Retired Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid, the former judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court, is of the opinion that the Dec 16, 2009, decision of the Supreme Court against the NRO targets a few politicians.
Issued by General Musharraf, the NRO provided legal amnesty to numerous government officials and businessmen who were faced with corruption charges.
Nasir Aslam Zahid, while identifying the decision to overturn the NRO as historical landmark, noted that the decision was selective in targeting some politicians, and would, therefore, not lead to the elimination of corruption from all sections of Pakistani society.
There are possibilities that the judges, in forthcoming detailed judgment, would argue that the NRO and consequent nomination of Asif Ali Zardari for presidency is a violation of the articles 62 and 63 and that he should not had been nominated.
Having recognized the merit of the argument, Justice Nasir suggests that the decision targets selected individuals, rather than the Pakistani community as a whole. Therefore, while this ruling is commendable, these judgments cannot and do not eliminate corruption.
Only 25 politicians have been covered in this decision, as well as some businessmen. But there remain other institutions and people who are not covered by this ruling. Indeed, no action has been taken against the judiciary, the military, and the bureaucracy. Some actions have been taken at small levels, for example, against small revenue officials, but nothing has been done at the higher levels. From a human rights perspective, a popular judgment is beneficial to a community only if its impact can be felt across the board.
It is important to note that the period taken for corruption in the NRO was from January 1, 1986 to October 12, 1999, when there were political governments. Through the NRO, General Musharraf wanted to show that whenever the army is in power, there are no charges of corruption and no political victimization. But when there are political governments, the victimization begins and false cases are initiated against political parties.