Syed Talat Hussain
I hope the prime minister Yusuf Raza Gillani has done his political sums correctly. If he has not, then he is facing sudden and critical failure in the most exacting examination of his career. It is clear from today’s developments that the Supreme Court is no mood to give more slack to the prime minister. The Attorney General’s ‘no response’ attitude peeved the Court and paved the way for the contempt of court notice being issued to the prime minister. In normal circumstances, the Court would have said, “We are unhappy, but let us give you another date to get back to us for a proper response.’ This the Court could not do today for several reasons.
One is that this is not ‘hearing court’ but an implementation court. Hearing on NRO is over. The verdict is out. Review petitions have been dismissed. Now it is time to get the results from the government. No results, no leniency. The other reason for the Court to be tough is that the government just does not take them seriously. Its ministers and party members miss no opportunity to ridicule the Court and then try to be smart by saying, half-giggling most of them, that they ‘respect the court.’ This see-saw with Court has made the judges a punching bag and for some even a laughing stock.
What sort of a court would it be that would take such hits and still be able to retain its image? But most importantly the Court has given so much warning time to the prime minister, who is the chief executive, that any further concession would sound like a cop-out and would invoke the charge this is ‘noora kushti’ (a fixed wrestling match of no consequence.) The Court is pulling the plug and the prime minister should know that because if he does not his illustrious political career would be snuffed out in no time. He may think that this is great political sacrifice but his high rush of blood that recognizes no limit set by the Court is a dangerous game.
The prime minister has no friends left as it is, and whatever he has is the handiwork of his ‘boss’—the president. Power politics is a ruthless game and prime minister Gillani might discover that his great heroics against the Court in the end are worth only a ticket back to Multan.