Nawaz and Ranjit Singh's method.
Whether he chose a rock or a hard place only time will tell but the result wouldn't be much different. I don't call that a choice, as both were hard choices and he was not allowed to us the Ranjit Singh method while appointing the CJ or COAS.
Don't be impatient. The Ranjit Singh method is fully explained in this column. Though it is said that PM Nawaz Sharif used his options to chose the NAB chairman, chief of PIA and the chief of Civil Aviation but even there instead of reading the job applications of the candidates and the rules regarding the appointments, he used the Ranjit Singh method when approving the applications because the Supreme Court threw out temporarily or may throw out permanently out of the window the appointment letters issued by Nawaz Sharif.
Not just that but it seems Nawaz Sharif also used the Ranjit Singh method to fire some individuals from high government posts such as the heads of NADRA and PEMRA because the courts have, at least for the time being, rescinded the dismissal orders of the two high officials. Raja Ranjit Singh was lucky there was no Supreme Court or high courts when he was the ruler.
In my long career as a journalist, it expands over quite a few decades; I have repeatedly mentioned as to how the most famous and successful Sikh Raja of all times, Ranjit Singh, used to decide on the various applications filed in his court by the common people. But even after so much usage, the varnish of the ancient method has not tarnished and is still workable.
Let us see what Raja Ranjit Singh's method was: Ranjit Singh was illiterate, one should not read too much in his illiteracy as the Moghul Emperor Akber was no different, Akber, like Ranjit, wouldn't have been able to differentiate between a three-pronged rake and the alphabet W if he were alive and as uneducated today as he was when alive.
Anyway coming back to Ranjit Singh's way of reaching decision on applications, it was that ,---at least this is how I was told the story--- because he couldn't read, he would divide the applications into two stacks, close his eyes, stand up on his toes and take a few twirls. With his eyes still closed and dizzy from the spin of the twirls, he wouldn't know as to which one of the two stacks was to his left and which to his right. With his eyes still closed, he would raise first one hand and say ay manjoor and then raise his other hand and say thay ay namanjoor: All the applications in the stack that was nearest in the direction to his raised hand when he said ay manjoor were approved and those nearest to the raised hand when he said ay namanjoor were rejected.
But the Raja was smart and did not allow his courtier to guess or manipulate his method. Because he changed the order of which hand he would raise first and saymanjoor before or after uttering the word namanjoor. As such the courtier could not arrange the stacks and put the applications, they want to be approved in themanjoor stack and vice versa.
Even though the ex-prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, who could differentiate between a three-pronged rake and a 'W', used the time tested Singh method of choosing which application to approve for appointment of the former chairmen of OGRA, OGDCL, NICL and a score of other infamous individuals to high positions. Raja Pervez Ashraf, also, used the Singh method for appointments, granting of permits and uplift funds. Singh's method is simple and time saving but our courts refuse to recognise it. It is said that most of the minister in PPP government used the method too. It is said that most of the PPP minister also couldn't differentiate between three-pronged rake and a W and as such would make two stacks of applications, close their eyes, stand up on their toes and take a few twirls and than raise their hands. One hand, for manjoorand the other for namanjoor.
While other politicians are copycats and illegally following the Ranjit Singh method, Nawaz Sharif being heir to the Takht-e-Lahore should have the exclusive right to use this method. It is a traditional thing. Even if it is not revered as a traditional method to approve applications for funds and jobs, the Nawaz government should be allowed to use this method. Raja Ranjit Singh not just ruled successfully and routed the unruly Afghans out of Punjab but the current Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and nearly demolished all signs of Afghan rule in Kabul. There must be some merit to Ranjit Singh's method; otherwise, he wouldn't have been so successful.