Country’s prosperity depends on the vehicle of law with the essence that it should be same for everyone. Every time the ruler of the country either a democrat or a tin-pot dictator vowed and asserted that during his rule every human being would be treated with the same lens of law. But, on the other hand, rulers also installed such laws which immune them from accountability and also gave the legitimacy to their rule. Sometimes the law is not a substitute of morality, but speaks about power. Karl Marx said, “The moral power cannot be created by paragraphs of law.”
The saga of rule of law is chanted every time more fervently with the advent of a new ruler. When the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, was charged with frivolous allegations, then ruler General Zia-ul- Haq said, “Justice must be done and nobody is above the law according to my convictions.” Bhutto was hanged but the history also gave its verdict and that can’t be quashed by force.
In the 1990s, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif tried their best to cut off the nose to spite the face either it was under the domain of the constitution or not. A game show of musical chairs for the premiership ended when General Pervez Musharraf took the reins of the country. Benazir Bhutto lived a life of self-exile and Nawaz Sharif was forced to live in exile. During his rule, cases were trumped-up against the leaders of political parties. Now, once all powerful and mighty head of the country, General Musharraf, is an absconder in treason case and is living a self-exile life.
Nowadays, the most used rhetoric is the slogan of corruption and National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).The concept of NRO emanated from South Africa, which has become the victim of the apartheid policies by the state since 1948 to 1994. Nelson Mandela, who was an icon of human rights, anti-apartheid activists in his entire life, jailed for three decades due to his ideology which is remembered and taught now, became the president of South Africa in 1994 and he established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to investigate the human rights violations committed both by the opponents and supporters of apartheid between 1960 and 1994. Open hearings of the victims and the perpetrators were made and as a quid pro quo the perpetrators were asked for reparations.
In Pakistan, that type of TRC is known as NRO which floated when exiled former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto made a secret deal with then dictator General Pervez Musharraf in 2007 which granted amnesty to politicians and legislators from the accusations of corruption and money laundering covering the era from 1988 to 1999. Due to that deal it became possible for the exiled Prime Ministers to come back to Pakistan. However, that NRO was declared illegal by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2009 and all the corruption cases were reopened ignoring the fact wither they were concocted or not.
Now, people in the power are using every tool to defame their opponents just for their popularity. When a ruler has all the power in his hand, he mostly shows a tone of vendetta, bitterness and revenge against his opponents. That time will pass too.
Those who try to subjugate their opponents, considering themselves the mighty rulers and ultimate authority, history ruin them like ashes. Apparently, a despot can give a plausible explanation to snuff out the life of his nemesis, but it is the verdict of history that vindicates or incriminates a person. Power doesn’t always remain in one hand.