Sangh Samachar

Musharraf secures judicial victory, earns pat from Bush

Posted in satire by ravi on November 22, 2007

Embattled Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf won a crucial court ruling that secured his hold on power. On Thursday, the Pakistan Supreme Court dismissed the sixth and final legal challenge against his re-election. While Musharraf supporters applauded the verdict as preordained from above, critics dismissed it as a result doctored by Musharraf.

It may be recalled that after the declaration of emergency, Musharraf had altered the composition of the Pakistan Supreme Court. Critics say he packed it with his supporters, and with several former judges — including dismissed former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry — still under police custody, even Musharraf supporters grudgingly admit they have a point. This, and the detention of lawyers, seem to have become a sticky issue for his erstwhile allies in the War on Terror. A source from the British Foreign Office confirmed that Musharraf had made it “really difficult for us to continue supporting him. How could we profess respect for democracy and the rule of the law and at the same time support someone who has showed scant respect for either?” On Pakistan’s suspension from the Commonwealth, the clarified that this was meant to be a temporary face-saving measure, and would in “no way affect arms sales to Pakistan.”

In the United States, opinion seems to be divided along party lines. The Democrats seem to be veering around to the view that Musharraf’s Presidency lacks legitimacy. A party source confided: “He has gone about it all wrong. If he had packed the judiciary with his supporters earlier, the Supreme Court could have elected him President and Pakistan would still be a democracy. He is solely to blame for the mess we are in. Musharraf also lacks Zia-ul-Haq’s cunning and bestiality, and now has a tough fight ahead of him.”

In contrast, President Bush congratulated Musharraf on his judicial victory. As a Republican strategist confirmed that “[t]he President spoke with Musharraf and empathized with him as only a judicially elected President can.” “The President has for long emphasized the importance of the judiciary in a democracy, and Musharraf seems to have finally grasped it”, he added. He also castigated the Democrats’ reluctance to respect the latest court verdict; “disregarding Supreme Court verdicts seems to have a become a habit with the Dems”, he noted with thinly disguised contempt.

A highly placed source in the Pakistan government sought to demystify the realpolitik behind this rapidly evolving drama. “You see, these Western Governments make a lot of hue and cry about democracy, but have short term memories. When Zia [ul Haq] staged a coup and presided over the judicial execution of [Zulfikar] Bhutto, the United States and Britain imposed sanctions for a while but quickly befriended the new ruler to counter the Red menace. Similarly, status quo will now be quickly restored for the sake of fighting Islamic fundamentalism. Of course, Musharraf will in the meantime have to swallow gratuitous insults and advice (from the West), and show composure. He often fulminates against them in private meetings, which serves a cathartic purpose and is good, but is way too smart to antagonize them like Saddam.”

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