There are very few good guys in Pakistani politics, only worse and the less-worse. The Supreme Court has dismissed the prime minister for refusing to press corruption charges against the president. And yes, very likely the president is corrupt, and the prime minister venal. But the Supreme Court is corrupt too! And in cahoots with the militarists and the Islamists! So it's hard to choose sides.
Last week, a billionaire businessman made explosive accusations in court and in the media that he had given $3.7 million in kickbacks to [Chief] Justice Chaudhry’s son in order to swing several cases his way. The furor over those accusations, centered on the judge’s son, Arsalan Iftikhar, is now likely to fade as the country grapples with its latest political crisis.
Maybe the allegations against Justice Chaudhry are false. In Pakistan, truth or falsehood are categories that don't mean what they do elsewhere on earth. Pakistan's courts are very willing to hear and accept allegations of actual treason on the basis of dubious testimony riddled with perjury, as we saw in the unhappy case of Hussain Haqqani, former ambassador to the U.S.
To understand how this system works, there is no better guide than Haqqani's own book, which shows how the Pakistani military works through controlled civilian institutions, like the courts, to rule the state while casting all the odium for the state's failures on the powerless civilians who hold titular office. Those civilians, in turn, too often use their tenure to steal everything they can, while the stealing is good.
And all the while, that same military collects aid from the United States in exchange for a bizarre behavior pattern that consists partly of cooperation with US counter-terrorism operations and partly of supporting those same terrorists.