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Statements by Chief Justice of Pakistan and Army Chief –> We support the Supreme Court, Chief Justice and the Constitution

November 6, 2012 2 comments

In past few days there were some statements given by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhar and Army Chief General Ashfaq Prevez Kiyani. According to media reports, Kiyanis words were (from Pakistan Today):

“Any effort which wittingly or unwittingly draws a wedge between the people and armed forces of Pakistan undermines the larger national interest.”

Also he said:

“No individual or institution has the monopoly to decide what is right or wrong while defining the ultimate national interest.”

These words may not seem very harmful but if we look them in the context of Asghar Khan case and recent proceedings of missing persons cases in the
Supreme Court then one can get some idea about the possible target of the statements.

On the other hand, SC released a speech of CJP which he gave earlier but the timing of releasing the speech to media seems to be interesting and apparently it is related with the statement by Army Chief. In the speech, honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary renewed his stance to protect the constitution.

According to media reports, he said:

“Gone are the days when stability and security of the country was defined in terms of number of missiles and tanks as a manifestation of hard power available at the disposal of the state,” the chief justice said while speaking to a delegation of the 97th National Management Course, National School of Public Policy and National Management College Lahore at the Supreme Court building.

Also he said:

“The composition, powers and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court are set out by the Constitution itself and the court exercises original, appellate, review and advisory jurisdictions and its decisions are binding on all other courts of Pakistan,”

I am glad that he acknowledges the struggle by the justice loving people of Pakistan who didn’t buy Musharraf’s national interest or national security type bogus cards and supported the judiciary.

“The present day Supreme Court is alive to the fact that it has been restored to its original position by unprecedented struggle carried out by a consort of such professional classes as lawyers, students, media persons and civil society at large.”

If I have to choose between judiciary and useless army, I will choose judiciary and constitution. It seems army chief is upset because of Asghar Khan case and missing persons cases. Also people like IK have openly said that if he will be in power then generals will also be made accountable in front of the law. Indeed these are some disturbing times for anti-Pakistan corrupt mercenary generals. Army will be the biggest hurdle in any genuine change against the forces of evil and status-quo. Prime example of Army’s support to status-quo is NRO which was given to the corrupt political and bureaucratic elite.

Kiyani needs to understand that if they follow the constitution and respect the principles of justice, human rights and freedom then people will not criticize them. Exceptions are those who are working on foreign agenda but if we look into it then we can see that most of them were supported by Army because of the pro-war stance by these people. If army wants respect then they have to come out of this American war and leave their role of mercenary army. They also need to focus on defending the country instead of taking part in political activities or taking control of land and economic resources of the country. Also accountability of culprits in the institution is also required to improve the image of the institution. We need a credible or even a strong defense but not at the cost of freedom, justice and  human rights.

We support CJP and SC. Its our moral and constitutional responsibility to protect the constitution and country from these evil Khakis who only know how to serve their lust of power. They only love that Pakistan which is under their boots and we have to change this situation and inshaAllah it will be changed in a good way.

Living together peacefully without poking nose in the affairs of others : A point we are missing badly in Pakistan now.

Looking at the history of Pakistan, it seems society here was a bit open-minded with respect to religious and social class differences. No one makes much fuss about a person being religious or secular, 5 times prayer person or a full party person, Mr. or Mullah etc. It was the same Pakistan where Sheikh Mujeeb and Maulana Maududi both Sunni men (one secular and other religious) supported a Shia Lady Fatimah Jinnah against a Sunni Male dictator (Ayub Khan).

People blame Afghan-Soviet War, Iranian Revolution and attempts to replicate it in Pakistan or traditional Red/Green blocks struggle for current intolerance. But the main thing which I see is the gradual tight grip of centralized power structure over the lives and business affairs of the people. The tight grip of ruling elite consisting of Military and Feudal class, supported time to time by so-called liberals in the name of centralized secularism or so-called theocratic mindsets in the name of religion, made it clear to various groups in society that only method of honorable survival is to capture the center and control the lives of others.

The philosophy of centralist control of power is a gift of continuous martial laws, rise of socialism and resulting drives to counter the first two through theocratic ideology. If we look at Islam, its doctrine is based on rule of law not rule of government or central authority. Supremacy belongs only to God means no one else has supremacy and everyone is equal before law. Sharia cannot be imposed on non-Muslims as there is no compulsion in religion. One cannot simply make people pious or secular by law. It’s a matter of freewill which should be respected for mutual existence with peace and harmony.

Even Sharia is limited to very few things where state can interfere and so there is a distinction between Sin and Crime. Similarly the unnecessary control of state in the name of illicit taxes (taxes like income or sales tax can only be right if extortion is a right thing), semi-socialist economic and power structure, and unjust regulatory authorities also contribute to this problem of strong center and power struggle to control the center. Neither centralized secularism nor theocracy represent the freedom of choice given to a person by Islam for deciding his ways to achieve piety as long as those choices don’t inversely impact others in a clear way. Even the adultery laws (part of Muslim sharia law and being a Muslim is a choice not compulsion according to Quranic teachings) requires 4 willing witnesses giving credible evidence which shows that specific acts of adultery were happening so openly that they were harming society which can include kids and other groups which can get negative influences.

Even in that room is given for other religions and state has to respect the laws and values of other religions (see example Meesaq e Madina). But now it seems people have a habit into poking in the affairs of others that what they are doing in their houses, hotel rooms, mosques etc. This is not just limited to so-called religious people but our so-called self-righteous pseudo liberals have a similar issues of poking in other issues and labeling others with different names because of their religious practices. Labeling someone a terrorist because of beard or other religious symbolism. It seems in Pakistan pseudo liberal breed has mutated into pro-imperialism and pro-war sectarian and social class fascists. Many so called religious groups have considered to be something related to putting nose in the lives of others.

We need to realize that we are too diversified to have a centralized system. Our cultures, values and ways differ from province to province, city to city or event town to town. We cannot make Karachi and Khyber culturally same by force nor we can force people to follow one ideology. One size fits all simply is not a solution for our diversified society. We need decentralization of legislation, economy and governance with minimum(or no) involvement of state in personal affairs and business of the people. Dispute resolution requirements, defense and some other issues  might require us to make some common arrangements but they can be made more transparent, flexible and accountable based on the principles of justice, freedom and equality before law. It is high time for the state to give up its authoritarian control over the lives and businesses of its people for a more breathable environment.

NRO case: SC says PM violated his oath–>GeoTV

January 10, 2012 1 comment

Source : http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=30333

ISLAMABAD: A five member bench of the Supreme Court has decided to refer the six options relating to the NRO implementation case to the Chief Justice for constitution of a larger bench for hearing of these options.

Announcing the verdict on NRO implementation case‚ the bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said the six options are being handed over to the Attorney General.

01: To initiate the contempt of court proceedings against the Chief Executive and the Secretary Law for not implementing the NRO verdict.

02: To declare the chief executive ineligible from the membership of the Parliament.

03: The court may form a commission to get the verdict implemented.

04: The people themselves decide on the issue and the court exhibit patience.

05: Contempt proceedings against Chairman Nab may be initiated.

06: The action may be taken against President for violating the Constitution.
The Supreme Court said in its order in NRO implementation case that the government has failed to implement the verdict.’The government is not taking interest to observe the order for the last two years. We knew that the actions we are about to take they may be unpleasant.’

‘The court has taken oath to defend the Constitution. The prime minister respected the party over the Constitution.’

‘The president in an interview to Geo News said his government would not implement one part of NRO verdict.’

As per Article 189 and 190 all institutions are bound to help the apex court, the order said.

‘Prima Facie the prime minister is not an honest man and violated his oath.’

The court recommended the case to the chief justice to form a larger bench to hear the case on January 16.
A Five-member bench of Supreme Court (SC) headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa resumed the hearing of the case pertaining to the implementation of National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) verdict today.

RPPs return Rs 2b on SC orders ; Intelligence agencies confirm custody of 11 missing prisoners

December 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Supreme Court is proving again and again that at least there is one institution in the country on which we can trust.

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RPPs return Rs 2b on SC orders

Source : http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/09-Dec-2010/RPPs-return-Rs-2b-on-SC-orders

ISLAMABAD – The counsels for Guddu and Naudero projects assured the Supreme Court on Wednesday that Rs 2 billion taken in advance would be returned with the mark-up.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry heading a three-member bench comprising Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday said, “Everybody should follow suit on matters of the national exchequer.”
Justice Ramday remarked that many problems of the society could be solved with the cooperation of bar and bench.
Dr Pervez Hassan, counsel for Pakistan Power Resources (PPR), and Shahid Hamid representing Walter Power International (WPI) informed the court that money had been arranged and would be returned to Central Power General Company Ltd (CPGCL) during the course of the day, which, according to the media reports, was paid by Wednesday evening.
The court directed Abdul Malik Memon, CEO GENCO, to conduct an inquiry into the case and submit a report, fixing responsibility upon the officers or the persons on whose instructions GENCO agreed to make the payment to both the companies without keeping facts and circumstances of the case in front of them, in the next date of hearing, and adjourned the case till December 14, 2010.
The bench heard fraud in payment of Rental Power Projects detected by NEPRA (Human Rights Case No.56712 of 2010) and alleged corruption in Rental Power Projects (Human Rights Case Nos. 7734-G/2009 & 1003-G/2010). Syed Najamul Hassan Kazmi appeared on behalf of NEPRA.
According to the statements, PPR and Walters Power International had paid Rs 405.9 million (Rs 405,992,246) earlier and the balance amount of Rs 301 million (Rs 301,058,766) today (Wednesday).
Further RPP is paying Rs 120 million (Rs 120,000,000) on account of interest/mark-up on advance payment, while WPI submitted that an advance payment of US $10.1 million (US $11,036,666) and interest amount of US$ 0.18 million (US$ 180,753) are being paid.
NEPRA has declined to approve a fresh tariff for Naudero-II after discovering that the project’s equipment belonged to Guddu rental power project, which had been dismantled illegally.
The Government paid 14 per cent advance of US $11.28 million to Pakistan Power Resources (PPR) in April 2010 for Naudero-II, while the same company was paid 14 per cent advance payment of $10.15 million for the same machines for Guddu rental power plant having a capacity of 110 MW.

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Intelligence agencies confirm custody of 11 missing prisoners – The Nation

Source : http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Regional/Islamabad/09-Dec-2010/Intelligence-agencies-confirm-custody-of-11-missing-prisoners

Pakistan intelligence agencies have confirmed before a bench of the Supreme Court that eleven missing prisoners of Adiala Jail have been in their custody. Raja Irshad, the counsel of the agencies, during hearing of the missing persons case confirmed before a three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry that the missing prisoners are alive and have been in custody of the Military Intelligence (MI) and Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). The counsel further said that these persons were arrested under military act during various operations and more people are being arrested. He further said that the military, ISI and MI are subordinate to the judiciary under the constitution and law.

 

Intelligence agencies and law –> Dr AQ Khan column in The News

December 7, 2010 28 comments

Dr A Q Khan

Source :http://thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=18997&Cat=9
The Lahore High Court recently acquitted 11 people accused of involvement in an attack on Gen Musharraf and ordered their release from Adiala Jail. Before they could even taste their freedom they were, according to jail authorities, whisked away by agents of the intelligence agencies. To give it all a bizarre twist, the advocate general, Maulvi Anwar-ul-Haq, presented an affidavit from the intelligence agencies stating that these people were not in their custody. Then the bombshell came from the chief secretary of Punjab, who informed the Supreme Court that the men in question had indeed been taken away by ISI sleuths.

This is a very disturbing matter, as it more or less confirms the universal belief that our intelligence agencies are rogue agencies, and are above the law and the Constitution. Equally disturbing is the impression created that the army and the ISI still have Musharraf stooges who are willing to do anything for him, even if that means breaking the law. Only these organisations can tell us what the advantages of their actions are. It is an undeniable fact that such actions give a very bad name to our most august institution, the army.

Ever since Ayub Khan’s coup, our intelligence agencies have been used as servants for personal use and against political opponents. Their main task – gathering information for national security and safety – was superseded. It is said that our most expensive and extensive networks, like the ISI and the MI, are run by the army and take orders from the army chief, not from the civilian government. This has led to all the coups staged in this country.

When the Indians exploded their nuclear weapons on May 11, 1998, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called a meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) on the 13th to discuss options. The participants had varying views, but Foreign Minister Gauhar Ayub Khan, Mr Shamshad Ahmed Khan, the foreign secretary, and myself were quite vocal in favour of a response in kind. I voiced my criticism of the performance of our intelligence agencies. Despite their claims of having informants in almost every house in Pokhran, and their promises that they would inform us if India made any preparations for tests, we were caught unawares. If we had had as little as 10 days’ notice, we could have prepared a matching response and could have detonated our devices in as little as an hour.

If we look at the history of espionage and spies, we find that it is a very old business. The Indians and the Chinese were the original masters. Chanakya and Sun Tzu wrote treatises on the subject and the techniques recommended included murder, secret agents and paying foreigners for information. Similarly, the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans, all established intelligence networks on a scientific basis. The Mongols and the Japanese also used all kinds of tactics to get information about their adversaries. Western and communist countries strove hard to perfect this technology and turned it into a lethal war instrument.

It is said that Abul Fazl Sakzi, the adviser (prime minister) of Sultan Alp Arsalan, once asked the Sultan why he had not established an intelligence network and employed spies for collecting information against adversaries. The sultan replied: “I believe that there is a need for an intelligence network and spies, and that this is the responsibility of the government. This responsibility must be given to highly competent, honest, experienced people so that the government remains safe from dangers. This work is highly complicated and needs people of wisdom, knowledge and foresight, as there is a great danger in this work of fraud, cheating and double games. Hence the people working in this field must be free of all temptation and blackmail, as the security of the country will depend on their performance. They should be free from financial and family worries, which will enable them to fully concentrate on their important work and provide the government with correct and reliable information. It must ensure punishment to traitors and unpatriotic elements and reward and respect patriotic people and well-wishers of the state. The conditions within the country should be such that people automatically and willingly become good, law-abiding and patriotic citizens while at the same time respecting and fearing state laws. They should not dare to indulge in any anti-state activities. The establishment of an intelligence network and the deployment of spies is a state responsibility and it is a demonstration of courage and foresight. It is thus an essential duty of the state.” (Tusi Siasat-nama.)

Sultan Alp Arsalan gave important and practical advice. He not only mentioned the inherent dangers and possible undesirable activities of these institutions and their workers, but also the necessity of such organisations.

Unfortunately, in our country the performance of the intelligence agencies is anything but commendable and is not something to be proud of. They have been the extended arm of dictators and been widely branded as rogue organisations. They operate outside the law, are least bothered about the judiciary and totally ignore court orders. During Gen Musharraf’s time, a general, an ISI colonel and eight subordinates forcibly sent us to Bannigala and kept us there for 10 hours. During that time our house was totally ransacked, bedrooms, clothes, books, files, etc., searched and many things taken away – all this without any official warrant or court order to do so. To-date many of the things taken away have not been returned. During the process our house was also bugged with cameras and – how low can you get – listening devices placed behind our bed and in the bedroom of our granddaughter, as well as in the drawing room, dining room and other places. They totally ignored that fact that, with my background, I was not ignorant of such affairs. I immediately realised the mischief they had done, traced their devices but left them in place (until years later) to let them remain under the illusion that we were unaware. The courts did not take any action against this blatant violation of our fundamental rights and privacy. In any civilised society such despicable acts are totally unacceptable and are dealt with severely by the courts.

We saw how President Nixon was removed from office in disgrace over the bugging of Watergate by his staff. Our courts have wide powers and could, if they so desired, deal with such mischief effectively and immediately in one way or another. Unfortunately, such action is always lacking and the rogue agents of the rogue agencies are left to follow the law of the jungle. As long as they are allowed a free hand, we will be branded as a lawless, corrupt country.

It is my personal opinion that these activities are mostly carried out by retired and re-employed army personnel, who then try to be more loyal than the king and indulge in all kinds of mischief to justify their continuity in service. In doing so, they give a bad name to their agencies and to the government. The heads of the intelligence agencies would be better off not carrying such excess baggage and to utilise the services of young, educated, honest and capable people.

Article175-A to be sent back to Parliament–>Geo TV

October 21, 2010 6 comments

Lets see where it goes as now the ball is in the court of parliament. Lets see whether country goes towards constitutional supremacy, rule of law and protection of human rights or goes for -rule of elite and rule of government.

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Article175-A to be sent back to Parliament

Source : http://geo.tv/10-21-2010/73179.htm

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court delivered the verdict on the longest running case on certain clauses of the 18th Amendment, Geo News reported Thursday.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry read out the verdict in courtroom-1.

Article175-A of the Constitution will be sent back to the Parliament for review, according to the verdict.

The verdict said the Article affected the freedom of the judiciary, as judiciary’s freedom is of prime importance.

The Chief Justice of Pakistan has the main position in the procedure of judges’ appointment.

The Parliament and the judiciary are indispensable for each other and both of them should work in sync for supremacy of law in the country, the ruling said.

It should be mentioned here that Article 175A of the Constitution deals with the appointment of judges of the higher judiciary.

The ruling also dictates that under Article-68 of the Constitution, the behavior of judges of higher judiciary could not be brought under discussion at the Parliament.

The Parliamentary Committee is authorized to veto the recommendations put up by the Judicial Commission, according to the ruling. The Parliamentary Committee is bound to have in-camera sessions.

However, the Parliamentary Committee is bound to give reason for rejecting a name. The ruling said if the Parliament is suspended, the Committee will be incomplete.

The ruling on the clauses 8, 9 and 10 of the Article-175-A has been deferred.

“To enable the parliament to proceed and re-examine the matter in terms of the observations made above, these petitions are adjourned to a date in the last week of January 2011,” said the order signed by 17 Supreme Court judges.

The case has been adjourned till January 2011, when the SC will take up other remaining clauses on the pending petitions in the same case.

Nearly three dozen lawyers addressed the apex court during the lengthy hearing, spanning more than four months, starting on May 24 and concluding on September 30. Of them, 21 opposed different constitutional changes while others held the opposite view.

Since the 18th Amendment was passed some six months back, there has been no substantial implementation of it although the court had not stayed its operation. During this period, not a single judge to any superior court has been appointed as per the new procedure introduced by Article 175A although many vacancies exist in high courts.

The serious issue of extension of 34 additional judges of the four high courts on expiration of their first one-year term was temporarily resolved by the apex court when it ordered that they should continue for the time being. This was done only because of the pending verdict on the 18th Amendment.

The government representatives defended the 18th Amendment, mainly arguing that parliament has the supreme right to amend the Constitution and no institution can undo it.

The Punjab government’s stand remained confused most of the time. Its Advocate General left it to the Supreme Court to decide the issues in any way it wants while Shahid Hamid, who was separately hired by it for this case, stood for parliament’s right to amend the Constitution, which, he said, can’t be taken away by any other state organ.

The SC verdict deals with five key questions, the principal being the new mechanism of judges’ appointment to superior courts, which is yet to be put into practice.

Earlier talking, Barrister Wasim Sajjad, one of the leading lawyers, who represented the government to defend the constitutional changes, said, “Primarily, the court is likely to take care of these main issues raised in arguments and different petitions, challenging some clauses of the 18th Amendment.”

According to him, the first and foremost issue relates to the new procedure regarding the judges’ nomination that provides for the creation of a judicial commission (Article 175-A), headed by the chief justice of Pakistan, and a rare parliamentary committee that would finally approve the appointments.

The second challenge pertains to the unseating of MPs on the charge of defection (Article 63A) with this power having been given to political party heads, taking it away from heads of parliamentary parties.

The third issue concerns the undoing of the condition of elections within political parties on the ground that the requirement exists in a law and there is no need to keep it in the Constitution. Another question relates to the women’s reserved seats, which its challengers wanted to be dispensed with for being discriminatory. This was introduced by the 17th Amendment, which was retained by the 18th Amendment.

Yet another issue pertains to the shifting of some subjects to the provinces after the scrapping of the Concurrent Legislative List. The sixth question concerns the conclusive determination of the basic structure of the Constitution, which has not been elaborately settled on in any judgment of superior courts.

The performance of every additional high court judge is reviewed after one year to take a decision on confirming or showing door to him. After Thursday’s verdict, one of the major appointments is expected to pertain to Lahore High Court Chief Justice Mohammad Sharif, who retires on December 8. He will either be elevated to the Supreme Court or will retire.

Legal experts say that the new Article 175A is silent on how the judicial commission will get names of lawyers or judges for appointment as justices of the high courts or the Supreme Court. Before the 18th Amendment, the procedure being followed was that high court chief justices would generate names of lawyers or sessions judges for appointment as judges of their courts, which were finally approved or disapproved by the chief justice of Pakistan.

Experts say it is not known in view of the 18th Amendment that how the judicial commission will come to know of suitable names although it is the forum that will send its recommendations to the parliamentary committee for final approval. The committee can’t consider any name on its own. Neither the president nor the prime minister can send any name to the commission or the committee for consideration.

Mr. Musharraf, Pakistan needs you!

October 9, 2010 2 comments

By Faisal Rahman

Source : http://www.aaj.tv/2010/10/mr-musharraf-pakistan-needs-you/

General (R) Pervez Musharraf, has launched his political party recently in London. Pakistan’s politics is amazing, a dictator who was all in all in his time and used to stop people from taking part in politics or coming back in the country is now forced to restart his politics from abroad.

Public opinion is divided in Pakistan over the comeback of Musharraf. It will surely not be an easy ride for him in politics. Arrival and stay in country will not be an easy task for the former dictator.

First and the biggest hurdle that will haunt him is 3rd November. It is something over which many sections of society, regardless of their social class and political affiliations, oppose him. 3rd November issue is not only related to the suspension of constitution and illegal sacking of the judiciary, but it also connects to several human rights violations to crush the lawyers movement, media and civil society.

Lal-Masjid operation, extra-judicial killings in Baluchistan, allowing US drone and missile attacks in Pakistan, NATO supplies and troops in tribal areas have put Pakistan into a real mess. The damage he did is so severe that even after two years we are facing the deadly impact. The violations of human rights in his tenure are probably worst in the history of Pakistan. Issues of missing people, particularly Dr. Aafia Siddiqi, will surely haunt him when he comes back.

The post 9/11 policies, which were mainly adapted to give legitimacy to Musharraf’s dictatorship in the eyes of world powers, have caused more than 40 billion dollars direct economic losses to Pakistan, according to government’s own sources. In Musharraf’s tenure, the real areas of economy such as agriculture , technology manufacturing and energy were not focused upon. As a result, we are undergoing food and worst energy crisis ever.

Some impression of stability was created through fictitious economy based on banking, real estate and telecom sector, which eventually resulted in the flight of capital and currency devaluation. This short sighted approach may have got him some political support, but for the country, the approach proved to be destructive in the long run. In fact, the economic bubble burst during the last days of his tenure.

Kashmir is another issue on which Musharraf needs to be questioned. According to APHC leaders, Musharraf damaged the Kashmir cause by sidelining the issue. The main leader from APHC, Syed Ali Shah Gillani, also accused Musharraf for the split of APHC. Keeping eyes close on India’s violations of Indus Water Treaty and letting India build dams was criminal negligence. His mishandling of Dr. AQ Khan’s issue and insulting the national hero will also not be forgiven by Pakistanis.

People including me often criticize the current setup, but we also need to see the cause of this mess i.e. NRO. We shouldn’t only see the ugly dry branches of the dead tree but also need to see who is responsible for the hot water going into roots.

Musharraf’s arrival is very important for Pakistan, as we need answers for many crimes he did against the nation. His arrival is important for strengthening rule of law as it will give chance to trial him for his unconstitutional actions. I am sure if people in NWFP and Baluchistan get a chance to file cases against him in the courts for his crimes against humanity, it will help in calming down the situation in many parts of our country. It will give a chance for Army to restore its image in the eyes of many, who have grievances against the national institution due to the policies by former dictators.

Musharraf’s arrival will also be a big test for our civil society, media and the Pakistani nation as a whole. It will give us a chance to set precedence of indiscriminate justice and rule of law. I hope we will take the right decisions without falling to our prejudices and greed.

18th amendment has made government more strong and more above the law

18th amendment has made government more strong and more above the law. Now judiciary will be literally a subordinate institution of parliament and will be lead by the will of

plutocrats. Real bad part of this so called revival of 1973 constitution spirit is that they have further damaged the institution of judiciary and no curbs are put on corruption.

It doesn’t matter much who exercise the power , PM or President. The real things are transparency, accountability and rule of law which now seems to be further weakened.

Now judges will be appointed by a seven membered committee having only 3 serving judges and one retired judge appointed by government, rest of the members will be from government. The approval of the judges appointed by the committee will be approved by an 8 membered parliamentary committee having 4 members from and government and 4 from opposition.

Now the opposition will play give and take even on the issue of judges appointment, judges will be nominated by party heads.

No checks on corruption. They have only exploited slogans , no true decentralization of power.

I don’t know where the people who don’t like both opposition and government or don’t have their share in electing these corrupt feudal-corporatist will go?

We have been saying this regularly that military-feudal-corporatist are playing with our country, they don’t want to give up their control and treat everyone as equal in front of the law.

We need to continuously make efforts for freedom and justice.

We need RULE OF LAW!

We don’t need RULE OF A MAN  or RULE OF ELITE.

Current plutocracy is no different than dictatorship. They, including feudal, corrupt corporatist and corrupt generals are all same.

I have respect for the will of People but I am a bit reluctant to use the term ‘DEMOCRACY’..!

March 10, 2010 1 comment

The US elections grasp attention of people all over the world and for a period of time, the two terms “Democrats” and “Republicans” become the most iterated of terms. In Pakistan also, it creates a lot of buzz with debates and discussions all around. But my intention to refer US elections is certainly not to debate over “Why Obama won?” and “What should Republicans do?” Here, I am more concerned about the differences between the two terms i.e. Democracy and Republic; or are these terms synonymous enough to be used interchangeably?

Literally, the word Republic is  derived from a Latin words res and publica, which mean everybody’s thing or interest or a public affair. Whereas the word Democracy has its origins from Greek, with Demos meaning people and kratos, meaning Government. Literally, democracy means Government by or of the people.

In modern political science, republicanism refers to a specific ideology that is based on civic virtue and is considered distinct from ideologies such as liberalism. Democracy is a political government either carried out by the people (direct democracy), or the power to govern is granted to elected representatives, without the restraint embodied in a fixed body of law. The law is whatever an official organ of government determines it is.

Considering our case i.e. of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, we follow a specific ideology that is based on civic virtue as prescribed by Islam. For us, as mentioned in the Objective Resolution “Sovereignty belongs to Allah alone but He has delegated it to the State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him as a sacred trust.” Consider an extreme case of an ideal Democracy in Pakistan; if a law is passed by majority which is against the teachings of Islam or which goes against the fact that “Sovereignty belongs to Allah”, should we consider it as a law? In my opinion, I would have a vocal ‘NO’ against that. Now refer to our constitution where it is clearly prescribed tha Islam is the state religion which means in any case the principles described in Holy Quran have to be upheld, we can say that it does not exactly fit into the definition of the term ‘Democracy’. So it is necessary to keep distinction between implementing a complete Democracy and keeping some principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice fully observed as prescribed in the constitution.

In order to have an idea of the will of people, consider the survey conducted last year by British Council of Pakistan which suggested that almost three-quarters of the Youth in Pakistan (which currently constitutes two-third of the whole population of Pakistan) define themselves as Muslims First then a Pakistani. Moreover, according to a survey conducted by Maryland University, almost 71 percent agreed with requiring “strict application of [sharia] law in every Islamic country.” Despite more than six decades of our creation, the debate still continues amongst the masses, on which side we fall but what is important here is to realize the difference between being a Democrate or a Republican, as this misunderstanding is becoming a major reason behind the dichotomy that exists within our society – a society which faces extreme opposition from many scholars regarding ‘Democracy’ and on the other hand extreme proposition from various circles. So the bottom line is instead of imposing a system which is executable in any other part of the world, we should work out in designing and implementing a system suitable for our needs and which rightly addresses our values. Now surprisingly, Urdu being our national language and the language of masses; has the same word “Jamhoriat” for both Democracy and Republic. Yes! The word Jamhoriat, a word which echoes repeatedly and amplified by various political personalities, is also reflected in the name “Islami Jamhoria Pakistan”.

So it should be kept as two distinct approaches whether the leader or party, for whom we keep on chanting slogans, wants a “Democratic Pakistan” or will keep it “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”?

As John Marshall (Chief Justice, The US Supreme Court 1801-1835) observed: “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”

Supreme Court’s correct decision and PPP attempt to come out as victims.

February 13, 2010 1 comment

PPP and Zardari especially have shown their incapability to run their country and hide their corruption.
In order to overshadow their weaknesses they are trying to go in a clash with institutions and other forces especially judiciary so that they can come out as victims.

The recent notification of President Zardari is also an attempt in this direction.

Supreme Court has rightly suspended the unconstitutional notification of Zardari to appoint the judges against the advice of Chief Justice.

In cases where president or governor or anyone requires consultancy means they need to consult the office whose consent is required for must. And the office being consulted needs to agree with the position otherwise the decision will not be implemented.

However in case of an advice given by the office whose consultancy is required for must, the advice needs to be implemented. It not only happens in SC CJ but also for PM advice to President, CM advice to governor and Provincial HC advice to government.

The office which needs consultancy (here presidency) cannot take the decision on their own on the matters where consultancy is required.

SC also has the duty (not only right) to interpret the wordings of the constitution. This
is not only in case of Pakistan but in most part of the world including so-called mother of
democracy, UK.

In this case which comes under article 177 the situation is same. Article says:

177. Appointment of Supreme Court Judges.
(1) The Chief Justice of Pakistan shall be appointed by the President, and each of the other Judges shall be appointed by the President after consultation with the Chief Justice.

(2) A person shall not be appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court unless he is a citizen of Pakistan and-

(a) has for a period of, or for periods aggregating, not less than five years been a judge of a High Court (including a High Court which existed in Pakistan at any time before the commencing day); or

(b) has for a period of, or for periods aggregating not less than fifteen years been an advocate of a High Court (including a High Court which existed in Pakistan at any time before the commencing day). “

The role of president here again is of just giving Presidential approval.
This is adapted from British system where in issues like these “Royal Assent” is required and even if it is not given due to some reason it is assumed that it is given after some given period but in this case formal approval is required.

According to the interpretation in Judges Case or Al-Jihad Case,in the appointment of the Supreme Court Chief Justice seniority principle will prevail and senior most will be made the Chief Justice (This was done to ensure judicial independence from executive discretion).
The issue currently is of new appointments in Supreme Court as Justice where the
consultation is binding on the president not the seniority principle.

Similarly in appointments of the High Court judges the consultation from CJ  is binding on the president according to article 193.

SC once again proved their independence and their will to strengthen the judiciary by stopping the PLUTOCRATS to damage the federation for their evil goals.

Delaying the appointments of judiciary in High Courts is also an attempt by government to not only undermine judiciary but also to frustrate the common man from judiciary.

Another motive is to start a seniority issue between judges to break their strength but this also has failed.

For once we need to go for across the board accountability without becoming a prey of illusions created by the players of National Security Card, Democracy Card, Shaheed Card, Ethnic Card, Sectarian or any other Card.

Anyone who wants strong Pakistan instead of few faces ruling the country cannot afford a weak judiciary.

Also, the commitment for free judiciary shown by Justice Saqib Nisar and Justice Khwaja Shareef is appreciable.

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