Tuesday, June 12, 2012


        Sunday, 10 Jun 2012 10:23 pm 

By Rabia Ahmed   Pakistan Today   http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/?  p=192964

The President of the Youth Wing of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, Mr Abral-ul-Haq, was addressing a news conference in Lahore recently when some PTI youth wing office bearers arrived, and things became a trifle disharmonious. Calling the office bearers ‘troublemakers’, Mr Haq threw them out of the hall with the help of security officials. 

Those office bearers of the Youth Wing of the PTI have since been removed, and replacements appointed ‘for the interim period’.The situation is undeniably attractive; there are people on the public scene today one would love to throw out of the hall, so to speak, preferably by the seat of their pants in a horizontal position, but the pleasure is generally denied. Therefore, we shall not grudge Mr Haq the opportunity, nor condemn his actions as being unfair, except that the PTI does portray itself as a ‘tsunami,’ a term that conveys the graphic image of a wiping clean and orderly rebuilding of the old chaotic landscape. It is hoped therefore that due procedure has and will be applied.

The PTI has a constitution that prescribes notice prior to removal of office bearers, and appointments by majority vote. Given our history of sweeping aside such trifling matters and in the absence of more information, however, one may be excused some doubt, my apologies to the PTI if I am wrong. More certainly, one wishes that the erstwhile office holders had exercised restraint on their pre-pubescent emotions and behaved as office holders of a political party must: with sense. But there is a dearth of both restraint and sense everywhere in this emotionally unstable country, not least among its political parties. How can a youth wing be expected to behave otherwise?It is rather a trend here to allow good judgment to be overridden by waves of emotion (the tidal imagery appears to be catching). It does not matter what the constitution or the law prescribe, it is what the heart and the liver dictate (an overly literal translation but it does expose the absurdity of allowing organs to master the man) that generally counts.

Some days earlier, a rally protesting power loadshedding was held along the Mall in Lahore. Once a peaceful and dignified main artery of the city, the Mall is now the scene of frequent rallies against the various issues rapidly making this country an unlivable place.

Businesses along the thoroughfare, already incurring loss due to power loadshedding and now suffering additionally as a result of frequent rallies, had petitioned the courts to ban processions along the Mall. A ban was therefore in force when this rally took place in contravention of Section 144.Accordingly, it is reported, the police (very properly) registered an FIR against the participants of the rally, some 600 persons belonging to the PTI, including several of its senior leaders. Another procession taken out for the same reason along the same route by the PML(N) however held no repercussions for the PML(N) leaders, even though a similar petition was filed against them. That FIR was simply not accepted by the police, which should have had no choice in the matter. Later, in a grandiloquent gesture, the Chief Minister of the Punjab, Mr Shahbaz Sharif, asked the police to ‘quash the FIR’ against the PTI.Such magnificent gestures appeal to a public ever thirsty for emotional fodder with which the politicians of Pakistan are ever ready to feed it.

Few will question the validity of such ‘generosity’ against a rival, or the ‘chivalry’ of a chief minister who requests the police to disregard a valid report, something he has no authority to do, or the preferential treatment meted out to the CM and his party. We have no news yet as to whether the IG Police deferred to the chief minister as he should not have done, but they generally do.There is confusion in people’s minds – a critical and dangerous overlap between heroics and the law, between a subjective personal preference and what is right. Comments following news reports explain this well:‘I really don’t like this person Abrar-ul-Haq. He doesn’t deserve to be the president of PTI Youth Wing,’ growls one reader following that report about the PTI’s youth wing.And now with the news of the case against the Chief Justice’s son a reader enthuses: ‘Judiciary has proved that there is no one above the law, not even the nears and dears of the judges. Those who have chosen the path of mudslinging on judges will be vanished in the dust of history while only truth will prevail. We fully support our Honourable CJ and his great companions’ (sic).Gawrsh!

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