Lots is happening in Pakistan. Well, not all is bad though. Yes there have been suicide bombings, and people are really quite scared of what may come if this continues, but in the middle of all this terrible news came the Supreme Court ruling that President Musharraf’s dismissal of the Chief Justice was illegal and stood no ground. The case has been thrown out and Chaudhry Iftikhar has been reinstated.
Pakistani newspapers, blogs, and even international media is touting this as a historic moment for Pakistan, and a momentous victory for the democratic forces. I agree that the decision of the Supreme Court against a sitting President and military general is probably unprecedented and remarkable indeed. The court has shown its mettle, though it must be added that it was the lawyer’s movement that probably gave the support to the independent judiciary that it so lacked earlier.
But this is also an important time for all the forces, parties, groups etc that rallied with the lawyers in this movement to think deep about what they plan to do next. Were they supportive of this extra-judicial firing of the Chief Justice only because it gave them a way to vent their anger against Musharraf’s rule? Politicians: where are your policy documents on how you would deal with the growing rise of extremism in Pakistan? Lawyers: how do you plan to convert this historic victory for the rule of law to actually make it meaningful for the masses who struggle to find even a hearing, let alone justice, in Pakistani courts every day? And the society that is now celebrating this victory: how does it plan to stop fighting against itself? As Adil Najam put it eloquently, ours is a society at war with itself. And we better find a way out of it soon or the flames of war will engulf us all so badly that we won’t even know which way is right and which way is wrong.
Anyways – this post was not about the Pakistani politics. I wanted to post some pictures from Al-Hambra that even some readers requested for. Click on th epictures should take you to the full image. Al-Hambra is absolutely beautiful and certainly worth visiting for any of you that haven’t. I am writing this from Kyoto, Japan (where I am for work) and if I get time to venture out I will take some pictures here as well. I have heard it is absolutely gorgeous here, the ancient capital of Japan.