JUNAID AHMAD, [email]
Ahmad is assistant professor of law at Lahore University of Management Sciences in Pakistan and is currently visiting the U.S. He said today: “Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ordered the arrest of the country’s sitting Prime Minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf. This same Supreme Court had removed another prime minister of this PPP [Pakistan People's Party]-led government just six months ago. Although this civilian government has almost completed its five-year term in office, there is a sense that the tensions between the judiciary and the PPP government have finally reached a boiling point — just months before scheduled national elections. And of course the military establishment, the real power broker in Pakistani politics, is always ever-so-ready to ‘manage’ these engineered crises to serve its own interests.
“In the wake of this unfolding precarious scenario, you have extra-parliamentary developments such as the phenomenon of Prof. Tahir-ul-Qadri emerging onto the political scene — joining other would-be ‘messiahs’ such as Imran Khan before him — to rid the country of corruption and ‘evil’ politicians. But it would be a mistake to not take all of these political developments seriously. The Pakistani people are indeed fed up with the plethora of incompetent and corrupt elite actors in the country, and are hungry for some meaningful alternative that advances both social justice and self-respect and dignity for the nation as a whole in the face of ongoing interference in ‘Af-Pak.’”