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Zia’s legacy


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ALTHOUGH military dictator Ziaul Haq died a quarter century back, he is virtually still ruling the country, thanks to the amendments he made to the constitution. The changes he made to the constitution were to please his partners — religious and right-wing political parties — to perpetuate his illegal stay in power. Now these amendments have become a bone in the nation’s throat and it cannot swallow it or throw up. Take for example the case of Hudood laws. It took years for successive governments to get away with some of the gross injustices with rape victims. According to Hudood laws, any woman complaining of rape is liable to be sentenced until she produces human witnesses to prove her claim.

Take the case of blasphemy laws which have taken its toll in the form of countless murders, killings, jail terms, burning people alive, looting and destruction of properties — this is the fate of not only religious minorities but Muslims as well.

Now some minds thought to enforce another legacy of Zia — Articles 62 and63 — to make a pre-selection of potential candidates for the May elections. Returning Officers (who happened to be judges and law officers from local courts) have been empowered by the superior judiciary to do this task. The type of questions they asked while interviewing the prospective candidates have made a mockery of democracy in Pakistan.

It shows how low these law officers can go to implement Articles 62 and 63 to rig the elections in the disguise of pre-selection of candidates.

One would have thought that we are moving towards a historic moment by marking a transition between two elected governments. But as usual, we go two steps backwards for every step forward. The credibility and authenticity of the entire electoral system has been ruined by a few.

MASOOD KHAN Jubail, Saudi Arabia

Comments (17) Closed

observer Apr 14, 2013 06:37am
Can't agree more.
Mohammad Farooq Apr 14, 2013 07:05am
......and also his legacy is his adopted son, Mian Nawaz Sharif.
zulmai Khan Apr 14, 2013 07:41am
There is nothing to please oneself about Pakistani nation. The way Pakistani have abused Islam is very impressive. I do not believe theres is such a thing called Pakistani nation. Yes theres is country called Pakistan where Punjabi, Pushtoons, Balouch, and Sindhis and Muhajirs live. I find it extremly upsetting when a single provice dominate and care less about Pakistan or Islam.
Ali Apr 14, 2013 08:27am
The only way forward is to do impartial accountability of Zia's cabinet ministers and Generals not as revenge but as a deterrent for future Generals like Zia otherwise Pakistan will continue to suffer for many more decades
Tariq Apr 14, 2013 11:29am
The person, who made changes in the Hudood law rape case, and released thousands of women from jail who were the victim of hudood law, is now abused by this thankless nation
Amjad Wyne Apr 14, 2013 11:59am
Zia's legacy has survived not because Zia was great but because all those that came after him were worthless - failed at every step to offer this nation alternatives. Zia may be a horrible man but no one has stopped the current crop of leaders from doing good. It is time to stop going back to Zia.
ghazi Apr 14, 2013 01:23pm
Zia is the great leading light of Islamic nation of Pakistan! He is a greater hero than the Qaid!!!
Bakka Apr 14, 2013 04:38pm
Are you serious - or is this a joke???
Khan Apr 14, 2013 05:22pm
The most hypocrite person I have ever known in my life.
Waqas Shaikh Apr 14, 2013 05:48pm
Ignorance is hazardous to your health, my dear friend. Zia has destroyed the fabrics of Pakistan. He was a hypcrate and a dictator. Please read some history and learn analytical skilss to refute your own statement. My dear friend, I can not believe we have people in Pakistan who still have medevial thinking in 21st century. I am very sorry to be so critical but coundnt's resist the temptation of your ignorance.
Nadir Aziz Apr 14, 2013 08:48pm
Very correct.
Syed A.Bokhari Apr 15, 2013 12:14am
Mr.Khan you should ref to Surat Nisah,Ayat nos.58 , 59.and 60.If obeying Allah's orders(Quran) and following Prophet Mohamaad's Sunnah makes a person Right-winger.Then every Muslim is a right winger.By the way what are you?
Kamal Apr 15, 2013 02:21am
So called Ghazi....How was Zia greatest than even Quaid e Azam? No one in Pakistan will ever be greater than our founder whom Allah bestowed upon the unique honor in human history e.g., founder of a nation and state. Alas, you are not a Pakistani yet even though you belong here. Zia was the worst human who imposed himself upon us. The series of destructive forces he created disturb our national life on a daily basis and destroyed Pakistan's national fabric. Drug , weapons culture as well as religious intolerance are his gifts and bad legacy. Enough has been said already about Mustache
Jari Apr 15, 2013 02:43am
Fully agree in addition, Pakistan was a place where people used to live together, play together, eat together, pray together, go to school together without meddling other's faith but now everyone has put out gun to kill anyone who dares to say other than he thinks is right. Zia was one man show. He implemented his version of Religion which you cannot call Islam rather it is Zia doctrines who empowered mullah so much so that now mullah has power, he rides on people's throat. Governments which came after him did nothing to restore law and authority of government. I don't understand that a elective government cannot change law but a dictator come by force and changes with a whip of pen any law which does not fit to his own religion overnight. This happens only in Pakistan and it is very sad.
wasalam Apr 15, 2013 04:31am
Mullah like you are responsible for all the terrorism in Pakistan.
krishnan Apr 15, 2013 01:51pm
hyderphd74 Apr 15, 2013 07:24pm
Who are you referring to, Mr. Tariq?