Thursday, January 31, 2013

Has Admiral Fasih Bokhari (Retired) now changed?

It was back in the days when the lawyers’ movement for the rule of law was at its zenith. On the 9th of March, 2007, a word of NO uttered by a man representing the law before a man representing the might had acquired the status of a catchword. The same NO had come to symbolize a movement for the supremacy of the law in Pakistan. Such a moral strength was latent in that NO that it had awakened the consciences dead in slumber for decades. Endorsement for the rule of the constitution and the law in Pakistan came from such unexpected quarters where voices supporting the military dictatorships used to come from heretofore. Surprisingly they were the same people who gave finishing touches to the past military takeovers. That was the greatest moral victory of this movement!

Then, came the day all bright with the restoration of Iftikahr Muhammad Chaudhry, the Chief Justice of Pakistan. However, the state aristocracy of Pakistan was too revengeful to fight back, and on November 3, 2007, an emergency-cum-martial law was clamped down deposing all the judges of the higher courts. As the heat and the resolve of the earlier movement was still burning, the movement for the restoration of the deposed judges got reignited. Meanwhile, on November 3, 2008, in the The News an article by Admiral Fasih Bokhari (Retired) appeared. Its title was: Pakistan’s real civil war. It was a marvel of brevity and meaningfulness. Quite strange was it that a man trained in the science of war was making how correct a diagnosis of the malaise Pakistan was afflicted with. Only a few differences one could afford with the opinions expressed in Admiral Fasih’s article; mostly it provided for an intellectual direction succinct and convincing to understand the crisis of Pakistan. I promoted that article to the best of my reach. I spread its photocopies far and wide.  To remove the intellectual confusion was my aim, so that the malaise devouring the existence of Pakistani citizens could be cured.

Let us have a look at the article. Admiral Fasih writes:

“Qabza, or trespassing has become a way of life in Pakistan. We have at the top of the ladder, politicians who have qabza over their political parties: Bonapartist generals who once appointed army chief take qabza of the service and then the country: Bureaucrats who serve on and on, and on: businessmen who form cartels; and tenants who don’t pay rent. There are such people in both the public and private sector. The qabza mentality divides our nation down to the bottom of the social ladder where we have the poor who squat on land they don’t own, and then demand ownership rights! There are those who voluntarily abide by the law, and those who openly break the law, knowing that its enforcement is weak.”

Further to this:

“The real civil war is between those who want justice and law enforcement, and those who thrive in its absence. It is not about the rich versus the poor. It is not about the religious versus the secular. It is about the law abiding versus those with a qabza mentality.”


“Pakistan is not the only country with this problem. It exists in most countries. In America we have the Democrats and the Republicans both crawling over each other in subservience to Zionist and corporate money, just to gain or retain power. America is now the greatest democracy of corporate interests! In Russia Putin survives with the support of mafias. China’s Communist party has enriched itself beyond belief, by serving the interests of big business.

The problem with governance in the post-monarchy era has been the convergence of state power and the corporate power that finances the continued election of politicians who serve its interests. This is classic Fascism. The power of fascism is then unleashed on the people who oppose the power of government.”

How Pakistan is different from other countries:

“The difference between Pakistani society and society in non-fascist countries is the apathy and resignation to fate amongst Pakistanis. In other countries there is continued awareness and infighting to keep the state machinery in check. In other countries people fight for ownership of their country. But there is now an awakening in Pakistan led by the lawyers, and the Chief Justice of Pakistan, the most honourable Mohammed Iftikhar Chaudhry. He is the first chief justice of Pakistan to have opposed Fascism and be supported by the people. Others like him were not supported by the people because of apathy, and peoples conditioned belief that military rulers and people’s representatives will look after their interests.”

Then, he is quite apt to expose how fascism works:
“Fascism works by strengthening the executive, weakening the judiciary, de-fanging parliament, and controlling the media to keep the focus away from the real issue of how the people’s money is being spent. The executive is strengthened by appeasement of, or alignment with militant forces, and through distortion of the Constitution. Parliament becomes a rubber stamp because members who support the executive are allowed freedom of fascist action in their constituencies. The media moguls are appeased and their journalists coerced, or bought. The judiciary is weakened by coercion, denial of infra-structural support, and total executive control over appointments.”

And, here is the concluding paragraph:

“The first Tehreek-e-Azadi won freedom from external oppressors. The second Tehreek-e-Azadi against internal oppressors, the people with Qabza mentality, can only be won after the judiciary becomes independent. This will only happen with the support of all the people of Pakistan. That is why it is important for all Pakistanis to come out and support the lawyers’ movement for restoration of the judiciary to its pre-November 3, 2007 position. That is the judiciary that will look to the people as their source of power, and not to the executive as their source of power. That will be the judiciary that will establish the independence of the judiciary. That will be the first blow to the qabza mentality trespassers of power and money and land in Pakistan.”

{“[The writer is a former admiral and chief of the Pakistan navy.]”}

That is Admiral Fasih Bokhari (Retired) of 2008. Today’s Admiral Fasih Bokhari (Retired) is the Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). At that time, he was exposing the fascism of the oppressors. At that time how intricately he was telling that how the fascism of Qabza mentality strengthens the executive; weakens the judiciary; defangs the parliament; and controls the media. At that time, in how precise a manner he was telling that how there was an awakening led by lawyers and the Chief Justice of Pakistan, the most honorable Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. At that time in how inspiring a tone he was telling that how this judiciary will establish the independence of the judiciary, and how this judiciary will strike the first blow to the qabza mentality trespassers of power and money and land in Pakistan.

Today’s Admiral Fasih Bokhari (Retired) is lodging complaints against the same judiciary with the same executive which is weakening it, the same judiciary. He is casting doubts on the integrity of the same judiciary which is the only institution still opposing the fascism of the oppressors. Today’s Admiral Fasih Bokhari (Retired) is expressing reservations and raising objections against the same media, such as it is obstructing the working of the NAB, which proved to be an invincible ally of the movement for the independence of the judiciary. Has there been a change? Are there no more the internal oppressors hounding the ordinary Pakistanis? Is there no more the Qabza fascism alive in Pakistan eating out the wealth of the ordinary Pakistanis? Or, Admiral Fasih Bokhari has changed?

How difficult it is to untie this knot in Pakistan - a country always conducive to such shifts of commitments?

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