The man in blue :Something happened in Pakistan

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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The man in blue

By Justice Markandey Katju

Something happened in Pakistan yesterday which mesmerised the whole country, and was simply unbelievable. A 70 year old man in blue garments was seen on a screen in Court number 1 of Pakistan's Supreme Court ( the Chief Justice's Courtroom ), a scene which electrified the whole nation.

The picture was of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan appearing virtually in Court. No livestreaming of his appearance was permitted by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa ( who is known to be a toady of Pakistan's Establishment, and totally servile to it ), though he permits livestreaming of other proceedings in his court.. So it was some lawyer who clandestinely took the picture on his laptop when it appeared momentarily on the screen, which went viral all over Pakistan. Now a police investigation has been ordered about this, as if a heinous crime had been committed.
The picture has gone viral all over Pakistan, and everyone has watched it.
Though jailed firs int Attock, and then Adiala, jail on fabricated and ridiculous charges since August last year, Imran Khan has become an icon and an idea which has gripped the masses in Pakistan, and has the support of over 90% people of Pakistan ( as all opinion polls indicate ).

Even from inside jail, Imran Khan is leading a heroic brave struggle for restoration of democracy in Pakistan and ending the nightmarish fascist reign of terror unleashed on the people by the army all over Pakistan after the incidents of 9th May, 2023 ( which many assert were stage managed )

By a massively rigged election for parliament on 8th February this year he was deprived of over half the seats which he would have easily won and become the Prime Minister again. The Pakistani army hates him, as was evident from the recent Press Conference of the DGI SPR Maj Gen ( now Lt Gen ) Ahmed Sharif who called Imran Khan's party PTI an 'intishari tola' ( gang of disruptors ), 'siyasi balwais' ( political chaos creators ), etc who relied on ''jhooth', 'fareb' and 'makkar'.

The army hates him as he insists that it be under civilian control, and accountable, something to which the generals, with their huge ill gotten wealth, which they are unwilling to part with, are totally unwilling

The US Government also seems to dislike Imran Khan as he has often criticised it e.g. for making the then Pakistan Government send Pakistani troops into Afghanistan, where many of them were killed. His visit to Moscow and meeting with President Putin was also seen a hostile act by the Americans. He also said that Americans often treat Pakistanis as slaves, a remark which could not have endeared him to the former.

Despite all these odds, Imran Khan's spiirit is unbent, as the picture revealed.

There will be no peace in Pakistan untill and unless fresh free and fair elections under supervision of the UN or some other reputed international agency is held, with the army strictly confined to their barracks, and whoever wins is allowed to form the government.

If this is not done, an era of largescale violence in the form of a people's guerilla war against the army is coming sooner than later in Pakistan.

(Justice Katju is a retired judge of the Supreme Court. These are his personal views.)

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