Long March 2009, Once bitten twice shy

Guest Blog by Amjad Malik

9th March Long MarchOn 28 March 2008, when Chief Justice Chowdhary visited Mr. Zardari to pay condolences over the death of Be Nazir Bhuttoo, the writer wrote as following, “It’s an ill advice of half lawyer half politician leaders who sometimes are trapped in between party loyalty and the cause of independence of judiciary and forget that judge’s reinstatement is not an issue at all, the issue is their complete autonomy and independence. With this speed the way things are developing, we may get the jobs of those judges back but the process may affect the capacity of top judge to dispense justice on equality basis”.

The writer in his thesis recommended to form a committee and wrote, “People of Pakistan did not lay their lives to see a judge visiting the rulers which may seem an exercise to clear reservations or settle terms in order to seek his job back, its vice versa people want the rulers to come at the door step of the top judge who must be acknowledged for his steadfastness, bold stand and bravery and masses do not want the reinstatement of justice Choudhary, if it is not with full pride and honour, but they want to see the restoration of the prestige of the office of the chief justice who was detained with family, ill treated, and mal handled by state functionaries and law enforcement segments. It will be quite in the interest of ruling party to take the lawyers struggle down by slowly defusing the popular slogan of reinstatement and or bending the top man, however with wisdom, consultation and pride these tactics can be defused and jurist committee is a step towards right direction”. Though my writing went beyond notice and we had a long march without results. On the fall of long March 08, the writer on 16 June expressed his views and wrote in his column that, “ Lawyers are different from others only because they consult, take advice from seniors and agree to disagree on all major issues of principle. It also gives a lesson that with fiery speeches you may get applause but judiciary does not get independence. It requires sheer political will, joint collaboration and consultation in the national interest, wisdom and sacrifice which is pre requisite to translate this dream into a reality. May be consultation is the key which needs to be mastered in coming days by lawyers”.

The writer criticised the leader on 2 July 2008 in his column in the following terms, “On top, people were humiliated by saying that Supreme Court Bar is short of funds and there was a fear of unrest. Alas, who will tell them that Quaid made Pakistan and 40 lakh people died at that time but no one blamed him for that onslaught. How come a few scoundrels in peaceful gathering could have created havoc in this march or sit in if the lawyers were determined? Young advocates cried and genuinely lawyers mourned with them and apologised to the nation. I must say, in the past even Clerk’s association have performed better in their negotiation skills to muster their minimum demands whilst staging a protest. He caved in meagrely, called off his moot and went to United States where all leaders go once they are tired”.

However to my dismay, on 26 January 2009 lawyers have decided to go for long March on 9th of March and they have decided this time to stage a ‘sit in ‘ until the top judge is restored with his remaining colleagues. Barrister Aitzaz rightly expressed his political interest but offered to resign from the chair of ‘National Coordination Committee’ however refused to leave the ruling party executive committee membership keeping his options open. I must say that a true Muslim is not bitten twice from the same hole, and here lawyers struggle is bitten on the whole sale basis from the same hole without a scrutiny. What we conclude from this is whether lawyer leadership either is weary of its weakness and is putting up with this conflict or they know that they cannot perform the task without involving conflicting elements and cannot see through the wall when it allows a possibility of a conflict of interest to creep in its ranks without a check, which in return have the potential to derail the whole march process. PPP stalwart will never allow a moot to overturn its govt, thus the leadership of lawyers struggle is an anti dotes of revolution for rule of law and justice. I must say Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan individually is a fine artist, a great orator and an excellent advocate, but if he himself is not willing to see the conflict hindering the final decision making then we may agree to his entitlement for freedom of choice though cheaply, but then, he is best suited to lead the legal team which is fighting in courts for chief justice, not the NCC. However lawyer leadership must consider as to the best approach before the set deadline of 9th of March 2009, as they do not afford the inconclusive march this time. I am greatly missing the absence of Justice Wajeeh uddin Ahmed, Fakhir uddin G Ibrahim and Saeed uz Zaman Siddiqui who must be kept involved along with other judges at all times in lawyers moot. Lawyers must stage a long march but I must say, their negotiation team consisting of top elected lawyers and retired judges must be ready to muster their minimum & maximum demands whilst staging a protest, as prolonged sit in may not be fruitful but may prove disastrous

I wrote about Justice Iftikhar on 21 October 2008, “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 Mohammad 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”.

As the lawyer leadership is up against a popular party, their teams must negotiate with the political forces to promote the internal change in parliament and pave way for the force who can best deliver their promise on judiciary. Ruling party will be best served if this march fails and all forces will try to either let the ruling party win, or turn the tables on this very system. Loosing this chance is not an option, as we may end up against another dictator where we will have to wait for years to see the light in the end of the tunnel as Dogars of today are ready to pass judgements like Iqbal Tikkka Khan any day, any time. I can only say to lawyers ‘God speed and best of luck’, but as I said when the leadership has structural flaws, then it will be insanity to expect hundred percent results and lawyers top brass failed to learn from the mistakes. This long march will either bring victory or utter defeat and as a fellow lawyer, I have many reservation(s) over the projected results from his leadership, as once bitten twice shy.

Amjad Malik is a Solicitor-Advocate of the Supreme Court (England) and a Chair of Association of Pakistani lawyers in UK



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14 responses to “Long March 2009, Once bitten twice shy”

  1. guYasir Avatar

    I’m shy and feel shame to talk about Judiciary.pk BUT
    I might join long March on 9th of March.

  2. guYasir Avatar

    Trynnical dictator is West which dictate us via their economic and political policies, many might hurts s/he who resides in West but you cannot change reality and History
    So either be a democratic or military rule in both cases its Dictatorship and won’t change unless West wrecked.
    West Aid is Aids for our society and we should avoid IMF/WB
    learn to live in our Pajamas and do seek salvation

  3. guYasir Avatar

    err; Tyrannical instead of Trynnical

  4. guYasir Avatar

    We don’t need Neo World Order/Odor Rather We Need New World System clean from gods and US i mean USury.
    NWS can save us from Vendetta and Armageddon otherwise we are very close to Armageddon. Civil War expected in 2012 which ain’t far the 9th March long march its a sign of what is expected in 2012, its a cabalistic conspiracy to get rid of those souls who acknowledge souls creator.
    They’ve designed Civil War. Are we ready for it? or you bunch of cowards and fear to death and having a lucrative dreams for life. LISTEN;
    People don’t care wars, depression and anything as long as they have comfortable houses, BMWs and Jacuzzis.
    Soon Yuppies like me gonna bankrupt
    But I do care for it and wanna bring New World System.

  5. guYasir Avatar

    Mohajir like mYasir/me will Rule Inshallah.
    Allah bless me and you and kill Mammon
    good nite

  6. Syed Avatar

    When nation is alive, many things that apparently appear very hard, become easy. Remember how we kicked out the dictator? So if zarsdari and his collaborators in crime now want to replace the dictator and act the way he acted, we are confident that we Insha Allah will be able to throw out zardari and his dream judiciary the dogra adalat.

    With MQM joining hands with zardari, now it is clear that both want the same judiciary to continue. One does not want BB’s case to be reopended and the other is afraid of its massacre of Oct 18 and May 12. Both fear Choudhry Iftekhar. But people of Pakistan have their hope pineed in the restoration of the true judiciary that was hearing the cases of the dictator’s eligibility to contest the presidential election in uniform and the May 12 cases.

    I will Insha Allah be there in Islamabad in Mar to join the struggle and to ensure the future of my children and coming generations by giving them the true justice.

    Remember Hazrat Ali (RAA) said, ” A rule of Kufr can survive but a rule of injustice can’t”.

    Every Pakistani who has acquired any bit of knowledge and education, must join physically the long march of the lawyers if they want to bring any change in their fates. May Allah SWT Help and Guide us, Ameen.

  7. Syed Avatar


    What muhajir? You were born here yet call yourself muhajir. Are u crazy?
    Come out of self pitty state now. Mature with the passage of time.
    Muhajir has again migrated to london. Why don’t up follow the suit?

  8. guYasir Avatar

    I don’t go london wondon, i never ever no west
    I’m Mohajir becuz Mohajir is one who migrated to Pak from India in 47 and Indeed my father migrated from Pink City of India means Jaipur and my MaMa didn’t migrate she resided here my Nana was a Lawyer and he did work with Jinnah. no bragging just telling truth.
    so i paidaishe a Mohajir aka Urdu Speaking and I pround of it
    I do not belong to MQM and anyother party.Yet ive links in all. Im gonna create my own Political Party read below

  9. guYasir Avatar

    Military ruled was Zia and Mush were far better than all demo rules.
    In Zia and Mush our economy were prosperous we were Yuppies instead of Yules.
    In every demo rule our economy got wrose, border tension gone up our lower-middle, middle class suffered sordidly.
    In military rule our border tension gone up as well and lowest class suffer but the whole economy was prosperous like I’m having a business since Zia rein and I found that my business was goin fine, later BB rein I saw my business gettin down due to Karachi genocide [Aganist Urdu speakers]in 90’s. rememeber?
    Then demo rule was since 1989 to 1999 means a decade and we saw terrible up and downs in our economy and politics.
    Since 1999 to end of Mush rein my business gone up once again enormously and effectively.
    Now demo rule and our economy is in Abyss.
    What is the solution of our Predicament? How do we get out of our predicament? please ponder b4 its too late.
    I’m gonna contest/protest on 9th March and I’m gonna form my own Political Party name NWS.
    I’ll define my company NWS tenets later
    Vote for me and God bless Pakistan and those Pakistanis who thinks and wanna do something for their country not resides in west and giving us Lectures.

  10. guYasir Avatar

    Yules means Christmas so i meant that those who create USury+depression+recession = 000
    I know the economy conditions and I lost millions rupees in current credit crunch. businesses are down inflation and deflation are ups.
    (In Zia and Mush our economy was prosperous we were Yuppies instead of Yules)
    Yuppies means well-paid and cupid guys who afford luxury
    (In Zia and Mush our economy was prosperous we were Yuppies instead of Yules)
    Ab samaj agae nah k nahi many say aap ke english bahat achi hai. I gave comments at Margolis page where Rampart one guy from pak said that Yasir ye speak good English. do i? I speak good English hmm I’m Urdu and English speaker Only. so hard to catch my english and sumtimes Urdu too.
    I’m Muhajir means migrated Urdu my mother/father language
    VOTE FOR NWS = New WOrld System

  11. Momekh Avatar

    Dear Mr. Malik,
    After reading and then re-reading your article, I have yet to understand what you are trying to say.

    In once place, the lawyers’ movement is condemned as having lost its purpose. What purpose? Then the movement is compared to the long march, which are two different things.

    The previous long march was and is not a failure. It did not get the CJ reinstated. But just look at what it had done to bring the real Zardari out in the public. How many urban dwellers will now vote for a Zardari led party?

    You have said that the second long march will either meet with great success or with bitter defeat. So? Anything we do has these two possible outcomes – like I have said, I have been unable to get your point. Please clarify…

  12. farrah k raja Avatar
    farrah k raja

    Well !Amjad Malik
    I see you trying to grapple with the idea of what Judiciary wants?
    It is not the case or matter of CJ Iftikhar only.It is the matter of Trade Unionist like Aitzaz Ahsan who wnats to get some prominence.
    The menace is some prople in Judiaciary who are ready to be used by Politicians.They sound like hungry puppies wagging their tails and trying to attract the attention of PPP or Nawaz or Chaudhry ,splash some cash sir and right will be wrong.
    I think Senior Judges and retd members should form a committee.They should resist political appointments and influence of politicians.There are highly respectable Judges and Chief Justices available.
    Judges should not be allowed to have contacts with politicians and anyone who becomes controversial should not be allowed to carry on with the job.
    They can write articles and they can write comments while writing their decision that is the biggest power,to make rule of Law what else do they want.
    It is judiciary it self who has to save itself by not becoming dogs and marching in streets.

  13. hina Avatar

    Twice Bitten Still Shy 🙂

  14. zaheer Avatar

    hi hmmm another long march hmm let me think.. joining long march hannn nop not not at all.. why should i when we have to accept another PCO judge even after long march as iftikhar was also PCO judge then better stay with current one and han one more thing yes iftikhar is badly politicized … parties used him so badly during election period that now he is not eligible to be the chief justice of pak,,, so forget abt long march