Panama Verdict: Justice Prevailed

Panama Verdict: Justice Prevailed

History of justice prevailing in the country is not a new phenomenon. The nation has seen its frequent reruns during the past 70 years. In our beloved country, however, justice prevails only when it is allowed to prevail. By the Almighty, obviously.

Monsieur Nawaz Sharif, the most corrupt of the corrupt leaders of Pakistan has been shunted out from the office. A day for rejoicing for the Pakistani nation, indeed. Justice has been allowed to prevail in the case of Nawaz Sharif very much the same way it was allowed to prevail in the case of many other of his civilian predecessors in the past.

That the justice will prevail in Nawaz Sharif’s case became too obvious when he was declared “Godfather” and “Don” and his party “Sicilian Mafia”. To the discerning people, the ones who keep a keen eye on the history of the country, it was clear when they recalled a similar instance in the history of country where another civilian prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was called a murderer, a habitual liar and a “Muslim only by name” during his trial by the honourable judges. Justice prevailed in ZAB’s case too.

For Nawaz Sharif, now that he has free time at hand, it is good time to read the famous poem of Martin Niemoller “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out/Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out/Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out/Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me/and there was no one left to speak for me.”

When justice was being meted out to PPP leaders and workers in the 1980s, during Zia days, through civil and military courts, Nawaz Sharif was inducted as a minister in Punjab because he was not on the side of PPP. When Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo was dismissed by the Justice unto himself, Ziaul Haq, Nawaz Sharif stayed on the side of justice. When Benazir Bhutto’s both governments were dismissed, not only did he side with justice, it was actually Nawaz Sharif himself who invoked justice. In order to get the deposed honourable justices restored, Nawaz Sharif took out a rally threatening to storm Islamabad when Zardari kept refusing to do the needful. Nawaz and his brother had to even don the black coats, at their own behest, I am sure, to remain on the right side of justice when Memo-gate was being heard.

Nawaz did not side with them when the justice was being handed down to everyone else in the country. He is lucky that Maulana Fazlur Rahman is standing with him, for the time being at least.  And, so is Achakzai.

Nawaz Sharif himself could never have thought that he, a Punjabi, and therefore, untouchable, leader, will see this day. Didn’t his goons attack and ransack the same house of justice not very long ago and got off scot free? Could a Bhutto or a Bugti not have been guillotined had he/she committed the same sin? Wasn’t he the greatest leader the Punjab had produced since Maharaja Ranjeet Singh. Sir Sikandar Hayat and Khizr Hayat notwithstanding, even though they administered a unified and bigger Punjab, since they were not national level leaders.

Nawaz Sharif and his family were allowed to amass riches and become one of Pakistan’s, if not world’s, richest households through all available, fair or unfair, means while justice was being delivered to Junejo, Benazir, Gilani, etcetera. As long as Nawaz remained within the confines marked by those with power to define justice, he and his family were okay. Zardari lived his full five-year term because he knew his ever-changing boundaries and adjusted his position, stretching a leg here and retracting another there, as the boundaries kept on being redefined on the daily basis. On the way, he had to sacrifice Gilani and Haqqani but that was a small price to avoid justice getting prevailed. Nawaz, however, forgot his boundaries.

Some feel that Nawaz Sharif could have still avoided justice in the different times. But with his mum about Kulbhushan Jhadav case – his Indian counterpart would have moved the heaven and earth to humiliate Pakistan, had they caught a Pakistani serving officer in India red-handed, with Modi being in power in India and with CPEC being too precious a project to be left upon civilians, justice had to be done to Nawaz Sharif.

Nawaz Sharif himself a handiwork of the powers that could have been undone more easily in a different era. The international circumstances being as they are, the prevailing of justice was the only way to get rid of this liability named Nawaz.

Not that Nawaz did not deserve what he got. He deserved more than that. No doubt about it. The curious thing, though, being how the justice in the case of the other beneficiary of beloved Aba ji’s wheeling and dealings, Shahbaz Sharif, did not prevail and he and his family got off completely unscathed. And, even before that, how someone who desecrated the constitution of the country twice was let off the hook, and the country.

But justice is justice and the long arm of law reaches everyone sooner or later if you remember the correct definition of long arm of law as explained to Ansar Abbasi by General Abdul Qayum in a TV show a few years back.

Moral of the story#1: In Pakistan justice prevails equally. In the eyes of justice all are equal. However, it is only the more equal ones who can enjoy the dance floors of Dubai and England in order to treat their aching backs.

Moral of the story#2: Justice cannot prevail in the cases where heavens don’t want it to prevail.