17th March, 2008 is not just another day. It was the day when the 13th National Assembly of Pakistan was called in order, and this was the day when for the first time in the history, the three services chiefs were not present in the ceremony, and also the absence of the chief justice of Pakistan Hameed Dogar was conspicuous.
The terming of the convening of the new National Assembly as historical event and expressing the confidence that Pakistan will now start moving forward on the path of democracy and economic growth and stability is not totally unfounded. These are all fruits of change. Pakistani voter initiated this process on 18th February by taking inspiration from the tragic assassination of former two-time Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, and told the forces of status quo loud and clear that enough is enough and now the writ of the people will rule.
Now in the due time the speaker and the deputy speakers of the assembly will be selected followed by the election of Prime Minister,and then the announcement of the cabinet. These things are already very late on schedule. It was very ominous on the part of President House to call the assembly session that late, when the country is at the brink and suicide bombers are cut loose. To add insult to injury, the provincial assemblies are still not being called.
The need of the hour is that the elected representatives of the people must be allowed to work freely and without the fear of the hanging sword of 58(2)B and National Security Council.