Posts Tagged ‘Lawyers’ Movement’

Long March: Another Historic Decision?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hearing the news that Zardari government has decided to restore judges, I was relieved; I was relieved because country was saved from going into turmoil and uproar by Zardari deciding to retreat from his stance. Watching live coverage of jubilations and celebrations; people dancing on the streets, distributing sweets, excitement was everywhere, I was thinking if all these excited will ever justice or they just have been robbed again in the name of Justice. I could not convince myself that this was all about independent judiciary.

Though everyone who supported Lawyers’ movement claims that it is a “Movement for Justice” but when it was started – March 2007 – most of its supporters including political parties joined this movement only because of their hatred for Musharaf; all who wanted to get rid of Musharaf used Lawyers’ movement as a platform. If it was a movement for Justice and its objective was to restore then sacked Chief Justice Iftikhar, it should have stopped after 20th July 2007 – the first “Historic Decision” – but anti-Musharaf elements kept it alive and used against him until he was made to leave.

Pakistan People’s Party was an integral part of Lawyers’ movement and used it successfully to keep Musharaf under pressure; however, it distanced itself from the movement after it got into power. PPP got what it wanted from being part of lawyers’ movement – they got public support and then got into power.

PML (N) was also actively involved in lawyers’ rallies and demonstrations but it did not approve lawyers’ decision to boycott election 2008 – Politically it was too much to give up for PML (N). They abandoned lawyers, APDM and others to participate in Election 2008 and then managed to form its government in Punjab. From there on, it again got involved in Lawyers’ protests and used it – and used it well – to keep PPP under pressure; it also got political fame by supporting the movement that it can encash in next elections. However, it did not use Lawyers’ movement to confront PPP government until Sharifs were disqualified and Punjab was put under Governor’s Rule.  Did they not want “Justice” before they lost their government and were made ineligible?

With show-of-power on 15th March, Sharifs’ were able to break a deal with Zardari where they will get Punjab government back, their disqualification decision will be reversed and a possible removal of restriction for becoming Prime Minister more than twice. And as a bonus, they also get the credit for Restoration of Judiciary.

Jamat-e-Islami could not get its political objectives (i.e. a mid-term elections) so their first response to PM Gillani’s speech is “It is not the restoration of 2nd November Judiciary”.  This may mean they will start protesting in the name of “Justice” unless they get what they want.

Imran Khan’s first response is “It will not be acceptable if the Judiciary is restored through a deal”. His statement refers to the deal between Sharifs and Zardari.

Lawyers also came out with cautious statement and some indicated to continue the struggle in the name of what they believe is right.

It is hard to understand for me as to how a common person will get justice when we have not changed the system. I do not understand how justice will come to a common person’s life “only” with Chief Justice Iftikhar’s “suo motu” actions. I do not understand how we can fight for restoration of a single “person” when we advocate about “strong” institutions. Last time we restored Chief Justice Iftikhar, the only thing he did was to confront Musharaf and Ch. Shujahat had to say “Hum jahan bhi jatay hain agay se Chief saab aa jatay hain” (wherever we go we are confronted by Chief Justice).

For me, we just have been exploited in the name of Justice; in the very same way when “Pope Urban II” exploited Christians to go in war with Muslims – the first Crusade – but the objective was to save Europeans from Muslims who were knocking at the doors – just next to Byzantine empire, in the very same way when Muslims were exploited in the name of “Jihad” and were made to fight in Afghanistan – the objective was to serve US interests and not to save Islam. For me people could not say “NO” when they were asked “Do you want Justice?” to become a part of Lawyers movement – a movement where each participant had its own objective; it was same as when Zia asked “Do you want Islam?” and no one could say no, same as when Mualana Fazlulla (Pakistani Taliban) asks “Do you want Shria?” and many of us could not argue with him.

In my opinion, the only Justice who got is the Chief Justice Iftikhar – who has got his office back – and set a trend for others to get justice by use of street power. Burning tires, looting public (and private) properties, marches with batons cannot be justified in any way – same as use of Police force on public rallies cannot be justified.  And this is why Sharifs disowned all violent actions of long marchers and their supporters.

I think the decision to restore judiciary is “Historic” ONLY because it has stopped Pakistan going into turmoil, it has cooled down the political temperature, and it has avoided the confrontation between political rivals that this country cannot afford at this time.

Only time will tell if this “Historic” decision will bring justice in people’s life, if “movement for justice” will not be revived with new demands, if chief justice will work on providing justice rather confronting with government and obliging those who helped him get back in his office, if legal complexities created by restoration will be dealt through dialogues and not on the streets, if Chief Justice’s supporters will accept all his decisions whether these will be in favor or against them.

CJ Iftikhar Case – A Historic Decisioin?

Monday, June 9, 2008


Now a days, Pakistanis everywhere are celebrating recent Supreme Court (SC) decision where it has reinstated its Chief Justice (CJ). Many people consider this as an “historic decision”; not because it has restored chief justice but it went against “government” despite its efforts to influence (if there was any) the decision. I am quite confident in saying that we all would have been shelling out our anger on SC if the decision was opposite to what it is now.
In our 60 years history there are many court cases where the decision was made in favor of “government”; and almost all of those decisions are considered “influenced” by “government”; and they were. Knowing this and the current situation in Pakistan (and of Musharaf which he himself created), if the “government” decided not to “influence” the SC to get a favorable decision then, in my opinion, government decision is real historic decision as it never happened before in our history. On the other hand, if “government” tried (which they would have) to “influence” SC but failed then one would want to know why?

It’s a general understanding after decision on CJ case, that our Judiciary system has become so strong that it can not take any “influences”; and hence the celebration. However, our recent history (last ten years) doesn’t confirm this but it gives us examples which show that our judiciary is still not strong enough to handle these “influences”. In this case, one would wonder how govt. “influence” in CJ case didn’t work. Was there any other Influence out there bigger than govt.?

I think there was, and it was created by CJ himself. (Also, i would like to add here that I am not at all a supporter of Musharaf’s decision of sacking CJ.).

My layman understanding is that when a case is in court, defendant nor the plaintiff (or people directly involved in the case) can publicize the case in any way which may impact court’s decision. Knowing all this, CJ visited everywhere across Pakistan addressing Lawyers (and Public). (One of his visit cost us lives of innocent people in Karachi). He created humongous support for himself (and for case against him) across Pakistan. Huge support from lawyer community, political parties and public created bigger “influence” than govt. and decreasing support for Musharaf also helped this. As a result, a “historic decision” came and CJ won the case. Congratulations!!!!

Many would call it a “movement for Justice” and not for CJ’s “kursi” but I think CJ exploited the whole nation in the name of Justice. If it was a movement for Justice, CJ should have started it when CJ Saeed-u-Zaman Siddiqui was sent home after he refused to put a legal stamp on Musharaf’s “take-over” as Cheif Executive in 2000, OR when one of his predecessor (CJ Irshad Hassan) raised flag of “nazria-e-zaroorat” in favor of army take over, OR before he took oath under PCO (when many other Judges refused to do so), OR before he gave a decision (in favor of govt.) on a writ against 17th amendment allowing Musharaf to keep Uniform after 31 Dec 2004 but NOT after he was made dysfunctional. Why CJ Iftikhar did not start this “movement for Justice” when Supreme Court was attacked in 1997, when CJ Sajjad Ali Shah was made to leave and his own colleague judges turned against him?
I see all those qualities in CJ which our “good” politicians have. It makes me think if CJ will become another “savior” politician for Pakistani nation, if yes, then he will have to maintain his popularity till then. He has already become as popular as Bhutto or Nawaz Sharif was (or Musharaf was at one time). And to continue his popularity, I won’t be surprised if SC will keep taking notices of things which affect a common person and/or things which can decrease govt. popularity (which is already decreasing). I don’t think SC (and current CJ) will ever take any notice of those who are sucking Pakistan’s blood like leeches, it won’t take notice of those who are ruining our next generations, it won’t take notice who are brain-washing innocent people in the name of Islam to become fuel for their evil desires, it won’t take notice of those politicians who are fooling this nation for 60 years, it won’t take notice because all these issues are secondary for a common pakistani. Our rulers (both politicians and army) have done enough to make a common person to not think about anything except worrying about basic necessaties like food. So CJ will not take notice of anything which doesnt give him popularity among “awaam”. In coming days, we will see opposition will file cases against govt. and SC will give decision in their favor in weeks (if not days) and this all will happen in the name of Justice. Having said all this, if these notices are not for popularity, and are based on sincerity then I am right to assume that our Judiciary has dealt with all cases pending for years and now have enough time to take notices.

In near future, I dont see anything good happening to Pakistan and CJ Iftikhar would be one of the main reason for it.