Guest Blog by Amjad Malik
Iftikhar is translated as ‘honour ’ in the dictionary, however this one word in Pakistan has gained significance from the name of deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammed Chowdhary who is still waiting for his restoration on 3rd November position. He was dismissed, and detained by General Musharraf as a result of an unlawful military action. Chowdhary not only settled the score of history by challenging the myth that Pakistani judges are always ready to work hand in hand to support its generals , but also tried to nip the very evil in the bud, which is core of Pakistan’s constitutional hap hazard history, the all time notorious ‘law of necessity.’
When we look at these hollow claims that law of necessity is buried forever especially after 20 July, we must analyse as to why there always seem a gap which is filled by our Generals. We need to look at the reasons as to why the country was divided in 1971; corruption allegations always surfaced in civilian rule and military never could hold them accountable as they lacked legitimacy. Musharraf regime despite weak opposition and leaps of dollars could not go nearer to the completion of its seven point’s agenda. In fact, he brought the federation to near collapse. Most ironic is the current civilized government who seems an epitome of mal administration where committee chairmen along with anyone coming to Premier house with warnings is deemed fit to be given ‘Federal Minister Status.’ President house seems to be representing a group amongst one party only than the federation. In these circumstances the slogan or aspiration of rule of law, democracy, justice, and governance seems a wish for the moon. Iftikhar Chowdhary has turned the tide towards the very basic fact that from Karachi to Khyber people demand justice let it be Justice with the state, justice with the nation or justice with the institutions.
Our corrupt mindless politicians have always provided a room for an unlawful intervention. Strong unpoliticised, meritorious and robust judiciary is the need of the hour to break the nexus of the military & judges which always legalized military coup de tats in the short history of 61 years of Pakistan. 9th of March initiated a debate and 20 July was its near climax, however politicians could close the gap after 18 February elections and could have translated the death of Be Nazir towards a new era by forging alliance of political forces that now martial will not be the future of Pakistan. Looking at their 9 months rule, it’s a plethora of deceit, lies, broken promises, bluff, mal administration and corruption. Everyone is trying to do what is not its job & expertise, President wants to be Premier, Premier aspires for love of all by doing nothing, Chief of armed forces doing premiers job when he warns retaliation to foreign invaders, and Advisors -Generals and Ministers trying to do scholars job. Media is partially gagged and at some places its mouth is shut rather than filled with coercive adjustment and or warnings. A few honest are trying to work unnoticeably. Musharraf’s claim to liberate media despite two interceptions has started to look real.
Lawyers who worked hard during last 20 months are regrouping for a bloody battle of clash of ideas as this time it’s going to be very difficult for any Aitzaz to send them home quietly as they will come for a confrontation from home to either successfully secure reinstatement of CJ or Dama Dam Mast Qalandar (end war). The election of Ali Ahmed Kurd to the President of Supreme Court Bar slot, will speed up the resilience and confrontation process as sanity is vanishing rapidly amongst grey haired lawyers and it’s all because of breaching pacts dearer to their souls which are merely proved hollow unreligious words of politicians to Zardari. When we try to compete with India through war of words, they respond by taunting us as to who is begging for survival, and it seems due to incompetencies of our political classes Pakistan has only unskilled people to export as they have nothing fresh to offer to the community of nation.
Addressing to Iftikhar Chowdhary, I can only say a few words, that you did your best; you are an ‘Iftikhar’ for us and hats off to your team who lighted a candle of Justice and rule of Law. But Pakistan is not ready yet for transparency, good governance and rule of law. You will soon hear that the sale of very steel mill you stopped considering an asset, will be given in a ‘buy one, get one free’ deal to the one who loan these beggars as IMF when comes in any compound does not go empty handed. You suffered the summers, and winters in confinement for us, but we are though ready in mind for justice but are reluctant to relive the Zardari’s of our country from their duties considering ‘what will Be Nazir think of us.’ Though they never think if they do not restore the Chief Justice, what will she think of them. Forgive us Iftikhar Mohammed Chowdhary, you may be a pride of the nation, a prize for the unprivileged, but you still are a nightmare for our corrupt elite, unbridled police and bureaucracy. How can you be restored, Pakistani Govt does not afford your recall. They wish to survive with All time respectable trouble free Dogar as he sees nothing, hears nothing, does nothing, and taking a suo moto action even if Angor Adda mission is accomplished is beyond his comprehension as Supreme Court is on leave after 61 years.
Amjad Malik is a Solicitor-Advocate of the Supreme Court of England & Wales