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Supreme Court overturns Nov 3rd Emergency by Musharraf

Supreme Court of PakistanIn mammoth decision yesterday late evening – the Chief Justice of Pakistan Honorable Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry and a bench of 12 Supreme Court Judges passed an order declaring the actions of Nov 3rd 2007 Invalid and unconstitutional. This comes after a struggle of over one year and 270 days since that fateful date in November 2007 when the then President of Pakistan General Pervaiz Musharraf enforced an emergency in Pakistan and over threw the Supreme Court replacing them with hand picked judges who approved and validated the Emergency Order.

Following the enforcement of a Martial Law across Pakistan in 2007 many lawyers, jounralists and civil society activsts rallied against this illegal aggresion by the military dictator. The struggle waged on for almost a year and today it can easily be hailed as a momumental decision for Pakistan. It is probably the first time an independent judiciary has flexed its muscles to show the people that justice will prevail over might.

The verdict was quite clear on many points

  1. It declared Gen Musharraf’s action of declaring emergency on Nov 3, 2007, as illegal and unconstitutional, but refrained from passing any order against him.
  2. It also declared all appointments of judges since Nov 3 taken in consultation by, what it described as an unconstitutional chief justice, as illegal and that they ceased to exist as judges with immediate effect.
  3. The court declared that creation of the Islamabad High Court under the emergency order was unconstitutional and that its judges would cease to remain as judges.
  4. The bench made it clear that the present dispensation, including parliament, will remain intact.
  5. It decided not to insist that President Asif Zardari take a fresh oath from a de jure chief justice. Justice Dogar had administered oath to President Zardari.
  6. The bench said that although it had reservations about the way the issue of presidential ordinance was handled by the Supreme Court during the emergency period, it decided that instead of undoing them, including the controversial National Reconstruction Ordinance (NRO), the present government should be given 120 days to regularise them through parliament.

The judgment was a very carefully drafted document, it touched the core issues of declaring the unconstitutional steps by President Musharraf illegal and his subsequent appointment of judges illegal, since by the understanding of the court, the court positions never fell vacant. At the same time the bench hailed the parliament and have asked them to decipher the controversial NRO which was life line for many notable corrupt politicians like our recently elected President Mr. Asif Zardari and many jailed criminals within the MQM framework.

I believe it is a great victory for Pakistan, it is a hopefully the start of creating a viable and independent Judiciary that can keep a check on our corrupt politicians.

The hot question that is being asked across Pakistan is – what happens to the NRO? For now the Supreme Court has entrusted the Parliament to validate the NRO within 120 days. I believe that is where the clincher lies, the big question is who amongst the parliament benefited the most out of the NRO, I believe it is here that Zardari will feel the pinch and will find it difficult to rally in 2/3 majority required to validate this ordinance as a part of the Law of Pakistan. Deals will have to be made and I doubt Nawaz Sharif or the PML-N will take it easy without some major compromises which may further weaken the Presidency, will the article 58(2)B come to the forefront in exchange for the 3rd term relaxations that Nawaz Sharif so dearly needs to become the Prime Minister for the third tenure [not permissible under the Constitution of Pakistan.

Zardari at the same time also has to tame a potential split within his own party. It has been for sometime the old-block of PPP seems to be aggregating under the Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani while the major NRO benefciriary like MQM and Rehman Malik have pledged allegence to the President. The noose on Gilani is not without complications as the Prime Minister Gilani had some cases waived under the NRO, so it may be the weak link that Zardari may exploit to prevent a runaway faction within the PPP

All said – its now a forgone conclusion that we are about to have an entertaining 120 days, but we must contend with the fact that our Supreme Court has done us proud it has restored belief that What goes up, Must come down – Musharraf from his hay days of 2000 has literally been shoved to an embarrisngly halt, he should now contend to remain hidden within his Edgeware Road flat in London where it might be best that he shall stay.

I, along with the members of the Civil Society which were actively participating in the campaign to restore the judiciary celebrate this decision. We in turn hope that this is the first step towards an independent Judiciary which can possibly help lead Pakistan out of the doldrums of depression into the heights of success.


16 Comments

  • Muhammad Asif |

    Now its Parliaments turn to prove that Parliament also stands tall by awarding reasonable punishment to the one who broke constitution into pieces.

    Keep it up SC.

  • Aamir Mughal |

    RE: Supreme Court overturns Nov 3rd Emergency by Musharraf

    ===================

    So-called Independent Judiciary???

    Read some history because SC couldn't even call Retd General Aslam Beg in contempt case back in 90s what to talk of calling Musharraf for treason [Keep it up Aitzaz, Hamid Khan, Kurd, Munir Malik, Rasheed A Rizvi and last but not the least Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudry [keep it up Mr Kiyani]

    "QUOTE"

    Former Army Chief General Mirza Aslam Beg in an interview on February 04, 1993 admitted that he had sent an emissary, then senate chairman Wasim Sajjad to the Supreme Court to warn the justices not to restore the national assembly. Two weeks later, Supreme Court charged General Beg with contempt of court. Beg met with army Chief Abdul Waheed Kakar and later appeared defiantly in the court and many witnesses ridiculed the judges. Supreme Court could not handle the fallout from its confrontation with even a retired army chief. Court finally convicted him of contempt but strangely did not give any judgment about the sentence. The same court even overturned its own decision after an appeal was filed. After a year of half hearted measures, on January 09, 1994 the court dropped all proceedings against general Beg.

    Reference: Judicial Jitters in Pakistan A Historical Overview Hamid Hussain Defence Journal Monthly , June 2007

    Well-deserved comeuppance By Kamran Shafi

    March 11, 2008

    http://www.dawn.com/weekly/kamran/20081103.htm

    And that was the statement by the COAS as reported in the press: “Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani announced on Thursday his institution’s complete support for the elected government and the democratic process. However, he called for avoiding schism between various pillars of the state and dispelled a perception that the army was distancing itself from the president.” While it is good and proper that the army will completely support the elected government, was it not absolutely inappropriate for him to call for “avoiding schism between various pillars of the state” and for saying that “the army was not distancing itself from the president”.

    May one ask what happens if the elected representatives of the people were to impeach Musharraf? Or if the resurrected judiciary were to rule that Musharraf’s election was illegal and unconstitutional? What about the ‘schism’ then? When the COAS speaks about the ‘pillars of state’ does he consider that the person of Musharraf is one such ‘pillar’ in spite of the fact that he was ‘elected’ president under Emergency rule, an act Musharraf himself said was unconstitutional? What was the point in saying anything at all? No sirs, it is high time that you went back to your training areas and firing ranges and exercise grounds and became the professional army you were before the Commando’s loving ministrations. And, indeed, to the Year of the Soldier after so many Decades of the General. And please keep your noses out of politics; I assure you we bloody civilians can manage the country’s affairs better than 22 Commandos put together.

  • Unaiza Fatima |

    So the "honourable court" has given the corrupt parliamentarians the right to legalize the illegal by 2/3rd majority…this is the new face of justice in our country. Welcome to the age of "Judicial Martial Law" administered by His Majesty Chaudhury Iftikhar. Congratulations everyone Together they stand (AZ, NS, CJC) so that the nation should fall.

  • Unaiza Fatima |

    This decision would provide ultimate legal cover to the NRO after it would be endorsed by the parliament…thanks to Justice Chaudhury. Our judiciary is all after protecting the crooks, first by acquitting Nawaz Sharif of ALL cases against him and now protecting Asif Zardari and co.

    This would have never been possible without an independent, uncontrolled judiciary.

  • Aamir Mughal |

    Dear Ms Unaiza Fatima

    IMRAN KHAN ALSO SUPPORTED PCO JUDICIARY OF MAY 2000 UNDER MUSHARRAF MARTIAL LAW:

    Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan has hailed the SC verdict on the Oct 12 change and said that it will provide the present government with an element of legitimacy.

    Mr Khan said the government should start the implementation of the seven-point agenda. He said it should give priority to the accountability process. It should declare casting of vote mandatory for every voter and undertake other needed electoral reforms to discourage the election of corrupt elements for parliamentary slots. He said the government should also set a limit for election expenditure.

    In a Press statement issued on Friday, he said after the

    announcement of the SC verdict the government would no longer be able to give lame excuses to the people who were waiting for positive results. He said the government should have got a vote of public confidence directly through a referendum soon after the takeover. But now the regime should fulfil its promises without any delay and work in accordance with public expectations as it has been provided a period of three years for this purpose by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

    Reference: PML accepts SC verdict: Shujaat Reporter

    DAWN 13 May 2000

    http://www.lib.virginia.edu/area-studies/SouthAsi

    So the “honourable court” has given the corrupt parliamentarians the right to legalize the illegal by 2/3rd majority [Unaiza Fatima]

    Dear Ms Fatima,

    What about Corrupt Judges who took jobs from Musharraf for example:

    I will just quote Daily Newspapers. One of the wonders of Internet is this that the History can no more be kept hidden.

    1 – Five judges elevated to SC Bureau Report [Daily Dawn Feb 2000]

    Five judges elevated to SC Bureau Report

    ISLAMABAD, Feb 2: The government elevated five judges to the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

    According to a notification, the president has appointed Justice Rashid Aziz, Chief Justice, Lahore High Court; Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui, Chief Justice Sindh High Court; Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Chief Justice, Balochistan High Court; Qazi Farooq, former chief justice of Peshawar High Court; and Justice Rana Bhagwan Das, judge, Sindh High Court, judges of the Supreme Court. After the elevation of Justice Rashid Aziz Khan to the SC, Justice Mohammad Allah Nawaz has been appointed Chief Justice of Lahore High Court. Justice Deedar Hussain Shah has been appointed Chief Justice of Sindh High Court and Justice Javed Iqbal Chief Justice of Balochistan High Court. After these appointments, the number of SC judges has risen to 12, leaving five posts vacant.

    2 – Chaudhry Iftikhar named new CJ [Daily Dawn 2005]

    3 – A weary scene re-enacted Ayaz Amir [Daily Dawn 2000]

    As per Daily Dawn dated Week Ending Dawn Wire Service] : 5 February 2000 Issue : 06/05

    http://www.lib.virginia.edu/area-studies/SouthAsi

    Caudhry Iftikhar named new CJ By Our Staff Reporter May 8, 2005 Sunday Rabi-ul-Awwal 28, 1426 http://www.dawn.com/2005/05/08/top4.htm

  • Aamir Mughal |

    And Imran had supported that Musharraf

    International Commission of Jurists

    http://www.icj.org/IMG/pdf/pakistan.pdf

    PAKISTAN:

    The independence of the judiciary was largely undermined by the order by General Musharraf in January 2000 that Pakistani judges take a fresh oath of loyalty to his administration. In May 2000, the Supreme Court, reconstituted after the dismissal of six judges who refused the oath, upheld General Musharraf's military coup of 1999, under the doctrine of state necessity.

    Pakistan is a constitutional republic. On 15 October 1999, the Government promulgated the Provisional Constitution Order, (PCO), No.1 of 1999, overriding the 1973 Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, previously suspended following the 12 October 1999 military coup led by General Pervez Musharraf. The PCO provided for the suspension of the National Assembly, the Provincial Assemblies and the Senate and mandated General Musharraf to serve as the new Chief

    Executive. On 20 June 2001, General Musharraf became President of Pakistan after dismissing the incumbent President, Muhammad Rafiq Tarar. On 12 May 2000, the Supreme Court validated the October 1999 coup under the doctrine of state necessity. However, the Court ordered that the Government hold national and provincial elections

    by 12 October 2002. In response, President Musharraf presented a four-phase programme aimed at

    returning the country to democratic rule, with local elections to be held from December 2000 until

    August 2001. Subsequently, a series of local elections were held in December 2000, March 2001, May 2001 and July-August 2001. However, political parties were prohibited from participating in the contests and party leaders were disqualified from holding political office.

  • Unaiza Fatima |

    Aamir Mughal

    "What about Corrupt Judges who took jobs from Musharraf for example"

    Does this gives the "honourable court" a reason to pave way to legalize the illegal NRO?

    Is it the answer to my criticism?

    And what Imran Khan (or Haji Abdul Quddus Memon) has anything to do with any national scenario when he chooses not to take part in elections to avoid any humiliating defeat?

  • Muhammad Asif |

    @Aamir Mughal

    He accepted it was a mistake, what your Peeeers of evil who are transfering our money(tax-payers money) to their accounts & businesses abroad.

    And it was your "ammeer-al-momneen Pakistan" who with 2/3 majority sabotajed everything.

    Mian mithu chuuri khani aye.

  • Muhammad Asif |

    @Aamir Mughal

    It would be a very good album, if you all pinki, mast nusrat, Sharif behind the bar, peer of galace, peer of london with his mentors passport.

    LOLz

  • guY-sir |

    UF and others can read my democracy is a rUSe in order to understand democracy and Judiciary and who run them.
    http://karachi-kool.blogspot.com/2009/07/democrac

    If you read above then I've wrote new article Soul vs.Sole. The same soul which tried this article uplift here but it was wrongfully public macow article. U know I hold Mr.Makow and Mr.Margolis books it just happened and soles started joke at me

    now time has cum to read my article which didn't publish here read at mine blog. do you really have a guts to read mine. read and clicks
    http://karachi-kool.blogspot.com/2009/08/soul-vs-

    Do you have a soul or sole in your body now time has come to know by reading above.

    Both article are copyright. All right reserve by the author guY-sir aka guYasir aka Ya-sir.

  • guY-sir |

    no, i won't give u a break neither brake i want you to carry on. Seek Truth. The Truth Shall Set You Free.

    Democracy is an abuse of statistics. OK you can have your either dinner break or water break but read must

    Democracy is a rUSe. [Encore]

  • Aamir Mughal |

    @Aamir Mughal – It would be a very good album, if you all pinki, mast nusrat, Sharif behind the bar, peer of galace, peer of london with his mentors passport. LOLz [Muhammad Asif]

    ============================

    Dear Asif Sahab,

    Please tell us all who would fulfill your dream because its quite a large order and those [Pakistan Army] who had given us the so-called 7 point agenda on 12 Oct 1999 [Imran Supported the Khaki Revolution (read Mutiny)] cannot fulfill.

  • Muhammad Asif |

    @Aamir Mughal

    Atleast you can fulfill the agenda of the ones who owe their STATURE to your great dictators Ayub, Zia & Mush lolz

    Waiting for your reciprocal response ;)