After years of ambivalence towards him, I am now proud to call Yousaf Raza Gilani the prime minister of my country.
I admit that when he took oath, I was just as dismissive as anyone else. I thought he was another one of the pack — corrupt, incompetent and disloyal. And, on top of that, he seemed compliant.
And now, when the honourable Supreme Court has called him “dishonest”, I stand up and say that he is the prime minister and that he should not stand for this kind of treatment.
There is speculation that he will resign. Political uncertainty is such that between the time I take to write this and this comes into print, he may not be the prime minister. Who knows? And who cares?
After all, who cares that the world’s number one terrorist Osama bin Laden was in our midst for years, living a stone’s throw from the Pakistan Military Academy, where Army Chief General Kayani delivered a speech to graduating cadets weeks before Bin Laden was killed?Who cares that hundreds of terrorists who have killed and maimed thousands of Pakistanis are roaming free on the soil of this country? Who cares that another country, which calls itself our strategic partner in a long-drawn-out war that we’re losing, regularly kills our fellow countrymen, women and children in the tribal areas? And then some days, that same country kills our soldiers, too. Who cares?
Perhaps the honourable Chief Justice does. He who is correctly demanding that letters be written to the Swiss authorities and the money of the people is brought back to them. He who has held the prime minister responsible for failing to keep his oath but appears not to notice when the army and intelligence chiefs fail this country. He who takes suo motu notice over an individual carrying two bottles of alcohol in her travel bags but failed to do the same when Bin Laden was found and killed by foreign forces comfortably ensconced inside our territory, or when terrorists stormed the Pakistan Army’s headquarters in plain sight, or when American drones kill our own in our own backyard, or when hundreds go missing — and turn up dead — in Balochistan.
It took Prime Minister Gilani some time to find his voice. But now that he has, I stand by him. I do not know whether or not he will resign, but I know this that he does not need to until those whose job it is to secure Pakistan step down for failing to arrest the pervasive insecurity in this country; and until those whose job it is to be impartial conduct themselves in a manner that respects their oath.