Army must keep itself away from another confrontation with the civil society

It will be a serious debacle to the social and national integrity of Pakistan if General Kiyani decides to intervene in favour of General (R) Musharraf and his dictatorship.

According to media reports the current PCO-SC of Abdul Hameed Dogar may call the army to help Supreme Court (PCO-SC) in abstaining the National Assembly to revoke the November 3 2007 actions by Dictator Musharraf.

The media reports say that PCO-SC may use article 190 which obligates all the executives to act in aid of the Supreme Court BUT the executives must remember that the constitutional SC is of Honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhary not of Abdul Hameed Dogar so if the article 190 is invoked it should be in aid of Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary and the Supreme Court which he heads constitutionally.

For the army and military establishment we can only pray that they will keep themselves away from another confrontation (or a possible clash) with the civil society of Pakistan and for the dictator we can only say,” Quit your position,have mercy on Pakistan and stop playing with the constitution and integrity of Pakistan”.

WE LOVE OUR ARMY(IT’S OUR OWN ARMY), WE RESPECT IT VERY MUCH AND IF THE TIME COMES WE WILL FIGHT ALONGSIDE WITH THEM (AGAINST THE ENEMY NOT JUDICIARY OR OUR OWN PEOPLE) BUT WE WANT THE ARMY TO ACT ACCORDING TO THE CONSTITUTION AND TO FOCUS ON THEIR ORIGINAL DUTY (POLITICS IS NOT THEIR JOB).

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Related Report:

A new crisis brewing for General Kayani(The News)

By Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: Despite the legal wrangling on the highly controversial action, the ball will be thrown into the court of Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Kayani if the Supreme Court calls the Army to its aid, apparently to subvert the restoration of the deposed judges by parliament.

The Supreme Court action, some legal minds say, may spell disaster and chaos given the prevailing charged environment in favour of reinstatement of the sacked judges with two main winning parties having vowed to restore them.

Even on the very first meeting of the National Assembly that was meant just for its swearing in, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) made it quite evident that they do not accept the Nov 3 constitutional amendments, which paved the way for sacking of the superior courts’ judges. The two leading partners of the future coalition government — the PPP and the PML-N, which together have 212 members in the National Assembly — have already committed on March 9, 2008 in the Bhurban Accord that they would restore the pre-Nov 3 judiciary through a parliamentary resolution.

If the chief judge decides to invoke Article 190 of the Constitution, which says, “All executive and judicial authorities throughout Pakistan shall act in aid of the Supreme Court”, and calls the Army in aid of the apex court than such a thing would happen for the second time in the history of Pakistan.

During the second term of Nawaz Sharif, the then chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah had also written to the then Army Chief Jahangir Karamat and sought the military help but he and the GHQ he was heading did not find the chief justice’s request valid for consideration and referred the same to the defence ministry, which is part of the executive.

A simple understanding of Article 190 lays bare the fact that the request to call the Army can’t be made directly to the military and it has to be routed through the executive. But at the same time, there are some constitutional experts, who argue the Supreme Court could directly call the Army.

One of the top legal aides of the government, on condition of anonymity, also argued that the Army could not only be called “to act in aid of the Supreme Court” but also be ordered by the Supreme Court to do the same.

The same legal aide claimed that the purpose of the Full Court meeting is firstly to show solidarity and give clear signal to all and sundry that the post-Nov 3 judiciary is united, and secondly, possibly to consider the option of writing to the Army Chief “to act in aid of the Supreme Court”.

He said if the next government restores deposed judges through a parliamentary resolution and revert the Supreme Court to the pre-Nov 3 situation then who would be there to protect the post-Nov 3 judiciary. The legal aide denied that he was part of a recent presidency meeting, which continued till 4:30 in the morning.

Gen Kayani has already put in a lot of effort ever since becoming the Chief of Army Staff to redeem the respect of the Army. He has not only directed the men in uniform to keep themselves away from politics and political leaders but also issued orders for the return of Army officers from civil institutions back to the GHQ.

The Kayani-led Army also received kudos for its impartial role during general elections. Although the Supreme Court’s order is generally binding on every institution, the present situation is a complex one.

The standing of the present Supreme Court is being questioned by the vast majority of parliamentarians, the legal fraternity, the civil society and others who do not accept actions of Nov 3 emergency-cum-martial law, including sacking of almost 60 judges of the superior judiciary.

In a situation where the people has given their mandate to the anti-Musharraf political forces and in favour of the general demand for restoration of deposed judges, dragging the Army into this matter would be highly controversial. It would be considered as taking side with the dictator and against the interests of the people. Such a situation would be chaotic.

Meanwhile, in the official circles there are fears being raised that the stage is being set by the presidency for imposition of emergency to regain its firm control over the state of affairs. It is apprehended that a situation is being deliberately created where constitutional institutions look like proceeding for a head-on collusion, which would make a perfect case for the caretaker prime minister to advise the president to promulgate emergency in the country.

But in such a scenario, yet again, the result would be complete chaos, anarchy and possibly bloodshed. It is relevant to mention here that 22 retired judges of the Supreme Court, including six former chief justices of Pakistan, have recently supported the idea of deposed judges’ restoration through an executive order or a parliamentary resolution.

They categorically said that this reinstatement does not require any constitutional amendment. All these respected former judges have found the Nov 3 action unconstitutional, including the oath of judges under the PCO.

Despite all this both mainstream parities, the PPP and the PML-N, and the lawyers’ community in order to avoid a possible confrontation, do not seek removal of the PCO judges or those who took oath under the Constitution after Nov 3. Contrary to this accommodation by those who enjoy the will of the people, any move to block reinstatement of deposed judges would be like inviting crisis.

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Aitzaz threatens court boycott if (Musharraf-Dogar)SC stays NA resolution—>The News

ISLAMABAD: President Supreme Court Bar Association Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan on Monday threatened countrywide boycott of the courts if the Supreme Court granted stay against the parliament resolution for the restoration of the pre-November 3, 2007 judiciary.

“The legal fraternity across the country will bring out rallies and stage protest demonstrations if the Supreme Court granted stay, restraining the members of parliament from passing a resolution for the restoration of the November 2, 2007 judiciary”, Ahsan told a hurriedly called press conference at his residence here.

He said that if the apex court granted stay against the parliament resolution, they would place photographs of all those judges responsible for the said stay on the notice boards of all the bar associations across the country. However, he said that not a single photo of the judge would be disfigured and if any photo was disfigured it would be replaced with a fresh one.

“A parliament resolution is required not for the restoration of judiciary of November 2, 2007 but to strengthen the hands of the executive that parliament stands behind the judges who declined to take oath under the PCO of 2007”, Aitzaz maintained.

A writ petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Monday against the Murree Accord, praying the apex court to restrain the members of both houses of parliament from passing any resolution or enactment through simple majority against the orders passed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Similarly, Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar has called a meeting of the full court of the Supreme Court today (Tuesday) wherein all the judges of the apex court who took oath under the PCO 2007 would participate.

Aitzaz referred to two developments, which took place on Monday, including filing of a petition in the apex court seeking stay against the parliament’s resolution and calling of full court meeting by the PCO court on a short notice.

He wondered why a full court meeting was called in haste. He said that the PCO court had no jurisdiction to interfere in the affairs of parliament, saying judges who took oath under the PCO were not validated by parliament.

“We have been very accommodating and we don’t want any confrontation and had earlier announced that judges who were in the Supreme Court on November 2, 2007 could be restored along with the deposed judges and Justice Dogar should also continue as judge”, he said.

He said that if a stay is granted, they will not ensure flexibility and there will be no space for any judge who took oath under the PCO. “If a stay is granted it will be contrary to the judgments of Supreme Court including the Ahmed Saeed Kirmani case of 1955,the Colnol Farzand Ali case 1970 and the Federal Government Reference of 1973”, he added.

He said that the court has no jurisdiction to interfere in the affairs of parliament and this will be a negation of democratic process. He said the lawyers would wait for 30 days for the new government to restore the deposed judges, and would remain peaceful during this period.

He said they believe in continuing their peaceful movement for the restoration of the judges and the rule of law as they proved earlier when the lawyers remained on roads for hundreds of hour but not a leaf was trampled during their movement.

He said that soon after his release, deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry along with other judges of the superior judiciary would address bar councils across the country as he has been invited to do so.