ZAB case: Pros and cons

How would setting the record straight, so to speak, help the nation in general or the large community of citizens?

Bilal Ahmad April 24, 2011
After hearing the case and upholding an earlier verdict of the Lahore High Court in the Mukhtaran Mai case, the Supreme Court will hear the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto reference case and it will be a historic moment.

I say historic because it will measure the Pakistan Peoples Party’s success in helping set the record straight. An iconic leader, the first democratically-elected prime minister and founder of the PPP, Mr Bhutto was and still is revered by many. Maybe this is why setting the record straight becomes even more important.

The party followers will literally dance and revel in joy if the Supreme Court makes the finding that ZAB was wrongfully hanged. Overall, the effect on the PPP’s popularity will be positive and it will stand vindicated in the eyes of even those who are not its supporters. For a brief lull, people may forget the drone strikes, bomb blasts, terrorism, inflation, loadshedding, target killings and so on. The president will be able to take considerable mileage out of the verdict and will use it to travel to Larkana to deliver a motivational and heartwarming speech. He will then be justified in saying that “democracy is the best revenge”, with Bilawal by his side.

The above is of course the view of those who are for the government’s action. But then there is the other side to this: there are many who say that a government in a country like Pakistan should have better things to do than digging up the past, especially when the result is bound to generate controversy.

The argument goes that how could setting the record straight, so to speak, help the nation in general or the large community of citizens. Yes, the PPP’s supporters and sympathisers will want this to happen but the ordinary Pakistani will wonder what that would achieve for him and how it will have any impact on the daily grind that is his life.
Bilal Ahmad Designation: Sub-Editor English Paper Department: Business
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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