The rule of law is not upheld so extensively for others and anyway the Prime Minster of Pakistan is not an unprivileged person. Once Mr. Gilani was asked to quit the post, Pakistani People's Party chose Makhdoom Shahabuddin as the next candidate. He was tainted and a Pakistani court issued an arrest warrant against him and thereafter Raja Pervez Ashraf was elected even though he was also facing corruption charges! Once Mr. Shahabuddin's name was dropped the Court did not do anything against him. But the apex court of Pakistan asked Mr. Ashraf to initiate proceedings against Mr. Zardari.
It should be noted that former chief of army staff and President General Pervez Musharraf issued National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) in 2007 that would allow Ms. Bhutto to return from the exile without facing legal consequences from corruption cases. The Law gave immunity to politicians and bureaucrats accused of corruption, even murder and terrorism, between 1986 and 1999. Therefore, cases against Mr. Zardari, which date back to 1990s when his late wife Benazir Bhutto was Prime Minister, should be considered annulled as far as Pakistani courts are concerned. They were accused of using Swiss bank accounts to launder around 12 m USD, paid as bribes by companies seeking custom inspection contracts. But then the court has again asked the incumbent Prime Minister to open graft cases against Mr. Zardari. Obviously, Pakistan's Supreme Court can not be termed crazy. There is only one such omnipotent and omnipresent force in the world which could play so extensively in the internal matters of Pakistan and that is the US.
The reason has to do with Pakistani establishment giving shelter to Osama Bin Laden inside its territory, in fact, too close to Pakistani military establishment in Abbottabad to pretend ignorance. The Americans do not forget and usually do not forgive. The reason for this pressure may have to do with making Pakistanis learn the reality of the world in general and reopening of the NATO supply route to Afghanistan via Pakistan in particular. It costs many billion USD more to make the supply reach to the NATO forces via Russia and Central Asian Republics. Americans by destabilizing the Center in Pakistan may also be telling the change of guard in Islamabad with Nawaz Sharif taking rein after the general elections. But since Pakistan has agreed to reopen supply from its territory without increasing the fee, Mr. Ashraf and his party may be partly spared.
Anyway, elections are going to be called earlier than scheduled. Mr. Ashraf would not be replaced by any of the senior ministers of the governing coalition and in case he is fired for contempt of the court, a caretaker government would replace the present one with that overseeing the interim period and general elections. The Pakistani military establishment, if it wants to again control non-military aspects of the state, might have to pay prohibitive costs, including compromise on Afghanistan, nuclear and missile strategy and on short-to-middle term concessions to India over Kashmir.
It should be noted that in all likelihood, the US deliberately killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November 2011 reminding Pakistan and the outside world that it knew who were responsible for Bin Laden's entry to Pakistan. But this is no cost that Americans would extract from Pakistan. US secretary of the State Hillary Clinton did not apologize as demanded by the Pakistani government. She regretted the incident which means only saying sorry. The attack inevitably compelled Pakistani government to cut off military supply through Pakistan. Pakistani government was under severe pressure and looking for the excuse to end the cooperation it extended to the NATO operation in Afghanistan since 2001. The Americans provided that excuse but they did not stop the drone attack along the Afghan-Pak border.
By nudging judiciary to put pressure on Pakistani government, the Americans have increased their stakes in the matter of Pakistan and are proving to the world America is the sole superpower of the world. Since it involves giving shelter to Bin Laden, the military can not attempt coup at this moment of time though it can look for increased stakes in the governance. Moreover, as a rule the militaries, particularly the active militaries, understand the harsh realties of the world, and this is certainly true about Pakistani military. It could be forewarning to all radicals and extremists. The US is attacking at the orthodoxy and fundamentalism, for which it is partly responsible in Pakistan, directly by engaging Pakistan and this would prove American supremacy to the outside world, particularly in the Islamic world.
Pakistanis do not appear to have too many options. But since Pakistan has reacted as a precise, perfect, nationalized state to the American strikes so will be the US for sheltering Bin Laden one day but only after its operation in Afghanistan is over. Mr. Ashraf may or may not be spared though he is a deliberate miss. It would depend on the secretive transaction between the Federal government and Pakistani government. There are many things that can happen as per American game plan in Pakistan. The elections are almost likely to be called early. It should be noted that the Pakistan's Supreme Court is no crazy institution acting against the established norms of Pakistani society. In fact it is other way round; it is nationalist and is trying to save both Pakistani people and Mr. Zardari from American predation because of the historical mistake to grant shelter to Bin Laden.
The most popular citizen journalists' reports on merinews chosen automatically on the basis of views and comments
View more jobs