Gilani Out! Caught and Bowled by CJP
News of the convicted Yousuf Gilani being fired by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on the 19th of June 2012 hit the nation like a cool breeze amidst the baking heat and the brutal load-shedding, particularly in the Punjab Province – Pakistan’s largest by population. Celebrations were held as people were thrilled to witness a big blood sucking parasite sent packing by the Highest Court in the country. I am pretty certain that the people jubilating would include all those “fired” by Gilani himself in his tenure as PM, including Defense Secretary Lodhi and three ambassadors amongst others. After Musharraf, this is the second time the Supreme Court of Pakistan has flexed its muscles over a nasty predator swimming in Pakistani territorial waters!
In its 19th June 2012 judgment, the Supreme Court ruled that Gilani had been disqualified from Parliament. Therefore, the seat of the Prime Minister of Pakistan was declared vacant. The Presidency was subsequently asked by the Court to nominate a new person as the country’s Prime Minister. Also, the disqualification extended to over a period of 5 years which means that Yousuf Gilani has been barred from contesting or holding any public office in the country until 2017. The prime reason for Gilani’s dismissal was the Ex-PM’s consistent refusal to write a letter to the Swiss authorities in the money laundering cases involving President Asif Zardari aka Mr. 10%. An Election Commission of Pakistan [ECP] notification was issued as per the Court’s orders within hours of the judgment, one for Gilani’s disqualification as PM and another one for his disqualification from the Majlis-e-Shoora, i.e. the Parliament.
The judgment, that was released on the 19th of June 2012 declaring Gilani disqualified, was in response to the petitions filed by Imran Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and Khwaja Asif, Central Leader of PML(N) along with many others who challenged the order of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Fehmida Mirza dated 25th May 2012. In her decision on the 25th of May 2012, related to the Supreme Court’s earlier judgment of 26th April 2012, she had refused to side by the judiciary. These identical petitions filed by all these different individuals were heard by a three member bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justice Jawad S Khwaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and the bench was headed by the Chief Justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry himself.
Earlier on 26 April 2012, the Apex court ruled that in light of the available evidence, the then-PM Gilani was considered as “convicted” and that his fate would be decided by the speaker of the National Assembly as she holds the power to send a reference against the PM to the Election Commission of Pakistan [ECP]. However, the speaker chose to side with the thugs and crooks, doing away with all her credibility and desire of imitating the late BB! She plainly stated that she did not see the then-PM as deserving a reference and therefore, she would not file one!
In its 19 June 2012 judgment declaring Gilani disqualified, the Court further stated that since no appeal had been filed by Yousuf Gilani after the court’s initial judgment of 26th April 2012, it implied that he had accepted the court’s judgment of declaring him “convicted”. However, the counsel for the Ex-PM Yousuf Gilani, Aitzaz Ahsan, stated that he had no regrets about not filing the appeal earlier. This statement seemed to be a face-saving maneuver more than anything else.
Notably, before the passing of the court judgment against him on the 26th of April, Gilani addressed a public rally and said in the local language to his “sick” supporters, “I told the court I am PM……not PN [Peon]”. Now that he has been disqualified, his statement seems ironic. What a befitting end the rascal has reached. Bravo CJP!
In addition to all of this controversy, there was news of the Ex-PM having a hunch about the expected decision coming hard on him. The day the judgment was announced, i.e. the 19th of June 2012, it was revealed in the press that the Ex-PM’s family, including two of his sons charged in corruption cases and his wife allegedly having unpaid bank loans, had already shifted to London. “Fled” would have been a term more synonymous of the family’s shift to London. For the same reason, earlier, the Ex-PM had cancelled his trip to Brazil and sent Hina Rabbani Khar to fulfill his duties instead. It is being rolled out in the press now that Fizza Gilani, daughter of Ex-PM Gilani, is likely to contest elections from the vacated seat of her father in Constituency No. NA-151, Multan-IV. Is corruption a family business and will the constituency be ridiculous enough to support these people?
It is also being narrated that Ex-PM Gilani’s father, Makhdoom Alamdaar Gilani was also declared disqualified in the days of Field Marshal Ayub Khan over charges of abuse of power. According to the press, Makhdoom Alamdaar Gilani was a Minister before the imposition of Martial law in 1958. However, after Martial law was imposed, he was made to dismount a car he was travelling into and was forced to go home on foot! Yousuf Gilani himself was sent to jail during the reign of another military dictator, Musharraf, over the same charges as those imposed on his father. Now, he stands disqualified and two of his sons have been involved in scams, one in a Hajj Scam and the other in the ephedrine drug scam that involves misappropriation to the tune of PKR  Billion! Events reveal that the lineage of Makhdoom Alamdaar Gilani, his second and third generations have steadfastly stuck to his ideals of abuse of power as well as rampant corruption!
The battle between the Court, the National Assembly, and the extended government is a tangled web indeed. The Court explained the 19th June 2012 order by saying that Gilani’s disqualification was in effect from the 26th of April 2012 when the first order of the Supreme Court, relating to the Ex-PM was passed. Also, the Court remarked that the Speaker of the National Assembly CANNOT override the Supreme Court’s order and if it were to happen, where would the Supreme Court stand in its legal position? Further, it said that the Speaker of the National Assembly should not have over-stepped her authority by finding faults with the previous judgment of the Supreme Court on the 26th of April. She exercised her powers on the matter which are not covered by her designation as Speaker NA as per the constitution. Therefore, there was no stopping the Court from looking into her order dated 25th May 2012, which cited her refusal to file a reference against the Ex-PM Gilani.
Whoever the next PM would be, he would be required by the Supreme Court to undertake the very same assignment: Write a letter to the Swiss authorities over Zardari’s laundered money. Let’s see what happens if he doesn’t!
The Media reported that on the night of 19th June 2012, Yousuf Gilani moved out of his official residence and disappeared into the darkness in a car that did not bear the green Pakistani flag. Here’s hoping and praying that in the future our leaders are no longer notorious for their scandals, controversies, and corruption, but instead for their integrity and devotion to improving our great nation. Pakistan Zindabad!