The Pakistani government on tuesday set up an independent commission to investigate the May 2nd US operation in Abbottabad. The decision to appoint the five-member was taken in an unscheduled two hour meeting between Gilani and Zardari, and according to the official notification, current Supreme Court Judge, Javed Iqbal will be heading the commission.
The commission is mandated to:
i) to ascertain the full facts regarding the presence of
Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
ii) to investigate circumstances and facts regarding
US operation in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011.
iii) to determine the nature, background and causes of
lapses of the concerned authorities, if any.
iv) to make consequential recommendations.
The announcement of the commission has already brought criticism from PML- N and the Supreme Court Bar Association(SCBA). First off, the members of the commission are mostly connected to the ruling PPP party and as such will clearly bring a narrative that will not favour the PML-N, or for that matter, could be non-conclusive and detrimental to the commission. Secondly, the decision made regarding the commission was taken without any discussion with the leader of the opposition, Chaudhry Nisar Ali. Technically, since it is a minority government the support of the opposition is ample in such a situation.
The SCBA on the other hand, believes that the executive branch of the government could not appoint Javed Iqbal without the consent of the Chief Justice, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. To the SCBA, the commission is illegal, and further states that the Supreme Court Judge may have been included into the commission without his own consent as well. That is very much possible when only two government officials are deciding in the first place who should be included in the commission. What the SCBA, does not bring up and seems to a bit worrying is the third mandate of the commission.
The third mandate is a very detailed issue that can be a commission on its own. The collapse in American-Pakistani relations and the incompetency/assistance towards Al-Qaeda by the military/ISI are some issues that I highly doubt the commission will really be able to tackle. This commission has already been politicized by the decisions of the Prime Minister and President, and we already know the stance the PPP has taken towards the military after this debacle. The military will flex its muscles as much as possible and even if the commission was to come to the conclusion that past and current ties with militants may have brought about such a bad reputation for the military, it will not make a significant change. The military has shown, time and time again that it believes that it is above everyone else.
A timeframe for completing the report by the commission has also not be stated, and clearly this commission has just been put together just to make it seem like the government really cares about it.
God Bless Syed Saleem Shahzad
Inah lillahi wa inna ilahi rajioon.
It is very sad to hear the death of an innocent individual. What is more unfortunate is that since 2000, over 70 journalist have been killed in Pakistan.
Let us remember all of those innocent lives that are lost daily because of a war, a terrorist attack, through the oppression of corrupt governments or because there are still out those who are poor and cannot afford to feed themselves or their families.
I changed the sentence, “First off, the members of the commission are mostly from the ruling PPP party…” as this was incorrect to “First off, the members of the commission are mostly connected to the ruling PPP party…” which is much more appropriate, since many members of the commission have ties to the PPP and MQM.