In the past few days lawyers and civil society activists have been in full swing for the preparations of the Long March to Islamabad. This procession is based on the simple one-point agenda for the unconditional restoration of the independence of Judiciary in Pakistan. A large delegation is expected to leave Karachi on the morning of Monday the 9th towards Hyderabad and onwards. The schedule is as follows
For sometime I contemplated if this article may best be simply linked too in the collection of Decidous Links [mini-links] we have running on the blog but then it would not have opened an opportunity for comments and reactions and I suspect this heart felt article by Ghazala Minallah might evoke some comments from our readers here on Teeth Maestro
It appears that whoever comes into power in this God-forsaken country of ours, shuts themselves in a shell, oblivious of the cries outside. My head is bursting with questions, and I want my cries to be heard and answered. Firstly, why is Farooq Naek suddenly the biggest authority on the Constitution? Why is there a conspicuous absence of veterans like Justice Fakhruddin G Ibrahim, Justice Wajiuddin, former Chief Justices and judges of the Supreme Court and Aitzaz Ahsan? Is he the next Sharifuddin Pirzada in the making?
The recent unexpected verbal attack on Musharraf was eyewash meant to distract us and pave the way for the constitutional package. The package intends to reduce the chief justice’s tenure. It is ironic that such a ludicrous idea can even be considered by a party which claims to have its roots people’s hearts. Continue Reading
Economy is nose diving in Pakistan and people with load shedding, wheat and oil crisis are forced to take law in their own hands and we saw people burning the robbers in Karachi and indecisiveness is breeding law and order crisis, apathy and decline where any thing can happen as a result and whatever happens is not at all in control of the human mind and may affect the best interest of Pakistan especially when foreigners are flying like eagles on our rear borders. Those who came declaring themselves the champions of democracy are solving constitutional matters outside the Parliament and democrats this time have made parliament a rubber stamp not the dictator, Judiciary is on the road, Justice Dogar is unacceptable to majority and he is facing extreme resistance by lawyer fraternity, CJ Iftikhar has a personality clash with the President, establishment is confused waiting for further instructions, Police is unable to enforce law, and people doing road justice by force in the absence of credible judiciary and Malik Qayum fame tapes are in the market spreading revelations about schemes to keep Sharifs out of election race. In these circumstances 10th of June Long March of lawyers have hidden stings in it which are many fold and they may attempt to put deposed judges back in the Supreme Court by might which may result in a successful lawful coup or it can be counter productive to invite a counter coup by President throwing his wrath on the parliament for their indecisiveness, breaching their pacts and neglecting to avoid the economy from decline or at best military intervention to stop this unrest multiplying reaching no where which all ends in the collapse of the 18th February popular mandate of the people of Pakistan and in the end so much so for the democracy of Pakistan and people’s vote.
I for one, feel that we all are bound to look after the best interest of the state and at best if this uncertainty is allowed to loom, it can be disastrous for the state economically, politically, and socially. As any constitutional package containing unpopular clauses will hardly get to the stage of royal assent at least for a year unless Q or N league supports, I feel lawyers as well as people of Pakistan are getting restless because of this hit and run politicians who are ridiculing the judiciary by the very delay in restoring them. If they are unable to reach consensus then there must be some confidence building measures to show their commitment akin to the circumstances where politicians supported Musharraf to get elected by abstaining to vote instead by remaining in Parliament and in exchange getting a hero’s welcome on 18 October and issuing of a National Reconciliation Ordinance by the President who swore to keep BB and Babu out at every cost. Though we all are the passengers of the same boat and none have the exact answer but I have the following few suggestions throwing some workable scenarios for the legal hawks to brain storm in case the time comes for possible solutions; Continue Reading
Zardari asked for 30 days time to restore judges. It was given. He agreed with Nawaz for an extension of 12 days. We all waited in vain. Now we are expected to continue waiting for an indefinite period of time (no ulti ginti, please) to allow ‘democracy to flourish’ and his promises to bear fruit.
There is all this rubbish floated by PPP and pro-Musharraf elements around about the ‘complications’ involved in restoration of judges. 21 former judges of the Supreme Court (including 5 former Chief Justices) have publicly stated that all that is required is an executive order (with a parliamentary resolution for moral backing only – if politically necessary). As for the newly appointed incumbents, the former judges stated that they have no legal right to remain in office but their appointments can be regularised (purely for humanitarian considerations) by real Chief Justice in accordance with the Al-Jehad case. Apart from 3 or 4 (like Fakhruddin and Wajihuddin) none of these former judges were even involved in the lawyers’ movement and are completely apolitical. I take their word over PPP politician-semi lawyers like Latif Khosa, Farooq Naek, Babar Awan and Musharraf-cronies like Hafeez Pirzada and Malik Qayyum. Continue Reading
This short 10 minute video presentation is a timeline of the political and judicial crisis in Pakistan. The timeline starts from the appointment of Mr.Iftikhar Chaurdy as CJ in 2005 and moves on to imposition of emergency in 2007 and its after effects. Various snapshots and videos for each event in between these dates have been added. Created by Ale-Xpressed
The Constitution Package proposed by the PPP is partly out. It is comprehensive and probably first attempt to cover a broad spectrum of changes and correct distortions made by military rulers since the original document was approved in 1973. It also tries to enshrine most part of the Charter of Democracy signed by Mohtarama Benazir Bhutto and Mian Nawaz Sharif in May 2006 that had enkindled a fresh hope for a democratic Pakistan. The full text has yet not been released to the media, so any meaningful commentary would have to wait for that.
Senator Asif Zardari and law minister Farooq Naek spelled out some of its salient features. However, they conveniently skipped over some other elements, in particular the abridgment of tenure of chief justices, extension in the retirement age of judges of superior courts and restoration of deposed judges. The media, in any case, was able to skim out many details from the PPP’s CEC members which are disturbing.
A key question that was not asked in the news conference nor did Mr. Naek volunteered any information, is about the status of the package itself. What is it amending? There is reason to believe that the constitution before the author of the package is post-November 3 document that includes Article 270 AAA. That means an implicit recognition of the constitutional validity of the emergency, the PCO, the massive purge in judiciary, his fraudulent election, grant of indemnity to himself besides Shaukat Aziz and other accomplices of gross violation of law and court judgments etc; and all his other acts perpetrated between November 3 and December 15 before lifting the emergency. Continue Reading
The media is speculating about a 62 point draft of a constitutional amendment that would ostensibly cleanse the 1973 constitution of the changes made by Pervez Musharraf.
“Pakistan’s main ruling party has drafted a set of constitutional amendments that would erase the legacy of President Pervez Musharraf, its leader said Friday. Asif Ali Zardari provided few details, but said the reforms would reverse changes made to the constitution since Musharraf seized power in a 1999 military coup.”
Constitution is the basic declaration of the voice of people in governing themselves, stated as laws and principles that outlines the functions and limits of state institutions. Since it affects all people, and for it to be effective, it has to have widest possible consensus of the people.
This attempt by Naik and Zardari to “reverse” the Musharraf changes is self defeating. It is like the NRO that has a cut off date that benefits the Bhuttos and Zardaris but does not go far back enough to affect other politicians. Continue Reading
Reports are circulating within some quarters that provisions are being made to allow Justice Nawaz Abbasi, who took oath under Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) to serve in an ad hoc position in the Supreme Court. It ironic that on one hand the government [aka Zardari] is making tall claims to push for restoration of judiciary through parliamentary measures [which according all legal experts only requires an executive order] but at the same time they are making provisions to accommodate and reward their favored judges for their loyalty. No brownie points for guessing the victor of the next case that comes up.
The News, 21th May: “There is a precedent in the Supreme Court history when a judge of the court was appointed on ad hoc basis immediately after his retirement. Therefore if Justice Nawaz Abbasi is appointed as an ad hoc judge after his retirement, it would not be a new thing in the Supreme Court,” said sources.
Federal Law Minister Farooq H Naek, when asked about the appointment of Justice Nawaz Abbasi as an ad hoc judge, said that it was not his duty to appoint ad hoc judges. “The summary is sent by the chief justice and it comes to the Ministry of Law and the ministry can raise objections on the appointment,” said the minister. “But it would be a request and the ministry would only forward that request,” he added.
The Article 182 of the Constitution says: “If at any time it is not possible for want of quorum of judges of the Supreme Court to hold or continue any sitting of the court, or for any other reason it is necessary to increase temporarily the number of judges of the Supreme Court
A city wide call has been issued to all Karachiites who believe in the restoration of Judiciary to join Citizens, Students, lawyers, trade unions, civil society groups and show support for Restoration of the Pre-Nov 3rd Judiciary
The call is being issued by the Lawyers where the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry will do a telephonic address the local Bar and there will be a walk to show support for the Restoration of Judiciary in Pakistan
Date: May 22nd, 2008 Time: 11am Meet up Point: City Court , Karachi Address by: Telephonic address Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry Walk: The peaceful walk will be after the address by the CJP and will be taken to the Karachi Press Club Facebook event:Walk with us for Restoration of Judiciary
COME JOIN US IN THE FIGHT and walk with us as we march from City Court to High Court to Press Club letting the Citizens of Karachi know that the movement for restoration of judiciary still stands strong
The most common argument that I get asked day in and day out, is “Judicial issue is diverting the governments attention from the core issue of the economical crisis”, in response I have endlessly argued against the rhetoric, since I have long since believed that the economical problem though valid and very important is more of a transient issue, and a fall-out from the mis-adventures of the old administration (read Musharraf, Shaukat Aziz & Q-League).
Economic stability needs time and a genuine commitment from the leading politicians to solve, only possible with a sincere effort and the courage to look towards a better Pakistan rather then hunting for a juicy under the table wad of cash. Whilst an independent judiciary will play its due role to ensure justice is served to the people of Pakistan and the people are not forced taking matters into their own hands to exercise their own version of civil courts served mob-style on the streets.
The existence of an independent judiciary will more importantly keep our bureaucrats and politicians in check and act as a deterrent for them hopefully preventing them to make a quick buck, while the country goes to hell. Aqil Sajjad has done well in trying to explain the argument in his article which was published in the The News this Saturday
So on May 18, 2008, Mr. Malik was awarded the 2008 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights. The ceremony was graced by Mr. Kwangjang Yoon, Chairman of The May 18 Memorial Foundation; Mr. Youngmin Noh, a member of the Korean Parliament who read the citation of Mr. Malik; Mr. Kyunghwan An, Chairperson of the National human Rights Commission of Korea; and representative of Mr. Gwangtae Park, Mayor of Gwangju who read his congratulatory message. It was witnessed by the participants of the 2008 Gwangju International Peace Forum and the citizens of Gwangju. . Continue Reading
Yesterday an Urdu daily Khabrian published this shocking image which showed three people being burnt alive whilst a large crowd stood watching. A Daily Times reporter wrote a story without the gruesome image. For the record I must fully condemn this incident and my sharing this story is only to highlight the failing morals of our society, when none of its people expect any form of justice they are inadvertenly (willingly or unwillingly) forced to take matters into their own hands.
A group of incensed residents of the Nishtar Road neighbourhood beat and burnt three robbers so badly on Wednesday that two died on the spot and another died at hospital.
The three men (according to some reports there was one more) were caught trying to escape after robbing flat No. 303 of Samia Kalam Building during which its resident Akbar was injured, said DSP Malik Mazar Hussain. There were reports that the men of the area got together to grab the men who were beaten with whatever they could lay their hands on, including sticks and blades. Some type of oil was sprinkled on them and a match was lit.
Members of civil society in Karachi asked the democratically elected government to respect their anti-establishment and pro-judiciary mandate and not follow agenda of establishment by complicating the issue of reinstatement of judiciary.
These views were expressed after a walk was held to support the restoration of judiciary from Khadda Market to the residence of non-functional Chief Justice of Sind High Court, Justice Sabeehuddin’s residence. The walk comprising of over 100 people was organized by People’s Resistance, a loose coalition of individuals, students, teachers, professionals, human rights organizations and common citizens.
Justice (r) Fakhrudin G. Ebrahim who joined the walk said, “If one man’s blatant actions are validated indirectly, this would mean that tomorrow who ever holds power can do anything he pleases with the nation against its will”. He added that the atta crisis and every other issue facing the country today is tied to supremacy of law and only by upholding the constitution can anarchy be avoided. Continue Reading
After lapse of mutually-agreed and self-imposed condition of 30 days on April 30, 2008 for the restitution of judges announced in Bhurban on March 9, 2008, a new deadline of May 12, 2008 has been announced by Mian Nawaz Sharif in Lahore on May 2, 2008. This delay once again proved the lack of political commitment on the part of majority party. Their leadership may have many pretexts, valid or invalid, for not following the deadline or deviating from the original declaration promising the restoration of status quo ante of November 2, 2007 without any conditionality.
The long-drawn parleys between Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari for implementation of Murree Declaration of March 9, 2008 on restitution of judges has serious implication for determining whether 8-year-long dictatorial rule in Pakistan will end or not. The issue of restitution of judges (reinstatement is wrong notion as they are still judges) is in fact a question of great important vis-à-vis constitutional rule in Pakistan. In parleys between leaders of coalition partners in Karachi, Dubai and elsewhere, the issue reportedly was to devise a “correct legal methodology” to counter the strategy of Musharraf camp to block the move through a stay order from apex court. One wonder why the political forces are not uprooting the root-cause by impeaching the unconstitutionally-imposed President, rather than waiting for his purported further illegal actions. Continue Reading
In light of the fact that the issue of the restoration of the judiciary once again lies in peril, and with the 30 day countdown finally coming to an end. The students organized a rally that proceeded from Fast University to the PPP Secretariat. The protest brought together the students once more to send the message that the youth of the country are still active and will not sit idly by. The slogans chanted were pro-judiciary and anti-Musharraf. A new variety of slogans from pre-election days were directed at Zardari saying be loyal to us [the people] Zardari, do not betray us (ker hum se wafadari, zardari zardai; na ker tu hum se ghuddary, zardari zardari) and musharraf-zardari alliance is not acceptable (musharraf zardari ittehad, na manzoor na manzoor).
The message was loud and clear, as repeated over and over by the various speakers. “You the politicians are the representatives of the people, you are answerable to us. We have elected you. You have come on our mandate, and you must stick to the task entrusted on you. We, the people, elected you to restore our judiciary. A restoration that comes with no strings attached. A minus one formula or the reduction of judicial tenures; no such side policies will be appreciated and will be tantamount to a betrayal of the public’s trust.”
The students made a human chain around the intersection along the rally’s way, followed by a picket line around the PPP secretariat. The rally lasted for about an hour and a half, with the students peacefully dispersing as has become the tradition of these student-led protests.