ONE day a parrot took his pretty wife; Mena on a joy trip. En route they had a recess stop on a place which bore a dull and stodgy look. Looking around, Parrot said to her that this must have been an abode of Owls. One Owl, sitting on the branch of a nearby tree overheard their conversation. He came to them. After exchange of some platitudes, he invited them to a courtesy meal at his place at night. Both accepted his invitation. Next morning when they were about to leave, Owl grasped the hand of Mena and said to Parrot “where are you taking her, she is my wife”. On this, Parrot got upset. He said emphatically how she could be your wife, she is a Mena and you are an Owl. Like a seasoned minister, Owl said that there is no point in quarrelling. By now courts must have opened. Let us go there and get the decision which ought to be equally binding on both of us.
The Parrot reluctantly agreed to the proposition. The judge listened both animatedly but ruled in favor of Owl. It was shell shocking and distressing to Parrot nevertheless, inevitably he started moving to one side to go. The Owl called him to take his wife along when he went a little away. He replied while weeping that how he could take her, now he is not my wife but yours as per verdict of the court. The Owl affectionately placed his hand on his shoulder and said no, she is your wife. I just wanted to show that towns and hamlets do not get redundant because of Owls. The pal of redundancy descends when justice banishes from their alleys and corridors. This story contains within it pearls of wisdom and is written by famous Scholar Rumi. Injustice is root of all ills. Injustice in a state and piracy at sea are two sides of one act; robbery. Only difference is in scale. Later robs few ships but former ransacks the whole society. The states do not fail overnight with a bang. The slide is gradual and as of a whimper. The seeds of destruction are sown within very deep and perpetual injustice is its fat feed.
It is a universally established fact that system of disbelief could exist but system of tyranny and injustice could not function. Injustice emboldens the mighty and frightens the weak. Consequently dictum of might is right rules. Its pet prey is denial of equal access to opportunity and resources. It accumulates wealth and power in few hands and rest are destined ultimately to sink deeper and deeper in black hole of abject poverty. Eventually impoverished become voiceless but their woes aggravate. A sense of frustration, deprivation, bereavement, apathy, futility and detachment parades pervasively but with two equal potential; either to bring whole system down and rise at its debris or collapse under its weight.
In Pakistan justice has been hijacked by the mighty. Meekly it is at their doorstep. It is continuing unabated since long. Most recent serial, nation had to witness few days back. Ayan Ali, known in common parlance a Dollar Girl has been flown to her safe destination abroad. Former Sindh Provincial Minister Shargeel Memon , accused of corruption of Rs 5.76 Billion is back to face the courts after remaining abroad at large.
Now he is stalking the country regally in defiant mode. Doctor Asim; accused of numerous crimes including abetment of terror and mega corruption of hundreds of Billion is free on bail under state protection after knocking down all legal hurdles. During last two years, justice failed to touch him conclusively. Out of the blue release of PPP former Federal Minister, sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in Hajj corruption case after spending about two years in jail. All of them are considered close aides/accomplices of Asif Zardari who as commonly known, takes pride to stand by his people in adversity too, no matter what it costs. Not to much surprise, it is widely suspected that all this has been done in connivance of present government at the altar of expediency and mutual convenience.
The art and practice of injustice in Pakistan is ever on increase. The maxim “justice delayed is justice denied” is enduring instrument of its perpetuators to cause frustration, deflect public attention, calm outrage and gain time to ditch it in process. Outright denial of justice is also not very uncommon by force of coercion, intimidation and glitter through straight or crooked methods. The ruling elite in unison has rigged national institutions to advance their ulterior pursuits without let and hindrance. Recently through cobwebs of Eighteen Constitutional Amendment. Mute political parties, rubber stamp parliament, spineless Election Commission and institutions of accountability under capitulation are few example of perfect illustration of their master trick on the name of true democracy. Nothing is crueller than self perpetuation under shield of law and justice.
It is a lethal combination. The institutions of such make and type remain ever ready to bend to whips of their masters for their survival and chance of finding some crumbs, fallen off their table. In Pakistan law hastens to catch the little thief to punish or get its palm greased but drags its feet to touch the bigwigs. Notwithstanding, their grumbling and posturing for public consumption, ruling elite stands with each other, back to back to protect, insulate and dry clean each other and spare no occasion to wield more power and pile up their coffers.
In face of Supreme Court’s decision on Panama Leaks, once again ruling elite is closing their ranks. Panama Leaks caught them off guard. Probably it was a bolt of retribution from the sky. They looks to be perplexed and unnerved. Possibly rug is slipping under their feet. With case of Panama Leaks at Supreme Court, Pakistan is back at cross roads of its destiny and nation is at tenterhooks. Its decision would sets the direction for the nation to embark upon.
— The writer, retired Lt Col, is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.