"Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" asked Joseph N. Welch in responding to the accusatory US Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1950s as part of the Army–McCarthy hearings.
|Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry
The conduct of many ongoing hearings by Pakistani Supreme Court
reminds me of the McCarthy era which is still remembered in America as a shameful period of US history. It was characterized by an unrestrained Senator Joseph McCarthy who used his broad subpoena powers to order people to appear before the committee. The Senator and his colleagues then proceeded to insult and intimidate people
who were presumed guilty of being communists by the committee.
McCarthy's victims included mostly innocent people from various walks of life including writers, authors, soldiers, journalists, government officials and politicians whose views were found to be unacceptable by the committee's rabidly anti-communist members. The committee's relentless pursuit of innocent victims began unravel with the questions asked by US Army counsel Joe Welch, a courageous man indeed.
Can Imran Khan be the man to do what Joe Welch did more than half century ago? Let's wait and see.
If Imran Khan does take a stand, he might find himself convicted of contempt of court and disqualified from holding any office for several years. However, Imran's defiance and punishment might actually help him divert attention from major governance failures in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province. The most recent failure was a well-planned jailbreak by the Taliban of the Dera Ismail Khan. Hundreds of hard-core terrorists freed in the jailbreak will now swell the Taliban ranks who will mount even more devastating attacks on innocent civilians in KP and elsewhere. What is even more disturbing is that KP government failed to act in spite of early intelligence report warning of the attack.
For now, it seems that Imran Khan and his colleagues in PTI have their heads in the sand and failing to own responsibility to fight the terrorists. It's huge failure of leadership on their part.
It's taken five years for Imran Khan to realize that Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry
has become "controversial" after the Arsalan case. The fact is that the reference filed by President Musharraf against Justice Chaudhry was mainly about his abuse of office to assist his son Dr. Arsalan Iftikhar.
Since Justice Chaudhry's restoration, he has continued to protect his son's corruption while he has pursued suo moto cases against many he dislikes. He is an unelected and unaccountable judge who removed a duly elected prime minister from office in what is being called a judicial coup in Islamabad. In fact, it could be persuasively argued that the judiciary is now a bigger threat to democracy than the military.
Will it take another 5 years for Imran Khan to recognize the seriousness of the threat posed by the Taliban? It might be too late by then.
Some of Imran Khan's detractors have called him "Im the Dim" (naive and clueless) while others refer to him as "Taliban Khan" (allied with the Taliban). Only time will tell whether or which of these monikers fit the great Khan. It could be former, latter or neither.