Open letter to Their Lordships

By Kamran Shafi

My Lords of the Supreme Court,

With due respect, I write for the second time in two weeks about a most horrific matter: that of a former member of our National Assembly and many times minister, calling upon My Lord the Chief Justice of Pakistan to commit murder.

I know we have plumbed the depths in this God-given but now surely God-forsaken country over the 66 years of its existence: from the unjust and cruel way in which we treated our East Pakistani brethren; to the killing of innocents by the ‘bad’ Taliban and the genocide of minorities by self-same Taliban and their cohorts that we see every single, tortuous day; to the fact that we are now an international pariah, the mere sight of our green passport sending immigration agents across the world into an almighty tizzy.

We have seen generals and politicians and bureaucrats violate the Constitution and misrule and steal; we have seen some of our great national treasures like the railways and PIA steadily driven into the ground; our archaeological treasures and rare books stolen and sold abroad for a pittance by members of our so-called ‘elite’. We have literally seen this country rent asunder by adventurists and carpet-baggers. Indeed, we have seen a senior retired air force chief-turned-politician say that he would personally hang an elected prime minister from the Kohala Bridge.

We have seen, too, a prime minister shot in broad daylight and his assassin conveniently shot dead by a police officer who ‘happened’ to be standing by him; an elected prime minister hanged in what the world believes was a complete miscarriage of justice, nay cold-blooded judicial murder; and another jailed in Attock Fort by a usurper general and then exiled.

But never, ever, have we seen or heard a so-called ‘senior politician’ asking an Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan to commit murder. On the night of August 13, 2012, Shaikh Rasheed Ahmad (aka Sheeda Talli)’s exact words were: “Janab Chaudhry Iftikhar Saab; Janab Chief Justice Saab, kill the bastard before he kills you; kill the bastard before he kills you; kill the bastard before he kills you’. The link to the video clip. Because your time is so precious My Lords, kindly watch the video for just 29 seconds: from 03:50 to 04:19 and you will know all.

Now then, whilst it is perfectly clear to most who heard the man who he was referring to as ‘the bastard’, it is for you, My Lords to find out, from him, who exactly he meant. And then to provide that person the protection that he needs from this man, for if he could exhort the Chief Justice to kill him, he could hire a professional hit-man to do the deed. Far more importantly, of course, is the fact that it does not really matter who he meant. Indeed, what is hugely critical is the fact that he has personally and publicly (no matter that the jalsa turned out to be a jalsi) called for the murder, no less, of someone at the hands of the Chief Justice of Pakistan himself, no less. A clarion call heard by hundreds of thousands of people all across the world through the medium of TV and internet.

I have to say My Lords, that for a hyper-sensitive and media savvy and contempt conscious Supreme Court whose suo motus and contempt notices have flown hither and yon with alarming and deadly frequency, even netting someone caught carrying two bottles of liquor, missing this huge and utter contempt of court is mystifying to say the least. I must also add that we have even seen an elected prime minister thrown out on his ear on a contempt of court charge, and yet nothing so far in the matter of Master ‘Tulli’?

Which reminds me: Several times recently, I have written about another contempt of court committed by this same man when he said in a TV interview that Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry used to stand outside Lal Haveli waiting to call upon him to lobby on the CJ’s part. The exact words were: “Chaudhry Iftikhar ko lanein ke liye hum lobby karne waley thay; woh khud burra tez aadmi tha; do do ghantay Lal Haveli kay bahir kharra rehta tha.” When an incredulous anchor asks him, “Iftikhar Chaudhry?”, “Tulli” replies, “Iftikhar Chaudhry; Jab woh mujh se barre kamon ki tarraf parrh gia to mein nein Chaudrion keh hawaley ussay kar diya; phir Chaudhrion ney apne se barray size kay hawalay ussay kar diya; iss jagga pohunchney kay liye uss nein bohut barri lobby ki”. Here is the Link, My Lords.

And now, where else but to the latest outrage and more: the killing of 24 innocent people, 21 Shia and three Sunnis who tried to protect them by not letting on who was Shia amid slogans of  ‘Shia kafir’ and ‘Sipah-e-Sahaba Zindabad’; the arrest of an eleven-year-old Christian girl with Down Syndrome for blasphemy in the nation’s capital; and the kidnapping and stabbing to death of a Christian boy in Faisalabad whose body was then burnt by the perpetrators. My head hangs in shame.

Suo motu, My Lords?

P.S. Does it take rocket science to see where the killers of the Shia get their sustenance? The Sipah in its new incarnation is a leading member of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council. And, er, we know who is behind that!

Suo motu, My Lords?

Courtesy:  The Express Tribune, August 24th, 2012.

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