Sunday, March 15, 2009

Some Good World News, for Once

Pakistan Expected to Restore Former Justice to Supreme Court

Pakistan's new(ish) prez, Zardari ("Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" --P. Townshend), is rumored to have given in and is expected to pardon & reappoint the nation's former and again Chief Justice. So the popularly elected president -- who had been acting more like a military dictator than often did his actual military dictator predecessor -- has decided that he's risked as much political capital as he can and must finally give in to the people's pressure... cave in to the rule of law... surrender to plain ole common sense. Wow.

It's been a disappointment that the Obama administration hadn't spoken up more directly and forcefully for Chaudhry in the last week as popular support and protests in Pakistan grew. Undoubtedly, there are many issues here that I don't understand, but this really seemed like a no-brainer deserving of my country's support, especially since the dismissal and charges against the former and once again Chief Justice seem to have been the final straw for the majority of the populace: "You (Musharraf) can lead a coup d'etat, change our laws and constitution at your will, and force our judges to take what amounts to a loyal oath, but don't fire our uncle Iftikhar, damn it!" Pakistan has been an important U.S. ally since Sept 11 and will be more so as we shift the focus of our military actions back from Iraq to Afghanistan. One would think that we would JUMP at the opportunity to lend support to citizens who are crying for the restoration of a fair and independent judiciary, especially when that nation happens to be majority Muslim.

Anyway, with or without the assistance of the U.S., it appears that at least one nation is taking care of some essential business. I just wish that we had taken the opportunity to help in the process.

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