the National Assembly and conceded in the Supreme Court, showing complete isolation from NRO, it raise many legal and political questions.
Surprisingly no body has tendered resignation as it was widely expected by all stakeholders, showing stubborn attitude of the NRO beneficiaries. Unfortunately, the rich tradition of tendering resignation on any failure, is very rare in our society; weakening our commitment to fair politics. This lethargic attitude of ministers and other beneficiaries of the NRO aggravated the situation to make the target to their principal. One can realise and smell the position; shaping through the arguments of the lawyers and sleek queries of the Supreme Court.
In the beginning the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) which tried to twist the real facts and records of some important cases pertaining to the foreign country's courts; ultimately submitted many valuable documents and reports of these cases, including the statements of assets, of the aforesaid principal, in the court. Many surmises relating to the off-tracking of fragile and newly born democracy is really baseless except to their own nightmare of leaving the august portfolio, does not detach the hope of real democracy.
One way the public at large is curiously waiting the benefits of democracy which are not in sight and on the other side the leaderships look in no mood to make any substantial project as presently the country is facing more than dozen crises of basic utility including terrorism. Pakistan is seeking a true leader who charismatically unites the whole nation to combat these blowing issues.
Only the issue which has been resolved by the public having distinguish features; is of the independence of judiciary and now the judiciary is doing right things to solve other core issues of Pakistan; giving a peace of mind to the public at large leading towards the deserving prosperity. Many judgments of the Supreme Court have opened the door of a new vision of supremacy of law and departure of the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO). The imposition of new Judicial Policy is another milestone of speedy and instant justice.
Interestingly no institution is working on the improvement of public departments nor any research is being made to pinpoint the failure of these public serving departments as the majority of public complaints are related to lack of good governance. Similarly, no check and balance system is available to curtail the miseries of general public rather it has given free hand to the corrupt officers who become the model of the society; enjoy high profile portfolio, playing with the fate of the poor nation.
After taking into consideration of the documents submitted by the NAB and its detail reports pertaining to the asset, amounting to billions of rupees; envisage a perception of turmoil in Islamabad. At this crucial junction the entire nation is looking towards the Supreme Court to play its parental role of saving the public money and set another example of the supremacy of law excluding that person who exploited the public office and shake of sacred trust of the public; deserves no leniency. Many other countries like Chile, Brazil and South Africa have introduced the NRO to accommodate the corrupt politicians but on the same tune; their Supreme Court of the respective country declared the NRO a discriminative law and hold it as void ab anatio. The same situation is prevailing in Pakistan where a dictator compromised the integrity of the whole nation just to prolonged his rule and issued NRO which never ever been acceptable to any civilised society. Presently Pakistan is suffering from an acute financial crisis and the government is desperately requesting its friends to seek financial help and on the other hand the similar amounts of the Pakistan were plunder by the same person who is on the front of the government making frequent tours of foreign countries and request them for financial help….looks a joke.
The writer is an Advocate of the Supreme Court, Syndicate Advisor of Civil Service Academy (DMG), Law Professor, member of International Bar Association, London and former Assistant Advocate General Punjab