co-opting of the lawyer’s movement

via Let us build Pakistan, I read this article by Abbas Zaidi that explains exactly how the Lawyer’s movement has been co-opted by the right-wing, or “Zia’s remnants” as Benazir Bhutto called them.

If you take a look at the lawyers´ rallies, the most visible presence is of those fundamentalist religious parties who were carefully nurtured and empowered by General Zia. The most significant of them is Jamat-e-Islami, whose support of Zia´s barbaric misrule was matchless. Jamat-e-Islami was the greatest beneficiary of Zia´s martial law and was given key ministries by him
[…]
More examples can be given, but the point is: the lawyers´ movement has been hijacked by those politicians whose very appearance brings extremely painful memories of a time remembered for its barbarities, murders, and total disregard for human rights. These politicians have never been able to form government through fair elections because the people of Pakistan have always rejected them. Benazir Bhutto called them “Zia´s remnants”. Another Zia remnant made his presence felt on 3 November 2008 not through his presence, but through the placards that his supports were carrying in front of Justice Chaudhry´s house. The placard said: “The Act of 3 November Not Acceptable: General Hamid Gul”.

It’s very a interesting issue to me how issues of injustice are always ultimately co-opted by the right wing, making the moderates and liberals who initially supported them end up looking like little more than enablers. A lot of support for the lawyer’s movement has thus been siphoned off to support for the PML(N). Of course, the PML(N) and the Jamaat were busily advocating disengagement from the war on terror, and support for them was siphoned off to support Hameed Gul and co. Little wonder then that Pakistani moderates have been so quiet about the Mumbai attacks.

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One response to “co-opting of the lawyer’s movement

  1. Pingback: Grand Trunk Road / co-opting of the lawyer’s movement | kozmom

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