Judiciary stressing its suzerainty: Kamran Shafi

By Adnan Farooq

I am sorely disappointed both with Nawaz Sharif himself going to court, and by the walk-out of the party from the National Assembly during the democracy vote on the 16th January’, says Kamran Shafi.

Pakistan’s leading columnist and a public debater frequently appearing at TV talk shows, Kamran Shafi, writes a regular column for the Express Tribune. He is a known critic of Pakistan military’s unconstitutional actions. In an interview with Viewpoint, he throws light on current political scenario in Pakistan. Read on:

What the present stand-off would lead to?

Hopefully to the realisation by all that it is best to stay within the confines of the Constitution as prescribed for all institutions.

What do you say about the role of judiciary. It was expected that the Advocates Movement would deliver the end of ‘Doctrine of Necessity’. But it seems, judiciary is once again ready to serve the Khaki interests?

I think judiciary is not serving ‘khaki interests’, only stressing it’s suzerainty over every other institution which can prove to be extremely dangerous.

In the last four years, PPP-ANP governments in the centre and provinces as well as PML government in the Punjab have not solved any problems facing the masses. Their performances have discredited them, it seems. Do you think if they had performed better, there would have been a mass support for these governments. Don’t you think best defence of democracy is to serve the masses but these governments failed in that?

I cannot make a judgment call on that – it is for the people to decide at the next election. Note that the development budget for South Punjab has been increased by 100% by the present PML(N) government.

How would you describe PMLN’s role in the current crisis. Not merely Nawaz Sharif (advertently or inadvertently) connived with army to go to the Supreme Court in Memogate case. But also, PMLN’s role in the parliament has been questionable. They are giving contradictory statements. Your comments.

I am sorely disappointed both with Nawaz Sharif himself going to court, and by the walk-out of the party from the National Aseembly during the democracy vote on the 16th January. Yes, there are disparate voices within the party, hawks vs the more reasonable.

Many have begun to question the credibility and rationale of the Advocates Movement, that humbled Gen Musharraf, in view of judiciary’s current role. Do you think it was wrong to support Advocates Movement?

It was right to support the lawyers’ movement. However, I among others who took part in that movement feel uneasy at the over-hyper activity of the Supreme Court. But we can try and change the Court by quiet persuasion and sane argument.

At the peak of high level tension between the USA and Pakistan, all of a sudden the Memogate pops up in an article published in one of the American newspapers and attention shifts from international to internal tension. How do you analyze the situation?

That is why I call it the Murky Memo [MM]. I don’t think the USA had anything to do with the MM. A conspiracy on the Pakistani side cannot be ruled out.

It is often said the MQM and PMLQ always follow establishment’s line, if so, why don’t they just quit the coalition to pave the way for the fresh elections?

It doesn’t suit Imran Khan! He has to collect more lotas before he gets ready to go into an election.

With Pakistan Army being so India-centric, would there be any peace in Afghanistan if Pakistan is not involved in peace negotiations?

The way the Pakistani Deep State is going there can be no peace in Afghanistan whether Pakistan takes part in the negotiations or not.

How do you see the future of Pakistan in the next 10 years?

I see a grim future, very grim. I feel deep inside that come 2016 the civil war in Pakistan will have reached Pakistan’s heartland.

Courtesy: View Point


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