Guest Blog by SM
In his recent article, Lawyers’ Iftikhar: A Messiah Or A Pawn?, written on Monday January 26, Ahmed Quraishi has committed a crucial cause and effect mistake while recounting the events related to the historic lawyers’ movement and the de-facto Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry. This article aims to expose the misinterpreted or intentionally distorted historical events.
- The claim that Chief Justice of Pakistan alone could have removed Musharaf, let alone, have caused America to negotiate a deal with Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari seems preposterous. However, the assertion seems plausible and historically correct, if the fact is realized that the entire Pakistani nation rallied behind the one person who dared first time in the history of Pakistan to stand against a dictator. It was this show of power by the masses that brought Musharaf to his knees and even made America admit it was too late to save Musharaf. If an entire nation stands for a cause, who is any individual to claim that he on the right side? Moreover, there seems to be no logical validity that Chief Justice Iftikhar, being an ordinary citizen without his official powers, could have in any way influenced such a deal because he would have had gained him nothing specially while he was incarcerated.
- Second charge against Chief Justice Iftikhar is that he became “one of the causes of NRO” because he destabilized the system. Destabilizing the system by definition means going against the system. It should be left to the judgment of the readers whether the person who admittedly abrogated the constitution, the very soul of Pakistani system destabilized the Pakistan or the person who tried to amend it even though he jeopardized his entire career and family is the culprit for the destabilization.
- Another allegation is that CJ Iftikhar is responsible for the “promising gains” of economy and Pakistan is now paying in the “shape of Zardari-Gilani government.” Like any other argument in his article, Mr. Ahmed Quraishi has failed to show cause and effect relationship between CJ Iftikhar and the loss of economy while ignoring the root of the entire ordeal which was Musharaf’s confessedly unconstitutional emergency. Musharaf should have had realized that consequences of his actions especially removing the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
- Mr. Ahmed Quraishi holds CJ Iftikhar responsible for electing Asif Zardari, a “blot to the dirty Pakistani politics,” as the president. Perhaps, Mr. Quraishi needs to retake, if he already hasn’t, Politics 101 where everybody learns that democracy is strengthened through democracy rather than the absence of it. And the very sole reason that Pakistani democracy has to start from scratch is due to the successive interventions by military, where Musharaf is equally culpable. In fact, Musharaf is even more responsible for improving the popularity of Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto over the period of eight years, when in 1999, the popularity of the two leaders had significantly plummeted. Nevertheless, Mr. Ahmed Quraishi by condescending the head of the largest political party in Pakistan is in fact condescending the majority of Pakistanis who support Peoples Party of Pakistan. Being a nationalist and a patriot, Mr. Quraishi has the right to disagree with the opinion but lacks the prerogative to look down on others choices even though when its what majority of Pakistan has voted in.
Moreover, Mr. Quraishi goes on to malign the character of Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry, when the fact is Supreme Judicial Council is present to judge any such matters. An individual personal in no capacity can accuse the Chief Justice or even claim that those assertions are true unless they are institutionally proven correct. Therefore, it would serve no purpose to deal with Mr. Quraishi’s accusations here.
Nevertheless, Mr.Quraishi contends that the reason for a defected judiciary of Pakistan is the “disease that afflicts all third-world judicial systems: financial corruption.” Considering, the reason that the writer has presented, it gets very hard to find a reason Mr.Quraishi’s maligning campaign for CJ Iftikhar even though CJ, had openly refused any financial or any other influences.
Mr.Quraishi needs to better present his arguments grounded on firm facts than presenting loose opinions ubiquitous with invalid arguments. Chief Justice needs to get restored and Musharaf needs to be held accountable to restore the confidence of the masses of Pakistan.