The president’s speech: Pot shots at the Chief Justice
President Asif Ali Zardari’s speech was not what I expected it to be. It went against all predictions and rumours by different analysts that had stated that our president, in his speech at Garhi Khuda Bux, would hit back at the establishment for conspiracy against him in the Memogate scandal. Zardari, however, remained mum on the issue. Rather, in a few words he said that “the parliament is supreme and all forces come under its control.”
However, most of those who witnessed his speech wondered when exactly he had asked Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry ”what happened to Benazir Bhutto murder case.” He not only questioned progress regarding the murder case of his spouse, but expressed his willingness only “if the courts were under him.”
The remarks made by Zardari aptly reflect how he is deeply annoyed by the frequent interventions of the apex court on NRO, Memogate, and other issues being faced by the government. He was harsh in his criticism of the Chief Justice. However, what is puzzling to many is the fact that on the same day the president delivered his speech, the Chief Justice (CJ) also inquired about the progress of Benazir’s murder case!
The statement of the president and remarks of the CJ have confused many. Whether the government is responsible for bringing the assassins forward, or if this is to be left to the apex court remains a mystery. Some senior leaders of the PPP are even beginning to question why the culprits behind Benair Bhutto’s murder have yet to be arrested.
However, our president seemed confident and relaxed at the event. He stated that the book written by the former US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice has opened new dimensions to the case; therefore he will study it before providing people with any results.
To the masses, this is just another excuse. People are fed up and are tired of listening to the same meaningless slogans and approach. When Zardari was waving a copy of his manifesto, saying that 80% of their targets have been achieved, people of his party were protesting for roti, kapra and makan in front of the mausoleums of slain PPP leaders.
All in all, our president’s speech was ‘articulated’. He did not indulge in the criticism of non-state actors and his political opponents as he has done previously. In fact, he criticized international powers, especially America for its role in making puppet governments in the Middle East and North African countries. He further indicated that the Pakistani government will not bow down to the US and will not give in to its concerns about the Iran-Pak gas line project.
Did the speech console the many mourning Benazir Bhutto?
My guess is that it most certainly did not.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.