ISLAMABAD: An independent judiciary is the essence of democracy and the Constitution is very clear about certain restrictions on the Pakistani citizens having ‘dual nationality’, and for good reasons. Why, then, the government is bent upon undermining the judiciary by introducing the contempt bill and seeking amendment in the relevant article to permit holding of public offices by the dual nationality holders?
To get an answer, we need to understand the bigger picture.
To pursue its strategy to convert Pakistan into a ‘pliant’ state, the US is trying to control Pakistan by controlling its leadership, through implementation of a well thought-out plan, whereby; (1) Pakistani politicians willing to support the US agenda in the region would be ‘assisted’ to reach the corridors of power. (2) Ingress would be made in major institutions by cultivating ‘local assets’, thereby, establishing a network to ‘elevate and protect’ those who comply and ‘marginalize’ those not falling in line. (3) Alternate leadership would be prepared to ensure friendly change, if situation so demanded. (4) Rampant corruption, economic dependence on USA and negative internal dynamics of Pakistan would serve as tools to support the strategy.
The NRO was thus brokered by US to pave the way for return and ascent to power of ‘leaders’, willing to dance to their tune. Having placed at the required positions, they were to achieve total control over institutions that may hinder pursuance of long-term US objectives. The major institutions to be tamed included the Parliament, military establishment and the judiciary.
Thus, in pursuance of this agenda, the Parliament has been successfully converted into a ‘rubber-stamp body’ through enactment of 18th Amendment, whereby, a party head has become so strong that he can even unseat a sitting PM of his party and if he is also the president, enjoying immunity, as is the case these days, the system can be termed anything but democracy. Unfortunately, the main opposition party also became a party to this undemocratic clause while pursuing their own selfish agendas. Now, the US by just controlling 4-5 party-heads, can control the entire policy-making of Pakistan.
One can imagine the consequences if these leaders also choose to become US citizens after passage of proposed bill on ‘dual nationality.’
After achieving control over the Parliament, the guns were directed towards the military establishment to undermine the institution, to gain control over them and curtail their ability to breed ‘strategic defiance’ to the US ‘grand design’ in the region.
While the dilution of Army’s status as a centre of gravity is a good omen in a democratic dispensation, the conspiracy to undermine this institution would prove to be extremely detrimental for the country as the Army is, and must remain, relevant to Pakistan’s security.
By securing dual nationality, the perpetrators conspiring against the military establishment would be able to pursue their agenda with greater freedom of action. With the Parliament marginalized and military establishment taking the back seat, the US backed Pakistani leadership hoped to get a free hand to pursue the given agenda but for pro-active judiciary which has emerged as a major irritant for the ruling elite, and its patrons.
Hence, the ‘contempt’ and ‘dual-nationality’ bills, which are aimed at becoming all powerful ‘untouchables’ so that the given foreign agenda could be pursued with impunity.
While it is expected that the judiciary would thwart any attempt to undermine its independence, the ‘dual nationality’ bill, if passed, would have serious implications for Pakistan.
Already, under the garb of constructing new embassy at Islamabad close to the Presidency and PM’s Secretariat and a consulate at Karachi, the US is in the process of developing bases in Pakistan. With the enactment of the proposed bill, we would probably one day have ruling elite with US passports, virtually running the country from the US base at Islamabad and taking decisions under US dictation, which may not be in our national interest — colonization of a new kind.
As such, in my view, all those parliamentarians who support the ‘dual nationality’ bill would be responsible for placing the country under a de-facto foreign rule.