The year of 2007 was a landmark year for Pakistan under military occupation, and the ramifications of events of the year will be felt for years to come. The year saw the military regime taking oppression to a new level in various parts of the country, generating reactions of various kinds from the protests by lawyers wearing black suits to the uneducated victims of the regime’s oppression in Baluchistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)/
The year also saw Nawaz Sharif returning to Pakistan for serve the deceptive designs of the military regime which wants to provides itself some kind of legitimacy by showing that a majority of policial parties participated in the sham elections. He was allowed to return after being deported to Saudi Arabia.
Benazir Bhutto was allowed to return as a result of a grand plan by the US and UK to provide some kind of democratic legitimacy to the dictatorship they have been supporting since years. All criminal cases were dropped against Benazir.
Musharraf declared emergency when he was given a green light from Washington when they sensed the Supreme Court was about to declare Musharraf imposing himself as a president on the nation illegal.
Emergency was revoked when the main job was done, which is the appointment of hand-picked judges, mostly magistrates promoted to the position of judges and throwing all cases against Mush’s legitimacy out of the court.
Musharraf shed uniform when he secured himself for another five years with the possibility of extension on the pattern of what Hosnie Mubarak is doing in Egypt.
A new army chief was appointed when the colonial masters and their media confirmed that he was firmly a pro-West mercenary general.
Of all the events, the developments in the field of judiciary were the most significant. The year saw a pliant judiciary – which had assumed office after taking oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) promulgated by Musharraf – start questioning the government authority – a definite novelty in Pakistan.
When the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry castigated security agencies for the disappearance of political activists and directed the intelligence agencies to produce them, it crossed the Rubicon. Musharraf, who draws his strength from the army, which is not used to being questioned by civilians, responded by suspending the chief justice.
What followed was unprecedented: civil society led by lawyers and actively supported by the independent media rose in unison to protest the government action.
This forced the government to backtrack and reinstate the chief justice. However, when the judiciary again started asserting its independence and challenging the legitimacy of the Musharraf government, it was sent packing. A handpicked judiciary with pliant judges was sworn in under a fresh PCO. Despite huge public protests, the coming elections have diverted public attention from this crucial issue.
After revoking the PCO Dec 15, the judges were given a fresh oath of office. But the judges who had refused to be sworn in under the PCO continue to languish in their homes under virtual house arrest.
On the security front, Balochistan continued to simmer but the developments in other parts of Pakistan and the government’s strong-arm tactics against the media ensured that it remained away from the headlines.
Even a major incident like the killing of Nawabzada Ballach Marri, believed to be the commander of the Baloch Liberation Army, failed to bring the Baloch issue to the centre-stage.
Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal, a former chief minister and a number of other Baloch political activists, continues to be incarcerated without proper judicial procedures. This has not stirred the media significantly.
It is not that the region has quietened during the year – Baloch insurgents continued targeting symbols of government authority, almost daily, but the region disappeared from the public gaze.
The real threat to Pakistan’s security came from the Pakistan army acting as a mercenary force for the US. The massacres continue from the one in Islamabad to the borders of Pakistan. This is definitely going to bring about more reaction, more blood bath, more justification for the regime and its supporters abroad to continue their terrorist approach and keep undermining the very existence of Pakistan.
It is easy for the Islamophobic Western media to blame everything on “radical Islamic militants.” However, one question they all ignore collectively is, why was there no radical Islamic militancy in Pakistan in the past 60 years? Why now? Did all of them discovered Islam in 2007? Hiding behind the slogans of “Islamic militancy” only ensures continuity of repression, regime sponsored terrorism and unchallenged extremism by the increasingly becoming fascist army of Pakistan.