Long March: The Need for New Leadership in Pakistan

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The Restoration of the Judiciary in Pakistan represented a movement of the lawyers, civil society, and the power of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Is the Long March Over? Or does the restoration of the Chief Justice and the deposed Justices represent only the beginning of the symbol of the Long March? One thing for sure, the struggle for an independent judiciary has not ended, but only has begin. The one thing that the Long March showed was the power of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The Long March had one objective, to restore the Judiciary and the deposed Justices. However, in reality the true objective of the Long March was to empower the Judicial Branch of Pakistan. The Judicial Branch of Pakistan was becoming an institution of little power with the real power being in the military and the old school political parties. Each having their own chance, but each being over thrown by the other when the time came. The only time when Pakistan will start moving forward is when the Judicial Branch of Pakistan will be treated with equal respect as it is treated in the developed nations of the world.

The events that led to the short term victory by restoring the Chief Justice also has created the long term struggle for an empowered democratic institution. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif showed his power in Punjab and had Punjab rocking to restore the judiciary. But his movement was more than just about the judiciary, it was about Punjab being no longer under Governor Rule. But former Prime Minister should now take a step back and show the people that he does not have any more political motives. Does he have the right to contest elections? Yes, but so do many Pakistanis as well as Ahmadis, many of whom reside in Punjab, who do not have equal rights as other Pakistani people.

Until minorities are given equal political rights as guaranteed by Father Jinnah and the universal laws of humanity, the evil spirits that are hurting Pakistan's development will never go away. The only thing good that the Pandora Box has released is Hope. Hope is the sword we must use to shun the evil within the Pakistan Political institutions and make sure that the Pandora Box is closed for good. The Pandora Box opened when Father Jinnah died and caused the assassination of former Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan.

Pakistan was not founded by a religious leader, but a man who was a clean shaved, suit wearing man who was well versed in legal rights and law and order and was condemned by religious leaders. But the leaders of Pakistan's present, do not look at him enough for inspiration nor example. They look at themselves as heroes and heroines but do not look back at the leaders who made Pakistan a reality. The PPP government must understand that it was Father Jinnah who gave his whole life and death to the creation of Pakistan. His pictures should surround Pakistan and no political party flag should dominate the flags of Pakistan.

Some people have created fan clubs such as the President Musharraf fan club, Nawaz Sharif fan club, Benazir Bhutto fan club and the Altaf Hussain fan club. But these fan clubs have been created with the isolation of other political parties. These fan clubs are not calling for the empowerment of future leaders but a following of political leaders who have turned in to personalities. Father Jinnah would not approve of this. None of these leaders represent Father Jinnah's Pakistan. The few leaders that did represent Father Jinnah's Pakistan such as the late Fatima Jinnah and the late Mohammad Khan Junejo were never given the opportunity to lead, and when they did lead, they were betrayed by self-opportunists with a hidden agenda.

The legal community in Pakistan has been taken for granted, but the long march has shown the strength and determination of the legal community. In Pakistan, the respect for legal institutions became so low that it made a President dismiss the Chief Justice. Next time that a President or Prime Minister thinks of dismissing the Chief Justice, should remember the struggle for the Long March. No matter how strong the intimidation and threat of the police and the military, the legal movement and the respect for the Chief Justice must and will always be strong with determination.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has assisted in the legal movement, but he must understand that he has to make his family's sacrifice in order for Pakistan to progress and develop. Pakistan is a nation of over 165 million people and every young person deserves new leadership. He has the power in Punjab, his power will only be respected when he learns from the past mistakes and exercises wisdom and remembers the vision of Father Jinnah for Pakistan. Pakistan will only emerge as a great nation when it's judicial institution is treated with equal respect and the minorities are treated equally.

Munzir Naqvi graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Kennesaw State University.

He serves as an advisor to the Pakistan Israel Peace Forum (PIPF) & Pakistan The Next Five Years. Mr. Naqvi has served as President of Student Government at Kennesaw State University in 2004-2005. 

Naqvi is interested in developing countries and economic policies.  He is an advocate of Free Trade in a Free World.  His Motto is Diplomacy before Dialogue.  You can follow him at www.twitter.com/naqvi and Join the Facebook Group: Pakistan The Next Five Years

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