Friday, May 13, 2011

Meet Non-Political President (s) & Mr. A.K. Dogar!

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday ordered President Asif Ali Zardari to suspend his political activities and discontinue holding two offices at the same time. A four member bench headed by the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court Ijaz Haider gave a 35-page verdict on the case of the president’s dual offices which was being heard by the court over the past year. The court had reserved its judgement in identical petitions challenging the holding of two important offices by President Zardari in March this year. The petitioner Advocate AK Dogar who was also counsel for the Pakistan Lawyers Forum had sought disqualification of the president. He had argued that under the Constitution, the president could not head the state and a political party simultaneously, and that Zardari should immediately quit one office. Holding two offices, Dogar said, amounted to subversion of the Constitution. REFERENCE: Dual office case: LHC orders Zardari to suspend political activities Published: May 12, 2011

Thursday, May 12, Jamadi-us-Sani 08, 1432 A.H

Babar Awan says president can participate in politics


No law restricts president from political participation: Awan Published: May 12, 2011

LHC vs President: Asma Jehangir expresses reservations


Way back in "90s"

The Lahore High Court accepts (Feb 9, 1998) the constitutional petition filed by Rafiq Tarar against his disqualification by the (former) Acting CEC and declared him qualified to contest for and hold the office of President. The acting CEC, Justice Mukhtar Ahmed Junejo of the Supreme Court, had found Mr Tarar, a former Supreme Court Judge, guilty of propagating views prejudicial to the integrity and independence of the judiciary at the time of his nomination as a presidential candidate under Article 63(G) of the Constitution and debarred him from the December, 1997 contest. [Courtesy: Excerpts from ISLAMIC PAKISTAN: ILLUSIONS & REALITY By Abdus Sattar Ghazali] - ISLAMABAD, Dec 18: Acting Chief Election Commissioner Justice Mukhtar Junejo on Thursday rejected the nomination papers of PML presidential candidate Justice Rafiq Tarar for making derogatory remarks against judiciary. The acting CEC rejected the nomination papers of Mr Tarar under Article 63 (g) of the Constitution and conveyed the decision to Senator Anwar Bhinder, counsel for Mr Tarar. Mr Tarar was not present when his nomination papers were rejected, however, his covering candidate Capt (retd) Halim Siddique and several other members of the ruling party were there. The acting CEC accepted nomination papers of six other candidates, including Capt Halim Siddique, Aftab Shahban Mirani, Senator Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and Maulana Mohammad Khan Shirani, a JUI MNA. In a seven-page order released later Justice Junejo said: “I am of the view that case of Mr Tarar is covered by sub-clause (g) of clause (1) of Article 63 of the Constitution and since he cannot be elected as member of parliament, hence in terms of Article 41(2) of the Constitution of Pakistan, he cannot be elected as president of Pakistan. I therefore, reject his nomination papers.” Article 63 (1)(g) reads: “A person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament), if he is propagating any opinion, or acting in any manner, prejudicial to to the ideology of Pakistan, or the sovereignty, integrity or security of Pakistan, or morality, or the maintenance of public order, or the integrity or independence of the judiciary of Pakistan, or which defames or brings into ridicule the judiciary or the Armed Forces of Pakistan.” Parliamentary Secretary for Law Syed Zafar Ali Shah, who termed the order of the acting CEC unconstitutional and illegal, said the decision would be challenged in the court through a writ petition. REFERENCE: Six papers accepted CEC rejects Tarar’s nomination Bureau Report DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending: 20 December 1997 Issue : 03/51 Wrong choice, Mr Prime Minister M.P. Bhandara DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending:20 December 1997 Issue : 03/51
What was Leghari’s successor in office, Rafiq Tarar, doing in Quetta on the day the order suspending Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah was handed down by the Quetta Bench of the Supreme Court? Why did Tarar and two others fly to Quetta in a special plane on that disastrous day? Leghari is right. Questions are being asked. Why were the police at the Quetta airport ordered not to manifest his arrival (which instructions they in fact manifested)? Where did Tarar stay on the night of November 26 (his departure on November 27 having been manifested by the airport police)? What reward was he given for his day’s efforts? Why, on January 20, was a story leaked by the government to the press about the obstruction of justice early in 1997 in an alleged rape case involving a servant in the then Justice Ajmal Mian’s Karachi house when he, as CJ, was presiding over the bench hearing contempt of court cases against Nawaz Sharif and others? Why were stories leaked about the foreign sholarship sponsored by the government to the wife of the good J-1 Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui? Why is the Muslim League inner circle boasting that the ‘package’ . REFERENCES: The second Tumandar Ardeshir Cowasjee Week Ending : 28 February 1998 Issue : 04/09

View Point by Mubeen Rasheed with A K Dogar


TWO weeks ago, I was wrong when I wrote: “During the three years he sat there, one sole judgment authored by the Honourable Justice Tarar was recorded in a PLD — his concurring judgment in the case of the 1993 dissolution of the National Assembly restoring Nawaz Sharif.” Two judgments of his have been recorded, the second being Criminal Appeal No. 74/SAC/L, decided by Tarar on February 19, 1994, reported at 1994 SCMR 1466. This was the case of “Muhammad Ashraf and Others versus The State,” an appeal against the enforcement of the Hudood Ordinance and the conviction of the appellants by the Special Court for Speedy Trials No.II, Lahore. Muhammad Ashraf, Khalid Javaid and Zafar Ali had been sentenced to have their right hands amputated from the wrist and their left legs from the ankle, to seven years RI, and to a fine of Rs.20,000 each. Their crime was the theft of Rs.40,000 and of a licensed pistol from one Zahid Mahmood, and for “causing him simple and grievous injuries” in the process. The learned honourable Chairman of the Supreme Appellate Court, Justice Muhammad Rafiq Tarar, headed the bench comprising members Justices Afrasiab Khan and Muhammad Zubair. The honourable Justice Tarar wrote the judgment. His concluding paragraph :

Sachiyan Gallan With AK Dogar Part 01


“Before convicting the appellants, the learned trial Court considered all the relevant provisions of law, including sections 10, 11, 16 read with sections 7 and 20 of the Offences Against Property (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance 1979 which cater for situations where Hadd shall not be imposed and/or enforced and on proved facts rightly concluded that the offence committed by the appellants squarely falls within the ambit of section 17(3) of the Ordinance. The only punishment provided by section 17(3) is the amputation of right hand from the wrist and left leg from the ankle which has been imposed by the learned trial Court and we confirm the same.” To repeat, the year was 1994.

Another interesting case has come to light involving the honourable and learned Justice Tarar. On August 3, 1994, Justices Munir Khan and Mir Hazar Khan Khoso of the Supreme Court heard the matter of “Khalil-uz-Zaman versus Supreme Appellate Court Lahore,” reported at PLD 1994 SC 885. This was an appeal against the judgment of that court dated March 14, 1993, passed in Criminal Appeal 91/SAC/L/92. The chairman, again, of that honourable Supreme Appellate Court was Justice Tarar, sitting with Judges Raja Afrasiab Khan and Abdul Majid Tiwana.

Sachiyan Gallan With AK Dogar Part 02


Justice Tarar wrote the judgment (not reported), opening up : “This appeal by Khalil-uz-Zaman convict is directed against the judgment of the learned Special Court for Speedy Trials-II Lahore, whereby he was convicted u/s 302 and 324 read with Section 337-F of the PPC. Under Section 302-PPC he was sentenced to death as Tazir and was directed to pay Rs.50,000 as compensation to the legal heirs of Mst Aasia Perveen deceased u/s 544-A of the Cr.P.C. and u/ss 324/337-F of the PPC he was sentenced to imprisonment for 10 years….” He finished off: “In the circumstances, the appellant is liable for Qatl-e-Amd u/s 302(a) of the PPC punishable with death as Qisas. In that view of the matter, the order directing payment of compensation is set aside. His conviction and sentence u/s 337-F is also set aside and with the above modification his appeal is dismissed.”

Aaj Kamran Khan kay Saath (8th October 2009) Part 5 of 5


Kamran Khan Loves Asif Ali Zardari (GEO TV March 2008)

Supreme Court Judges Munir Khan and Khoso heard the convict’s appeal against Justice Tarar’s judgment, and, inter alia, in their judgment have recorded :

“…we are in no manner of doubt that the trial Court and also the learned Appellate Court had no lawful authority / jurisdiction / power whatsoever to convict the petitioner under section 302 PPC or to impose penalty of death on him, and have acted in gross violation of law. The Courts derive authority to punish the accused from the statute. If the statute does not provide death penalty for the offence then obviously the Court would have no jurisdiction to award the same, and, as such, the conviction and sentence of the petitioner recorded under section 302 PPC is coram non judice.

“…If the impugned judgments are allowed to stand then the petitioner would be deprived of his life obviously in pursuance of orders which suffer from lack of jurisdiction and authority, gross carelessness, illegality and were violative of Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Fortunately for the petitioner, our Constitution gives protection to the citizens of Pakistan against illegal treatment in the matter of life, liberty and body…. In this case the Courts, vide impugned judgments, have ordered the petitioner to be hanged to death although he was/is not liable to death in law for the offence allegedly committed by him. There can be no case more fit and proper than the present one for interference in exercise of our original jurisdiction under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.”

“….Had the Courts taken the trouble of reading three sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, i.e. section 306, 307 and 308, we are sure they would not have sentenced the accused/petitioner to death under section 302 PPC. The error committed by the Courts in convicting the accused/petitioner under section 302 PPC and sentencing him to death is so serious that had the petitioner eventually been hanged to death, we are afraid it would have amounted to murder through judicial process. Needless to say that plea of good faith/bona fide/ignorance of law/incompetency is/are not available in such like cases.” The case was remitted back to the Lahore High Court for a “fresh decision in accordance with law.” The year was also 1994.

Another much discussed case involving the good Justice Tarar dating back to circa. 1994 involved a 20-year old girl and a young man accused of adultery and of killing the girl’s husband. On very flimsy evidence they were convicted by a sessions judge in the NWFP to be hanged to death. They appealed to the High Court but the sentence was upheld. They then appealed to the Supreme Court where they found Justice Tarar. He upheld the sentence and the 20-year old girl would have been hanged but for an ultimate presidential reprieve.

Three years later, whilst the Anti-Terrorism Act was being drafted, retired judges now Senators, Rafiq Tarar and Afzal Lone, were called in. They recommended what could be termed a parallel judicial system composed of special courts with special judges with special powers to try all those suspected of terrorist acts. Chief Justice of Pakistan Sajjad Ali Shah objected, and proposed that suspects be tried in the normal course by sessions judges (requesting that many more be appointed). To expedite matters, trials could be held in the jails. Those convicted could appeal to the High Court, and then to the Supreme Court. The CJ assured the prime minister that he would see that the entire trial period was completed within three months. Nawaz Sharif did not want trials held in three stages, so it was finally agreed by all that the sessions court stage would go, that suspects would be tried in the High Court, and then allowed an appeal to the Supreme Court. However, much to the CJ’s surprise, when the Act was passed by parliament, the law laid down that a suspect would be tried by a special judge in a special court, that an appeal would lie only before a special tribunal of two specially appointed high court judges, that no bail would be granted, and no appeal to the Supreme Court allowed. All as initially recommended by Tarar/Lone. Such is the recorded mindset of a judge (thank heavens, no longer a judge), a Senator, and now the president.

After he had been nominated on December 15 as the Muslim League presidential candidate, minister of thought control Mushahid Hussain declared Tarar to be a “moderate Muslim” On December 18, Acting Chief Election Commissioner Mukhtar Junejo rejected his nomination papers under Article 63(g) of the Constitution. Rather than honourably withdrawing from the race, Rafiq Tarar appealed for help to the prime minister and to the law ministry. The law ministry confidently announced that Tarar’s appeal would be placed before Justice Malik Qayyum of the Lahore High Court, brother of PML MNA Malik Parvez, that an interim stay would be given on the EC order, and the dates of subsequent hearings of the case would be so adjusted as to allow Tarar to successfully contest the election. This happened, and as things now stand, Tarar is president subject to the EC order being struck down by the High Court and then by the Supreme Court. With all this behind their head of state, — the judgments and the new law — and with him and the prime minister on the march for “Reform”, should we be a very frightened nation ? Wake Up. REFERENCE: The president in the shade By Ardeshir Cowasjee Week Ending:10 January 1998 Issue : 04/02 DAWN WIRE SERVICE
In deference to the Supreme Court order, the IGP Islamabad has appointed SP Khalid Mahmud to further enquire into the storming. And where is Khalid Mahmud now stationed? In the Aiwan-i-Sadar, in charge of the security of the President of Pakistan, Rafiq Ahmad Tarar. And what was Rafiq Ahmad Tarar on the day the Supreme Court was stormed in 1997? He was an honourable Senator, installed in the honourable Senate by Nawaz Sharif. And to where did Tarar journey a couple of days before the eventful day the Supreme Court was stormed, the same day on which the Quetta Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Irshad Hassan Khan (the present Chief Justice of Pakistan) and the Peshawar Bench of the Supreme Court (headed by Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui, who succeeded Ajmal Mian as Chief Justice of Pakistan) handed down their orders against their then sitting Chief Justice, Sajjad Ali Shah? He went to Quetta, secretly, in the dark. We laugh a bit more. Tarar was despatched to Quetta by Nawaz Sharif in a special flight which landed at Quetta at night. Now, the Quetta airfield is not normally lit up after nightfall as no flights land. The runway was specially lit up for Tarar and the security man on duty is reported to have noted in his log:

“Instructions have been received from Islamabad that the details the special flight carrying the visiting dignitary, senator Rafiq Ahmad Tarar, must be kept confidential and not reported” (or words to this effect). Now poor SP Khalid Mahmud will also have to question the present Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Lieutenant General Rana, who on the day the Supreme Court was raided in 1997, headed the ISI spooks. He reported the then COAS, General Jehangir Karamat, at the dawning of November 27, that Nawaz’s cohorts were to raid the Supreme Court in the morning. All this is written in jest, in an effort to alleviate the pervading atmosphere of gloom and doom. REFERENCE: Laughing at ourselves Ardeshir Cowasjee Week Ending:11 November 2000 Issue: 06/43 DAWN WIRE SERVICE

Then Abbaji stepped in, and within the space of one minute settled everything. Cut the cackle and forget about the ‘smaller’ provinces. Let’s keep it all in the family and in Punjab. Select my friend and legal adviser, Rafiq Tarar, whose wit and wisdom I share, and with whom I often sup late into the night, exchanging sick Sikh jokes from our vast reservoirs. He is, and will prove to be, perfect. What is good for the Sharifs, is good for the party, and is good for the nation. Soon, with God’s blessings, we will have a Sharif nominee at the head of the Supreme Court and at the head of our powerful army. ‘Der Fuhrer’ had spoken. Without further ado, without consulting his ruling party members, or the leaders of the coalition parties, Nawaz Sharif nominated Tarar. Thought-broadcaster and ‘media developer’ Mushahid Hussain was ordered to tailor Tarar to fit the slot, and vice versa. Mushahid trumpeted: Tarar is a moderate Muslim, a clean, devout, upright man and, contrary to what is said, is not a misogynist. He has been cleared by the agencies (who codified him in the records sent to those prosecuting Benazir’s Bhutto government’s dismissal as DW1 — Dari Wallah 1). He is a son of the soil, officially born in Pirkhot, District Gujranwala, on November 2, 1929, educated in Gujranwala and Lahore. Gujranwala is his oyster. It was there he grew his formal beard and in 1951 launched himself as a pleader.

He moved up to become advocate of the high court, to additional district and sessions judge, to district and sessions judge, and was elevated to the bench of the Lahore High Court in 1974, in the good old days of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s PPP. In 1989, in the equally good old days of Zia, he became chief justice of that court, moving up to the Supreme Court in 1991, from where he retired in 1994. His brilliance on the bench of the Supreme Court has beEn immortalized. During the three years he sat there, one sole judgment authored by the Honourable Justice Tarar was recorded in a PLD — his concurring judgment in the case of the 1993 dissolution of the National Assembly when the presidential Dissolution order was struck down and the government of Nawaz Sharif restored.

Amongst his friends who share his thoughts and beliefs and over whom he wields considerable influence are Justice Khalilur Rahman (codified as DW2), a signatory to the November 1997 order of the Quetta bench of the Supreme Court which sparked off the sorry disintegration process; Afzal Lone, a benefactor of the Ittefaq empire, rewarded with a Senate seat, who is inevitably to be found lurking in the prime minister’s secretariat, and Major General Javed Nasir (DW3), Nawaz Sharif’s former chief of the ISI and of the ‘Afghan misadventure’.

Tarar’s nomination was filed on December 16, together with that of his covering candidates Captain Haleem Siddiqi and Khwaja Qutubuddin. (It is somewhat of a disgrace that a master mariner should have allowed his name to be included amongst the spineless.) Tarar’s nomination was rejected on December 18 by Justice of the Supreme Court Mukhtar Ahmad Junejo, who also holds the post of Acting Chief Election Commissioner. Junejo, in this case, proved himself to be as strong as Seshan.

Can we remove Junejo, was Nawaz Sharif’s first Gawalmandi reaction. Risky, he was told. Then file a petition against Junejo’s order in the Lahore High Court and have the order suspended. Suitable counsel were hurriedly contacted, and it goes to the credit of the bar that not one of the top constitutional lawyers was willing to accept Tarar’s brief. Ejaz Batalvi, expert criminal lawyer, was roped in. Justice Qayyum admitted the petition on December 19 and suspended Junejo’s order, allowing Tarar to “participate in the election provisionally subject to further orders”. A larger bench will hear the petition on the 23rd.

My renowned constitutional expert (who for his own good explicitly asked me not to name him) maintains that Tarar may sail through the Lahore High Court. But, in the Supreme Court, it may, just may, be a different kettle of fish. Passing muster there will not be that simple. The irony is that the order of Acting CEC Mukhtar Junejo will be defended by Attorney General Chaudhry Farooq, who, though technically the first law officer of the land representing the people still acts as if he were the personal hired lawyer of Ittefaq and Nawaz Sharif. As for the president of the republic, with the powers now left to him in the Constitution, all he can depend upon is his moral authority and his presentability to the world. Tarar, unfortunately, possesses neither. To quote from the ‘Comment’ of man-of-integrity Kunwar Idris, published in this newspaper on December 20 :

“Also casting a dark shadow on him is the referendum of December 1984 when, as a member of Zia’s Election Commission, he solemnly assured the people that 55 per cent and not just five per cent of the electorate had turned out to confer legitimacy on Zia’s dictatorial rule. Mr Tarar also has to dispel the widely insinuated impression that he was involved in the ‘Quetta Shuttle’ which divided the Supreme Court and wrote the saddest chapter in Pakistan’s constitutional history.”

The task before the present de facto chief custodian of the Supreme Court, the honourable J-1, Justice Ajmal Mian, is onerous indeed. Before he can reform and unite his ‘farishtas’ (as the judges of the SC are affectionately known) he has to clean up the paradise over which they preside. The dignity and honour of the court remain desecrated and dented by the mob attack upon it organized by the ruling party. The court must be cleansed and reconsecrated, the sponsors and their stormers punished for committing a criminal act in the face of the court. Another task awaiting Justice Mian is the reining in of the parallel judiciary incorporated in the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 (a Lone-Tarar creation). Also (important and urgent) he must demolish the formation of a squad of honorary magistrates planned to be recruited in Punjab from the ranks of party bosses of the Muslim League. Following in his master’s footsteps, Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat is said to have thought up this brilliant fascistic move. REFERENCE: Fascism on the march – III Also see [Facism I] [Fascism II] Ardeshir Cowasjee Week Ending:27 December 1997 Issue:03/52

ISLAMABAD, Dec 9: President Rafiq Tarar has pardoned former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s 25-year jail sentence but exiled the former prime minister and his family, a government announcement said in the wee hours of Sunday. “On the advice of the chief executive, the president of Pakistan, according to law has pardoned Nawaz Sharif’s remaining jail sentence while the rest of the punishment awarded by the honourable courts, which includes fine, forfeiture of property and disqualification from public office would remain in place,” the announcement said. “Nawaz Sharif and family have been exiled to Saudi Arabia.

This decision has been taken in the best interest of the country and the people of Pakistan,” it said. The former prime minister was awarded 14 years’ Imprisonment on corruption charges, fined Rs20 million and disqualified from contesting election for 21 years. Mr Sharif, who was removed by the army in a bloodless coup, was sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of hijacking the plane in which General Pervez Musharraf was travelling. He had appealed in the high court, which had rejected the plea. He was fined Rs500,000 and forfeiture of property worth Rs500 million. The official announcement said that Nawaz Sharif and his family had been appealing to the chief executive and the president of Pakistan requesting clemency. They had also filed a petition requesting for waiver of punishment awarded by the Sindh High Court and the accountability court in the helicopter case. “Nawaz Sharif and his family had pleaded his falling health and need of specialist medical care urgently requesting that he may be allowed to proceed abroad for treatment. The Sharif family had also submitted that they be allowed to accompany him,” the announcement said.

SAUDI ROLE: Indirectly admitting that the deal had been brokered by Saudi Arabia, the announcement said that recently, Pakistan’s closest friend Saudi Arabia offered the Government of Pakistan to accept the Sharif family for medical treatment on humanitarian grounds if exiled to their country. Sources said that Saudi defence minister and former intelligence chief Prince Turki Al Faisal, arrived in Islamabad “this morning on a special plane and held detailed talks with the military government officials as well as with Begum Kulsoom Nawaz at the residence of Saudi ambassador to Pakistan. The Saudi prince, according to Raja Zafarul Haq, also met Nawaz Sharif in Attock jail this afternoon along with Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, to give final touches to the deal. Nawaz Sharif, according to latest reports, has been brought from Attock Fort and admitted to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi.

Sources in the Pakistan Muslim League claimed that Nawaz Sharif was averse to leaving the country but his son Hasan Nawaz, who is now in London, has played a decisive role in convincing his father to accept the deal. These sources said that under the deal, Nawaz Sharif and his family would not return to Pakistan for 10 years. The deal has fuelled speculations about the restoration of the suspended assemblies. However, some political analysts believe that an interim political structure will be established in the country and the army will step down after ensuring “due share” in the new political structure. REFERENCE: President pardons Nawaz; entire Sharif family exiled Nasir Malick and Faraz Hashmi Week Ending : 16 December 2000 Issue : 06/48 DAWN WIRE SERVICE

The Lahore High Court accepted, on Feb. 9 1998, the constitutional petition filed by Rafiq Tarar against his disqualification by the (former) Acting CEC and declared him qualified to contest for and hold the office of President. The acting CEC, Justice Mukhtar Ahmed Junejo of the Supreme Court, had found Tarar, a former Supreme Court Judge, guilty of propagating views prejudicial to the integrity and independence of the judiciary at the time of his nomination as a presidential candidate under Article 63(G) of the Constitution and debarred him from the December, 1997 contest.

The short verbal order did not deal with the question of fact involved in the case - whether Tarar in his interview of the weekly Takbir of June 27, 1996, and statement to the daily Jang, Rawalpindi, of Dec 4, 1997, propagated views prejudicial to the judiciary. Neither before the acting CEC nor in the LHC did Tarar or his counsel categorically denied the allegedly contemptuous statements in their entirety.

Tarar's counsel, Barrister Ijaz Hussein Batalvi told the LHC that the interview carried by Takbeer did not fully convey the views of Tarar. In any case, Tarar was elected senator after the interview and was not debarred from the senatorial contest. The Jang interview did not refer to any judge as no judge left in disgrace on Dec 2. Besides, a penal action could not be based on newspaper reports. Again, a presidential candidate who is also a sitting member of parliament cannot be disqualified under Article 63. Article 41(2) says that a candidate should be qualified to be elected a member of parliament under Article 62 and disqualification under Article 63 cannot be read into it. Excerpts from ISLAMIC PAKISTAN: ILLUSIONS & REALITY By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

The same Lahore High Court on Military President.

LAHORE, March 17: Election of the president was necessary within 30 days after Senate polls, Advocate A.K. Dogar argued before a division bench of the Lahore High Court. He appeared for the Pakistan Lawyers Forum before Justices Tassadaq Husain Jilani and Raja Muhammad Sabir in an intra-court appeal, challenging dismissal of a petition against the Legal Framework Order. He submitted that election of president by parliament was a constitutional requirement. The 1973 Constitution recognized only that person as the president of the country who had been elected by parliament. The sitting president did not fulfil this criteria. He criticized the stance of a political party that it would accept Gen Musharraf as country’s president if he relinquishes one of the two offices currently held by him. He contended that the Supreme Court had given three-year to Gen Musharraf to transfer power to an elected government. Advocate Dogar said Article 41 (7) of the LFO empowers Gen Pervez Musharraf to remain the chief executive as long as he desires. It also empowers him to be the president of the country for five year at his own will. He argued that this provision had exposed the mala fide intentions of President Musharraf who had still not yet transferred the power to a “representative government”.
The LFO was a mean to provide continuity to former military regime, he alleged. Through the LFO, the military regime tried to amend the 1973 Constitution without any legal authority and public mandate. Justice Jilani observed that if this argument was to be assumed correct, the provision increasing the total number of National Assembly’s seats could not be termed as a valid one. The provision had been practically exercised during the October last general elections without being approved by a parliament. The counsel submitted that the criteria for judging the validity of LFO provisions would be “the benefit of general public and adherence to the 1973 Constitution”. The provision referred by the court had proved to be beneficial to the general public, it would be considered valid one and all those aimed at fortifying the rule of ‘an usurper’ were to be treated as illegitimate and invalid. About the role of the judiciary in exercising powers under the Doctrine of Necessity, the counsel submitted that to end up the chaos in the aftermath of October 1999, the then judges could have either vacated their offices in order to uphold and preserve the sanctity of the Constitution or could have broken their oath to provide a legal cover to the military intervention. He alleged that the former military regime had misused the powers granted by the SC under the Doctrine of Necessity. REFERENCE: President’s election by parliament ‘necessary’ Staff Reporter DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 22 March 2003 Issue : 09/12 President’s election by parliament ‘necessary’ Staff Reporter
LAHORE, Aug 15: The Lahore High Court was requested on Thursday to restrain the government from barring the entry of PML(N) President Mian Shahbaz Sharif to Pakistan. A writ petition filed by a PML(N) primary unit president, Gulzar Malik, through Advocate A.K. Dogar said Shahbaz Sharif had a constitutionally-guaranteed right to return to Pakistan because his exile from the country was unconstitutional. He also had a fundamental right to contest the polls, conduct his party’s election campaign and form a government of if it won. The petition said Islam does not recognize forcible seizure of power or the law of necessity nor does it empower the judiciary to uphold or validate either. This aspect of the 1999 military takeover was not decided by the Supreme Court in the Zafar Ali Shah case. Pending the disposal of his petition, the petitioner sought an interim declaration in favour of the PML(N) leader’s return and participation in the electoral process. REFERENCE: Plea against bar on Shahbaz’s entry Staff Reporter
LAHORE, Aug 16: The Lahore High Court asked a federal law officer to produce the government order or notification, if any, barring Mian Shahbaz Sharif’s entry into Pakistan and adjourned further proceedings in a writ petition seeking the Pakistan Muslim League leader’s unhindered return home to August 20. Justice Tasadduq Husain Jilani, who would be availing his summer vacation next week, referred the petition to the chief justice for consideration by another judge. The petitioner, a PML (Nawaz) worker, says that Shahbaz Sharif has a constitutionally-guaranteed right to return home and lead his party in the forthcoming electoral contest. His counsel, Advocate AK Dogar, vehemently argued in favour of the petition and contended that Shahbaz Sharif was exiled against his wish. “If there is a deal as claimed by the government, what are its contents and why should they not be made public?” he asked.
Deputy Attorney-General Khwaja Saeeduz Zafar, who was present in another case, was asked by Justice Jilani whether the issue had been agitated before the court previously and, if so, what was the outcome. The DAG said two petitions were filed for publication of the so-called deal and for cancellation of the citizenship rights of the Sharifs. Both were dismissed by the Lahore High Court. In any case, he said, the petition was not maintainable in asmuch as the petitioner had no locus standi in the presence of Mr Sharif and members of his family, one of whom (Hamza Shahbaz) permanently resides in Lahore. What if they disown the averments made in the petition? the law officer asked. Let the aggrieved party come forward, he said. Mr Dogar said Hamza was too busy looking after the family business and it was basically for the party workers to seek their leader’s return. The petition has the sanction of PML’s Punjab chief Zulfiqar Ali Khosa. Besides, public interest petitions could be filed by any citizen as held by the Supreme Court. Mr Saeeduz Zafar said the Supreme Court had wider powers than a high court. Only petitions for writs of habeas corpus and quo warranto can be moved by non-aggrieved persons. The court asked the law officer to find out whether there was any order barring Mr Sharif’s entry and adjourned the hearing. REFERENCE: LHC seeks order against Shahbaz By Shujaat Ali Khan
LAHORE, June 26: A Supreme Court bench reserved its order on a petition seeking termination of military rule and a declaration to bar future military interventions. The bench comprising Justices Sheikh Riaz Ahmad, Mohammad Arif and Qazi Mohammad Farooq wound up hearing amid protests by petitioner Pakistan Lawyers Forum’s counsel, A.K. Dogar, that he wanted at least 10 days to fully argue his case. The bench observed that it had fully understood his arguments and the case law cited by him has been taken note of. After hearing the lawyer, the bench told him that it has other matters to dispose of. REFERENCE: SC reserves verdict on plea against mly rule By Shujaat Ali Khan 
We should travel more deeply into the History of Pakistani Politics.
LHC tells President Zardari to curtail political activities


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of the slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, now sits at the pinnacle of Pakistani politics. It is a startling comeback for a man who, though never convicted here, spent 11 years in jail here on corruption and murder charges as one of Pakistan’s most ostracized figures. The election victory last month of Ms. Bhutto’s party, which he now leads, has left Mr. Zardari, 51, Pakistan’s kingmaker. He came closer than ever to official rehabilitation last week, when a court here dropped many of the corruption cases against him. The last two cases in Pakistan are scheduled to be dismissed this week. These days, Mr. Zardari’s most pressing concern is whom to choose as prime minister, a decision he is expected to make any day now.

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Mr. Zardari’s sudden revival is a reminder of how Pakistan has veered between military rule and civilian governments that have been dogged by allegations of corruption, and how those cases can be prosecuted — or wiped away — depending on the political winds. The dismissal of the corruption cases was a key demand by Ms. Bhutto as she negotiated her return to Pakistan after eight years in exile, under an American-backed power sharing deal intended to preserve President Pervez Musharraf. But it is Mr. Zardari who has become the accidental beneficiary of that plan, which is now in shreds. On Sunday, he and the other main opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, said they would seek to curb what remained of the president’s already diminished powers. The pair pledged to bring an end to the Musharraf era. In an interview just before the elections, Mr. Zardari said the cases against him were politically driven. The accord agreed to by Mr. Musharraf, known as the National Reconciliation Order, and on which the court acted last week, exonerated him, he said. “Before she laid down her life she made sure that the world acknowledged, everybody acknowledged that they were politically motivated cases,” Mr. Zardari said of Ms. Bhutto in an interview just before the elections. “So I think I am exonerated.”

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In the interview, Mr. Zardari seemed almost impervious to the corruption cases, and to the fact that he remained on bail with more than a dozen other defendants on conspiracy charges in the 1996 murder of his brother-in-law, Murtaza Bhutto. Ms. Bhutto said the killing was a plot by Pakistani intelligence agencies to divide and weaken her family. “They always come to me through legality,” Mr. Zardari said. “They always have a legal reason. After all, Christ was tried. It is not that they didn’t give him a trial. They did. How good the trial was, that is another thing.” The National Reconciliation Order absolved politicians, bankers and bureaucrats — but not ordinary citizens — charged with corruption offenses from 1988 to October 1999, when Mr. Musharraf grabbed power in a bloodless coup. The five cases against Mr. Zardari that were dismissed last week ranged from charges that he took $10 million in kickbacks from a gold importing company to allegations that he improperly used government funds to build a polo ground at the prime minister’s residence in Islamabad. In the gold case, Mr. Zardari was charged with taking bribes from ARY International Exchange, a gold bullion dealership based in Dubai, in exchange for awarding the company an exclusive license in 1994 to import more than $500 million worth of gold that was used in Pakistan’s jewelry businesses.

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A report on private banking and money laundering in the United States Congress in 1999 said Mr. Zardari had accumulated $40 million in Citibank accounts. In describing the ARY case, the report cited allegations that some of Mr. Zardari’s Citibank accounts were used to “disguise $10 million in kickbacks for a gold importing contract in Pakistan.” Mr. Zardari always denied the charges, and the head of the company, Abdul Razzak Yaqub, denied he had paid bribes. Another case that was dismissed by the anticorruption court involved charges that Mr. Zardari had received illegal commissions from two Swiss companies, Cotecna, and Société Générale de Surveillance, after the companies were awarded a contract for pre-shipment inspections for imports to Pakistan. That case is also being tried in Switzerland. In 2003, a Swiss magistrate found him and Ms. Bhutto guilty on money laundering charges, and ordered them to return $12 million to the Pakistani government. The couple fought the charges vigorously and appealed the case, prompting a new investigation by the Swiss authorities that resulted in new charges of aggravated money laundering.

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Mr. Zardari, who has various health problems and declined to show up at hearings in Geneva after his release from prison in 2004 on the grounds that he was too ill, has continued to appeal the case, now being heard by the court of appeals there. In Britain, Mr. Zardari faces a civil case brought in connection with a country manor with hundreds of acres in southern England where he made extensive renovations, including the installation of an imitation of a local pub. The Pakistani government is seeking to recover the money that Mr. Zardari used to pay for the manor on the grounds that it was ill-gotten gains. People involved in the case said last week that the case was still active and being contested by Mr. Zardari. The corruption charges against Mr. Zardari stem from his actions during Ms. Bhutto’s two terms as prime minister, a time when he was known as “Mr. 10 Percent” because of allegations that he demanded a cut of contracts after his wife assumed office in 1988. She was dismissed in 1990 after two years in office, and Mr. Zardari served three years in prison from 1990 to 1993 on corruption charges that were never proved. In her second term, from 1993 to 1996, he wielded more power as minister of environment and investment. When she was dismissed in 1996 by President Farooq Leghari, Mr. Zardari was again arrested on corruption charges. He remained in prison until November 2004, shuffling among facilities in Lahore, Rawalpindi and his home city of Karachi, always the wheeler dealer, whether in jail or out. Mr. Zardari was classified as an A class prisoner and received certain privileges: a separate room from the main prison wing with an attached bathroom, air-conditioning and two servants.

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A lawyer, Talib Rizvi, who often visited him in jail, said Mr. Zardari always managed to have the best of food, and always seemed in high spirits. “I had one of my finest lunches in that jail — Asif used to get food from Clifton House,” said Mr. Rizvi, referring to the grand Bhutto family residence in Karachi. “He would get food for 50 people.” Expensive gifts to friends were customary, including gold cufflinks “worth thousands of dollars,” and sets of fountain pens, he said. And as generous as Mr. Zardari was toward his friends, Mr. Rizvi said, he was as tough against his enemies. Mr. Rizvi said Mr. Zardari offered to organize revenge against assailants who had shot at Mr. Rizvi in the remote area of Baluchistan when he went to defend men charged with the murder of a tribal leader.

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Afterward, Mr. Rizvi, who said he regarded himself as a big admirer of Mr. Zardari, recalled: “I said, ‘I am not going to press charges.’ Asif said, ‘I will see to it — I will finish them.’ ” Mr. Rizvi said he advised Mr. Zardari that his offer was not necessary. After his release from jail in 2004 as part of an early but failed reconciliation effort between the Musharraf government and Ms. Bhutto, Mr. Zardari took up residence in Manhattan, living in the elegant Helmsley Carlton apartment block on 61st Street and Madison Avenue. Mr. Zardari, attentive to his grooming, which sometimes includes a stylized blackened mustache instead of his natural salt and pepper, has always had a taste for the high life, according to his friends. Azher Khan, who attended high school with him in a rural area of Sindh Province, said Mr. Zardari was something of a playboy in the early 1970s, and had the advantage of a father who owned the Bambina Cinema, which featured a risqué neon sign.

In the early 1970s, Mr. Zardari went to London. There, he said in the interview, he attended the London School of Business Studies and received a bachelor of education degree. His official biography says he attended a commercial college called Pedinton School. But a search of tertiary educational institutions in London showed no such school, and associates said he did not finish his studies. The question of whether Mr. Zardari has a university degree is a delicate matter because President Musharraf introduced a law in 2002 that made it compulsory for parliamentary candidates to hold a degree in order to qualify for electoral office. There are now expectations among his political colleagues and in the Pakistani news media that Mr. Zardari will run for Parliament so he can then assume the post of prime minister. In the interview, Mr. Zardari said the prime minister’s office did not interest him because it would be “very restrictive.” He wanted, instead, to re-energize the Pakistan Peoples Party. Asked in the interview if he had a degree, Mr. Zardari replied: “I do have a degree. That is not an issue.” He said he attended the London School of Business Studies “much before I was married. I think it’s a B.Ed. degree. I haven’t really looked at it,” he said, referring to a bachelor of education. Mr. Zardari, three years younger than Ms. Bhutto, was chosen as her husband by Ms. Bhutto’s mother at the moment when Ms. Bhutto was entering politics. It was considered an unusual match: brainy Oxford and Harvard graduate with a polo-loving, hard-living charmer.

Once Ms. Bhutto came into power, Mr. Zardari was often regarded as a liability in her political career. Ahmad Mukhtar, who was commerce minister in Ms. Bhutto’s second term and appears to be Mr. Zardari’s favored candidate for prime minister in the new coalition government, recalls telling Ms. Bhutto: “There is propaganda against him, and we get a black name from it. Next time you come to power send him to play polo in Argentina.” But Mr. Mukhtar said he came to like Mr. Zardari when they shared time together in jail in Karachi. Mr. Mukhtar was arrested in May 2000 by the Musharraf government on charges connected with his tenure as commerce minister. The charges were dropped 17 months later. Mr. Zardari is one of more than a dozen people accused in a conspiracy in 1996 to kill Ms. Bhutto’s brother, Murtaza, a political opponent of Mr. Zardari and Ms. Bhutto, according to Omar Sial, a lawyer for the family of Mr. Bhutto. Asked in the interview if he was on bail, Mr. Zardari replied: “That is correct.” And not just in one case, he added, “but I don’t know how many.” The murder case is still active but has languished for 12 years, because Mr. Zardari and the other defendants, mostly policemen, have failed to show up in court. “He claims to be grievously ill and says he couldn’t travel,” said Fatima Bhutto, the daughter of Murtaza Bhutto and a critic of Ms. Bhutto and her husband. “Then his wife dies, he turns up fit and fine, perfectly healthy and it seems to be lies.” Even now that Mr. Zardari is in the country, however, no one here believes the case will be pursued seriously. REFERENCE: From Prison to Zenith of Politics in Pakistan By JANE PERLEZ Published: March 11, 2008

1 comment:

Sadaf Jamal said...

Our judiciary’s tussle with the PPP government has been going on, despite showing so much respect and honor for Judiciary PPP government, Judiciary by hook or crook dragged it on course of collision. On many occasions, it is observed that Judiciary is trying to bring PPP its knees. The LHC was always on top, in issuing controversial statements against Pakistan People Party and President. The hobnobbing of Judges and a right wing political party is not only raucous but condemnable. The LHC’s recent controversial remarks against dual holding of office by President will help foment such feelings further. As it is, a rally was taken out by the PPP Sindh to protest against the verdict a day before. Instead of stirring more controversy, it would have been better had the LHC just dismissed the petitions against the president for lack of legal grounds? Pakistan cannot afford more tension between the judiciary and the executive. We have more things to worry about. It is time to be pragmatic and sensible.