The Supreme Court’s sudden bolt from the blue in disqualifying the prime minister opens up a whole litany of legal and ethical questions. These will be debated in only a few circles. For most people, the removal of Yousaf Raza Gilani means a further state of flux and a renewed condition of uncertainty. Those who are celebrating this turn of events should tell us exactly what they are happy about. How does this crisis and the confusion between institutional roles that it has plunged us into, help the country or its people in any way.
Will electricity run down power lines again just because Gilani is gone? Will the matter of the letter to the Swiss authorities be solved or simply land on the table of the next PM? Will law and order and the situation in Balochistan suddenly improve? The answers to all these questions are not very difficult to answer. What we have is an abiding state of uncertainty, which will in fact act only to weaken us further as a nation. It establishes the point that elected prime ministers can be thrown out at whim. It also means that there is less and less hope of any kind of recovery from a multifaceted crisis, created by poor governance, foreign policy woes and a collapsing economy.
The removal of Mr Gilani solves nothing at all and creates newer problems. This is especially true as new elections are now, at most, less than a year away. There is speculation that they could be held even sooner. In such a scenario, what we needed most of all was to establish principles for the future to avoid any kind of clash between institutions. The new state of instability that has been created will not help us at all. In fact, it takes us further away from the goal of establishing a vibrant democracy and entrenching civilian rule by creating doubts in the minds of people about whether this is possible at all in a country where the experience with democracy has been a faltering one.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2012.
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