Sunday, October 19, 2008

Judiciary in Pakistan - 2

Introduction of the CJ Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary:

Even the epitome of the so-called Freedom of Judiciary i.e. Mr Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary carry more Dirty Baggage [because he was elevated by a Martial Law Regime to be precise General Musharraf in 2000 i.e. in Pure Martial Law] than all the Three Candidates of PPP, PML-N, and PML-Q i.e. Zardari, Saeeduzzaman and Mushahid Hussain Syed [Mr Mushahid is the product of Former ISPR Cheif of General Zia i.e. Late Brigadier Mr Taffazzul Hussain Siddiqui, it was the ISPR Chief who made him the Editor Daily Muslim] carry together.

Quite amazing isn't it?

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]

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

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.

Chaudhry Iftikhar named new CJ By Our Staff Reporter

May 8, 2005 Sunday Rabi-ul-Awwal 28, 1426

ISLAMABAD, May 7: President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday appointed Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court, as the next chief justice. He will assume the office on June 30 after retirement of the incumbent Chief Justice, Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui, on June 29. “The notification has ended speculations of appointment of a junior judge as chief justice in violation of the seniority principle settled under the 1996 Judges case,” commented a senior Supreme Court lawyer on condition of anonymity.

Justice Chaudhry will reach the superannuation age of 65 years in 2012, which will make him one of the longest serving chief justices in the judicial history of Pakistan. He will serve as chief justice for over seven years. Earlier Justice A. R. Cornelius and Justice Mohammad Haleem served as chief justice for eight years from 1960 to 68 and 1981 to 89, respectively. Justice Chaudhry was elevated as a judge of the apex court on February 4, 2000. He has performed as acting chief justice from January 17 to 29, 2005. He holds the degree of LLB and started practice as an advocate in 1974. Later he was enrolled as an advocate of high court in 1976 and as an advocate of Supreme Court in 1985. In 1989, Justice Chaudhry was appointed as advocate-general of Balochistan and elevated to the post of additional judge in the Balochistan High Court in 1990. He also served as banking judge, judge of Special Court for Speedy Trials and Customs Appellate Courts as well as company judge.

He served as the chief justice of the Balochistan High Court from April 22, 1999 to February 4, 2000. He was elected the president of the High Court Bar Association, Quetta, and twice a member of the Bar Council. He was appointed as the chairman of the Balochistan Local Council Election Authority in 1992 and for a second term in 1998. Justice Chaudhry also worked as the chairman of the Provincial Review Board for Balochistan and was appointed twice as the chairman of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, Balochistan. Presently he is functioning as the chairman of the Enrolment Committee of the Pakistan Bar Council and Supreme Court Buildings Committee.

As per Daily Dawn dated March 12, 2007 Monday Safar 22, 1428

"ISLAMABAD, March 11: Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry has demanded that the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) should hold open proceedings on the reference against him sent by President Gen Pervez Musharraf. This was stated by seasoned politician Air Marshal (retired) Asghar Khan after a meeting with Justice Chaudhry here on Sunday. The demand made by the suspended chief justice indicates that he is not ready to resign and is determined to contest the allegations levelled against him.

Justice Iftikhar seeks open SJC proceedings: Asghar

By Iftikhar A. Khan

But one day earlier the CJ was held incommunicado

“There is no other way to describe the situation as no one is being allowed to meet him,” he said after police officials stopped him and other lawyers from going inside the chief justice’s residence.

CJ held incommunicado; lawyers slam ‘arrest’ By Nasir Iqbal

March 11, 2007 Sunday Safar 21, 1428

If he was held incommunicado then how the hell Air Marshal (retired) Asghar Khan [a key Musharraf adversary] succeeded to meet with Mr Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry? These Four artciles from Daily Jang and text after that will further expose the filthy character of General Retd. Chisti, General Retd Aslam Beg, Air Marshal Retd. Asgher Khan, General Retd Asad Durrani and last but not the least the Mother of All Trouble General Retd. Hamid Gul [after committing every crime mentioned in the book against innocent Pakistanis is now itching for Non-Sense Islamic revolution from the banner of APDM which is bandwagon of Pseudo Nationalists, Islamists, and Secular Politicans.


A weary scene re-enacted Ayaz Amir

POLITICS in Pakistan is the death of the imagination. The same scenes repeated endlessly, even some of the directors, as in the case of Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, performing the same role from one generation to the next. The actors of course change but as if in obedience to a higher dramatic law they too stick closely to the ancient script. Consider the latest circus (for it is a bit more than a play) arranged for the benefit of their lordships of the superior courts. Such a circus was expected because with the Constitution set aside and displaced by the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO), it stood to reason that sooner or later this contradiction would have
to be resolved. But the need for such a circus also stood on firm historical ground. In March 1981 a similar exercise was ordained by another benign military figure, General Ziaul Haq, whose protestations to hold elections in 90 days were, if anything, more vociferous than General Musharraf's proclaimed determination to return Pakistan to the fold of 'real' democracy. Barring a few honourable exceptions, most of their lordships, led by the pragmatism which has been the
guiding spirit of the Pakistani higher judiciary, preferred discretion to valour by swearing allegiance to General Zia's PCO. The master of ceremonies on that occasion too was Syed Sharifuddin.

As if to prove that while the world may have moved on we remain stuck in the same grooves, 19 years later as Pakistan heroically enters a new millennium, another generation of judges has been called upon by another military saviour to negotiate a similar obstacle course. Again, shunning rashness and opting for pragmatism, the overwhelming majority of their lordships, 89 out of 102, have sworn fealty to another PCO. In a land where nothing is surprising anymore, it is still not a little remarkable that the moving spirit behind both the circuses, otherwise separated by a distance of 19 years, should be the same eminence grise: Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada. Active in General Ayub Khan's service when many of us were in school, he has raised a monument to longevity by serving another military figure as his principal legal adviser, with a seat in the National Security Council and the freedom to continue with his legal practice. If
Pakistan's fate is to remain in the grip of military rule, it is the fate of our military rulers to remain captive to Syed Sharifuddin's beguiling advice. This is the closest thing we have to immortality in this country.

Whether the superior judiciary - its conduct tarnished in many ways - deserves what it has got is beside the point. Of greater relevance is to see the implications of the latest move for the
country's immediate future. Since this is a nation where the level of gullibility remains high, it was scarcely surprising if on the morrow of the celebrated 'counter-coup' of October 12 there was no shortage of people who were ready to believe that the promised land had been sighted and a new coming was at hand. In that exalted mood the pronouncements of the Chief Executive were greeted with enthusiasm and criticism of his intentions was considered almost akin to sacrilege. That was then. Today the feeling is different. The performance or rather non-performance of the military government over the last 100 days (which is the time it took Napoleon to leave the island of Elba and fight the battle of Waterloo) has been such that even some of the fiercest partisans of military rule are a bit down-at-heart. After the judicial drama just enacted in Islamabad this mood can only be strengthened because by now it should be clear even to the congenitally benighted that what we are witnessing on the national stage is not so much a temporary reform movement - which will pick up its tools when its immediate task is done - as the kind of long- drawn-out military rule which (to its grievous cost) the nation has experienced once too often in the past. That General Musharraf seems to be playing for keeps is the real significance of the trauma through which their lordships have been put.

To be sure, judicial freedom and military rule were incompatible from the start. But it is only now that this incompatibility was about to be tested in the shape of the constitutional petitions
before the Supreme Court challenging military rule. The critical hour approaching, it was judicial independence which had to submit before the exigencies and higher requirements of military rule. Nor could it be otherwise. In Pakistan it is not only power which flows from the barrel of a gun. Legality and validation also flow from the same source. Every dictator in Pakistan's history has received approval and benediction at judicial hands. It would have been unrealistic to assume that General Musharraf or anyone else in his place would have allowed this hallowed tradition to be broken. Why after all was Sharifuddin Pirzada hired in the first place? Just for this eventuality.

The trouble is that there is so much else that is incompatible with military rule: fundamental rights as a whole for one, press freedom for another. How long will the saviour in General Musharraf tolerate these deviations from the military norm? One illusion that it is in our best interests to get rid of fast is regarding the American concern for democracy in Pakistan. From Washington Pakistan is just a blip on the world screen and although democracy and human rights are issues with which the US likes to whip other countries when it wants to, of greater concern to the US as far as Pakistan is concerned is a raft of other issues: terrorism, Osama bin Laden and the CTBT. If we are forthcoming on these issues democracy can take a back seat. The military government also understands this, which is why it has started this wholly unnecessary debate regarding the CTBT. To sign or not to sign it should be our sovereign decision quite
uninfluenced by such ephemera as Clinton's forthcoming visit to South Asia. What if he misses Pakistan? Will the heavens fall? We obviously think they will, which is why the likely itinerary of
Clinton's visit is such a hot issue in Pakistan.

Anyway, what happens at home is of greater importance. Nawaz Sharif no longer is the issue. If he had overreached himself he has met his just deserts through the operation of those forbidding laws which hold sway over Pakistani politics. The issue today is different. The lack of direction from which the country suffers is only made worse by a regression to militarism because just as judicial freedom and military rule are incompatible, vision and military rule are two different things. Accordingly, if getting rid of Nawaz Sharif's luckless rule seemed to be the overriding national imperative on the evening of October 12, the imperative today is how to shorten the lengthening shadows of military rule. How do we go about this? How does the nation persuade the military? This is the foremost problem facing Pakistan today.

Tailpiece: Last week while in New Delhi I was visiting the Pakistan High Commission to pay my respects, I felt my heart sink when I saw in the foyer the photographs of President Rafiq Tarar and General Pervez Musharraf, the latter in full military regalia. While it goes without saying that the two together make a striking advertisement for Pakistan, why not simply a picture of Jinnah instead?

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