The recent voiding of National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) by the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) has generated an intense debate among Pakistanis. Among Sindhis, much of the debate on this topic is happening informally and on off-the-record forums as Sindhis find themselves torn between two opposing interests. On one hand the annulment of NRO has a potential to destroy the current leadership of PPP and hence eliminate what ever little say Sindhis have in the decision making process of Pakistan.
WASHINGTON DIARY: A difficult but necessary transition
Like the full bench of the Supreme court (SCP) judges, the military has no choice but to accept modernistic, universal views to save the state by eliminating primitive elements. Nevertheless, just like the SCP, obscurantist military officials, especially some retired hawks, are free to make loud noises while the moderates have to work silently
The NRO judgement alludes to contradictions and the torturous transition Pakistan is going through. The basic contradiction is manifested by the very fact that the highest judicial forum in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan had to rely on the historical judgements of the courts of secular states. A few examples have been taken from Islam — Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) concept of equality — and reference to the notion of tauba. However, the court made it clear that these religious notions are taken to be secondary and used to strengthen the judgement, which is based on commonly practiced international law. Why such a contradiction?
The problem is that, whatever the republic of Pakistan is labelled, the country contains a more or less modern populace in relative terms. Furthermore, society has a consensus over the parliamentary type of democracy, in which every voter has an equal weight, requiring specific laws, rules and traditions. The religious parties or modern Islamic scholars cannot address the issue faced by such modern democracies, parliamentary or otherwise.