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May 28, 2011

Asma’s tirade against Army

National

May 28, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Asma Jahangir has launched an unprovoked but scathing attack against the Pakistan Army and has ridiculed the unanimous resolution recently adopted by the joint session of parliament.
In a private television talk show aired Thursday night, Asma Jehangir spoke her venom against the Army and went to the extent of dubbing the army officers “duffers”. Crossing all limits of decency and constructive criticism, she even made serious allegations of corruption and supporting of terrorist groups without providing any evidence.
Asma, known for her erratic responses, has also been using humiliating language against the parliament and the judiciary in recent times. In one interview she called parliamentarians ‘Ullo kay Phathay.’ Her outbursts against the present independent judiciary is already known to every one. After the apex court’s historic judgment on the NRO, which made the presidency unhappy, Asma used the expression of “17 jarvi bachiyaan bhaithi hain” for the honourable judges of the 17-member bench.
Although the constitution expects from the people to respect state institutions like judiciary and defence, the President of SCBA has shocked many by using extremely objectionable language. Asma who is extremely controversial in Pakistan is respected in many foreign countries including in India and the United States.
In her latest interview after the terrorist attack on India-specific strategic assets, she launched a scathing attack on the Pakistan army. Some of the her translated (in English) quotes are reproduced here; “The army men are duffers, duffers. They are politically duffers. If you will follow their policy, as you have (in the past), the country will never progress. I don’t care what USA or anyone else thinks. I only care that people of our country should save themselves from this Army. Pakistan Army is responsible for the present situation.”
Ignoring the sacrifices

of the army to curb terrorism, she instead said, “They have spread terrorism in every nook and corner of the country. The army supports terrorism and encourages it...I don’t allege all the army men. I am not alleging ordinary army jawans. But the army generals, who play golf all the time, gossip and look for the best pieces of land for themselves. Now see what has happened in Karachi; there was a marriage hall. Could you image marriage halls in such a sensitive location? The army has made us (citizens) slaves. Now the time has come to request them with all humility to go back to the barracks and let our children live here. We don’t want bloodshed here. If you really need some crown on your head please go, fight a war and show us that you can win a war. You did the Kargil misadventure, you kill light infantry soldiers.”
She added, “You are using innocent children as human shields . You are not able to fight, you cannot run the country, and you cannot make policy. You are a Qabza Group. You are a Qabza Group of this country. We should now say this plainly. Ask me the examples and I can give you several examples of their duffer-ness. See, I want a proper protest procession to be held on the Mall Road (Lahore), named ‘Haath Bandh Jaloos’. This protest procession should say, ‘Fauji Bhaio, Thanks you very much. Please go back to your homes. Sit in the barracks. You have taken so many plots. Now enough is enough. Ooh the Group of corrupts; please leave us alone.”
Asma concluded, “Now I say that either the Army will remain supreme or Pakistan. If both will remain supreme, the country may not move forward.” Asma also attacked the parliamentary resolution and termed it as mere toilet paper.
In the same interview, Asma also said she was the first one to condemn Musharraf’s martial law in 1999. However, in the post-coup interview with BBC that is available on youtube, Asma criticized the out-thrown civilian democratic government of Nawaz Shairf and just added one soft sentence that what Mushrraf had done by launching a military coup was not allowed by the constitution. Most of her interview justified the coup by condemning the ousted democratic government of Nawaz Sharif.
In yet another interview with The News she termed parliamentarians are fools by using the Urdu words ‘Ullo kay Pathay’. Asma has also been unpredictable in her statements towards the independent judiciary. She had opposed the historic July 31, 2009 judgment against the PCO judges and the November 3 Emergency of General Musharraf. She launched an aggressive attack on the independent judiciary after a 17-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry termed the notorious legislation of National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) as illegal, unconstitutional and declared it void abi nitio.
Referring to the 17-member bench, Asma had said it seemed that seventeen girls were sitting on the bench; “Satra Jurvi Bachiyaan Bhaithi hain.” While referring to use of article 62-f as the basis for striking down NRO by the Supreme Court, Asma said, “It was a ‘shararat’ (naughtiness) of the judges.”
Asma has repeatedly questioned how all the seventeen judges reached the same reasoning while rejecting this law. She did this more than ten times in about six TV programs in the month of December 2009. Exact quote in Urdu was, “Thora bohat Ikhtilaf hota hay - Kaisay Yeh ho gia keh 17 kay 17 judgoon ki reasoning aik hi ho gi.”
While claiming that the judiciary led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry remained silent on the issue of missing persons during Musharraf’s regime, Asma said, “Why did this judiciary remain silent when during the regime of Pervez Musharraf people were being picked up, went missing and were being sent to Guantanamo Bay? Why did this judiciary not speak then and why is it speaking now?”
This however, is a fact that beside the media, the judiciary was the only institution which was continuously taking up the issue of missing persons and even summoned officials of the security agencies for the recovery of these persons.
While criticising the Supreme Court on NRO judgement’s operational part, Asma during the same programme, said, “Prosecutor will be the court, appeal will be heard by court, monitoring cell is the court, watching will be done by court, court will transfer the people and court will appoint its choice people.”
At one point during this program after the NRO judgement, Asma even said, “We have not struggled for this judiciary. (In post Nov 3rd 2007 scenario) We have struggled for an independent judiciary. We have not struggled for such a judiciary.” Again while referring article 62-f Asma said about the Supreme Court judges, “They will be prosecutors, they will examine our eyes.”
While referring to the NRO judgement Asma even said, “Please don’t take this judgment so simply.” Again while mentioning article 62-f in the NRO judgment Asma predicted that if in future some candidate was not liked by the Islamabadites and if the 62-f is invoked against him, then these 17 (judges) will see whether the person is sagacious or not and all the 17 (judges) will reach on unanimous verdict that person is sagacious.
After NRO judgement, in a Dec 21, 2009 programme on TV, Asma even accused the apex court of conspiracy saying, “When the judgement is so controversial then one can smell conspiracy (Agar judgement Itni Mutnaza ho tu Is main say Saazish ki Boo Aati hay).”