President Asif Ali Zardari is seeking to establish a South Africa-style truth and reconciliation commission to help heal wounds suffered during Pakistan's political history.
Mr Zardari has proposed that Asma Jehangir, Pakistan's most respected human rights lawyer, chair the commission, taking a role similar to that of Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa.
"The truth and reconciliation commission is important for us," said Mr Zardari.
Now, in principle I don't oppose such a measure -- why would I? -- though it should be noted that such commissions are usually instituted after political activity considerably more brutal than what we have experienced (the South Africans had one to deal with apartheid, the Rwandans had one to deal with their genocide). I also think it's highly unlikely to actually happen, but we'll see about that.
Be that as it may, is Asma Jehangir really the person to do this? I truly admire her work on a variety of issues, from press freedom to action concerning violence against women. But no one should pretend she isn't a hugely controversial personality. She has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Shouldn't the person in charge of this be generally above reproach? How about an Aitzaz Ahsan-type, though I suppose the objection with him would be that he is avowedly political (being a member of a political party and all). Or how about someone who's disappeared off the radar, like a Moeen Qureshi-type? Either way, Asma Jehangir is perhaps not the best choice here.