Magazine article Newsweek International

Yousaf Raza Gilani

Magazine article Newsweek International

Yousaf Raza Gilani

Article excerpt

Byline: Fasih Ahmed And Shehrbano Taseer

The Supreme Court calls for an "Arab Spring" uprising.

The opposition already calls him "the former prime minister of Pakistan." His country's Supreme Court has declared him "wicked"--a "criminal" seeking political "martyrdom through disobeying the law." It may be a good thing for Yousaf Raza Gilani that he claims descent from Sufi saints, since he'll certainly need the patience of one as pressure intensifies for him to step down.

The outcry reached an unprecedented pitch last week as the court issued a 77-page "detailed judgment" against Gilani, publicly exhorting the people of Pakistan to rise up against him and his government. "The recent phenomenon known as the Arab Spring is too fresh to be ignored or forgotten," wrote Justice Asif Khosa in an assenting opinion, citing "the responsibility of the people themselves to stand up for defending the Constitution and ... for dealing with the delinquent appropriately." Gilani's alleged crime was to disobey the court's order for him to request that Swiss authorities reopen old corruption cases against his boss, President Asif Ali Zardari. (Gilani and the Swiss both maintain that Zardari has immunity from criminal prosecution.)

Mere prose apparently could not adequately express Khosa's condemnation of Gilani: his opinion included a lengthy quote from the Lebanese-American poet Khalil Gibran, as well as numerous additional lines of his own in which he vowed that "the law shall have the last laugh. …

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