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‘Put the past behind’

May 01, 2013

THIS refers to your editorial ‘Put the past behind’ (April 21) and the letter ‘Musharraf and economy’ by Salma Mumtaz (April 23). You have rightly pointed out that “If the 1999 coup was bloodless, it was because it enjoyed more widespread support than Pakistan would today like to admit to.”

When Gen Musharraf took over, the economy was at its worst, the institutions were a shambles, while the whole system was in a mess.

Pakistan was on the verge of being declared a failed state. Just after his takever, the economy got a boost which was unheard of in the previous years. The appointment of the people of calibre with track record of honesty turned many organisations such as the PNSC, PIA and Steel Mills into a profit-earning ones as Ms Mumtaz has correctly said: “His top priority at that time was to establish good governance, along with fiscal and economic discipline.”

To his bad luck, the unfortunate incident of Sept 11 shook the world’s peace and order and he had to face the threat of ‘being bombed to the stone age’.

With iron nerves and determination and firm belief in the independence and integrity of the country, he steered it out smoothly of troubled waters.

With the aim and determination of ‘Pakistan first’, he introduced the concept of reconciliation in the political history of Pakistan, which resulted in the most free and fair general elections in the history of the country. He also shed his uniform which was unprecedented and unheard.

Even the worst enemies of Musharraf will agree to the writer’s concluding remarks: “His era was ultimately a true reflection of his rich cultured personality.”

Musharraf is now being criticised in the media, and surprisingly the most highly educated and respected class of the country, that is the community of the lawyers, is even using abusive language during his appearances in the courts of law.

The judgment of history is always ever-lasting and final as correctly stated by you: “Sometimes justice is served by letting history be, rather than forcibly dragging it. Gen Musharraf too is part of Pakistan’s past and should be left there.”

The man who raised the status of Pakistan among the comity of nations is now being humiliated without being proven guilty. When Liaquat Ali Khan was murdered in broad daylight, nobody raised voice to bring the killers to justice. When Khwaja Nazimuddin’s government was dismissed by Ghulam Mohammad, it was not only accepted by a vast majority of the people but was also validated by Justice Munir.

Not a single voice was raised when Field Marshal Ayub Khan abrogated the constitution twice, and no questions were asked from Gen Ziaul Haq for abrogating the constitution and sending the popular and charismatic leader of the country to the gallows.

The trial of Mushrraf, as pointed out by Chaudhry Shujaat, will open a Pandora’s box which the country cannot afford. It is hoped that our lawyers and the public will restrain from humiliating the former president and the army chief and prove to the community of the law-abiding citizens of the civilised world that we are educated and civilised citizens.


Lawyers’ conduct THIS refers to the news (April 20) wherein during Pervez Musharraf’s appearance in the sessions court his supporters were beaten up by lawyers in the premises of the district court. As a result, six supporters received serious injuries and were admitted to hospital.

This is not the first time that these black coats got involved in violent action and took law in their hands while being the protectors of law. The constitution provides the right to every citizen to support or to be affiliated with any political party. I am not a supporter of Musharraf, however I feel that the lawyers’ attitude does not reflect the values of a democratic society and match with the profession.

If they are involved in violence, then how we can expect from other citizens be tolerant towards their opponents. We cannot generalise such action to all lawyers. However, this kind of attitude badly affects the status of the profession of law. It is expected from lawyers to control their emotions and use their intellect/reason during their professional exercises.

There is a need to concentrate on the professional development of the lawyers in order to nurture them as strong legal representatives and guardians of law.