THIS is unthinkable in a society, imbued with even semblance of civic conscious that about 400 hundred people, clad in uniform of law proceed in a procession in broad day light over a distance of 6-7 kilometres under watchful eyes of notoriously known Punjab police to avenge their bruised inflated ego at the hands of some handful of doctors by storming a heart hospital and did what could not be termed something bad in polite words. They ran amok and pillaged everything which came in their way. No crying patient or beseeching attendant could evoke shred of pity in their heart. They ripped off the heart patients heartlessly, oxygen masks and intravenous needles. The humanity stood at its lowest ebb. This was the new low which they explored to plumbintide of their rabid senselessness. Even enemy soldiers do not stoop so low in war. Leave aside health facilities for civilians, even health facilities for wounded soldiers are not attacked. The reason is weapon of humans to defend themselves against disparagement and vilification. They do not use limbs to drive home the point. It is more absurd that a man is not ashamed of using his limbs instead of reason. Ironically legal community chose this too to further stigmatize themselves. The media was darkly warned for showing and criticizing their reprehensible ugly act and mindset. The threats are being hurled openly to morally conscious lawyers for not falling on their line to thwart action against them for committing insane act. Inevitably or otherwise, as a whole legal fraternity has refrained to condemn their action in clear terms. This completes the vicious cycle.
No incident, good or bad is mere accident. There is no phenomena which erupts suddenly to cause the occurrence. This piles up with accumulation of cause and effect over a period of time. Similarly insanity displayed at PIC by legal community has the background, influenced by negative fallouts of various factors. The intellectuals are soul of a society. They shape the moral and social behaviour of individuals and groups within a polity through their scrupulous and unblemished thoughts in writing and speech painstakingly. Here, in Pakistan, unfortunately they have become a saleable commodity. A number of media houses are their tempting destinations. They twist facts and inject imagination in a way which could sound music to ears of their paymasters who happen to be part of ruling clique. They feel threatened with high level of understanding/awareness and ethical standards in society because this could undercut their ability and longevity to capitulate the people for their rule and supremacy. With absence of intellectual input, moral and social dimensions of society become wayward. The national leadership ought to be wellspring of truth and righteousness. They are the role model for the people to emulate. They are basin of armament and reinforcement of people spiritually. In our case, they smell too rotten with shenanigans of all sorts among them. Instead of a motivation, they act as an antithesis to what is expected out of them to build the nation morally and socially. They show scant regard for rule of law. Even they had the audacity to attack Supreme Court when saw it going against their interests and still managed to escape scot-free. That gruesome act had implications of its own on formation of a society.
Consequently, our moral and social fibre has deteriorated markedly. Virtually our society has become free will for those who has the leverage to exert to get the job done particularly, with all pervasive institutional decay and decomposition in the country. National leadership serves as chiefs who build institutions before they make them accountable. This is their onerous responsibility. Instead of discharging the obligation, they demolished national institutions to serve their ends and purposes unhindered and unquestioned. With combination of corrupt and self-seeking leadership, bought media and tamed national institutions, country became a land where system of two laws prevails. This also reenergize the notion of fittest to survive only. The movement for restoration of judiciary was a landmark achievement in political history of Pakistan in which lawyer’s community played a lead role and emerged a force to be reckoned with albeit arguably, this supposition could be questioned. Instead of channelizing the strength and importance which they assumed positively, this produced a rogue legal community which flourished unfettered in atmosphere of huge judicial activism unseen or experienced before. They heavily used strong arm methods unbridled as there was no resolute authority to check them. Resultantly, they continue to grow menacingly in roguery for their survival the minimum and self-glorification in addition. To cap it all, responsibility is collective for rampage at PIC though immediate and direct culprit is the legal community. This is not the only instance. We continue to such instances. More recent example is of march/sit in at Islamabad by Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Its basic motivation was same as of might is right to extract the mileage. The possibility of such recurrence could not be completely ruled out even we take immediate corrective and punitive measures. This could only be stamped out when we correct fundamentals of justice and egalitarianism in a society. Given conditions, this is an uphill task. Its accomplishment may also take long time but we need to make a robust start.
— The writer, a retired Lt Col, is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.