Opinion Pak Affairs Politics

16 March, a new dawn in Pakistan

Yousaf Raza Gillani’s early in the morning address to the nation restoring the remaining including the Chief justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chowdhary was a sigh of relief to the nation. Alas, President Zardari’s advisors could not foresee the repercussions of his decisions not to restore CJ and imposition of Governor rule and he had to see this day. The same mistake was made of the aide of Gen. Musharraf on 9 march 2007 when they advised him to sack the very judge who was lauded by millions in the country for his fairness and bravery. In any event, in the end common sense prevailed and politics won on the day. PM’s decision to seek review of the decision of Supreme Court of 25 February 2009 is the key to promote tolerance in the state, and harmony amongst provinces. This review will also keep the little left respect of the supreme court intact too, as parliamentary action would have promoted confrontation between both. This is the victory of the whole nation which is alive and conscious of the situation it is in, and the whole nation including all section of society whether political workers, civil society, media, lawyers, and lay men, women, and children deserve to be applauded for their forbearance and free expression of their will by participating in the long march.

One must wonders that due to lack of foresightedness, the rulers provided an opportunity to the slept lion Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to show his bravery and defiance on principles, and popularity which is devastating for the Govt at this early juncture of their 5 years slot. But it will be unjust if we forget the steadfast lawyer leadership, UN intimidated media and robust civil society with thousands of unnamed supporting characters who brought the rulers to their knees and won fruit on the day of long march. They stood on the ground like they did on 3 November 2007 at the time of emergency. Govt of Gillani deserves to be appreciated for listening and meeting public demands, respecting the will of the people as Lawyers and civil society were on streets since 9 March 2007. Army command deserves applause for nipping their lust for power when they bore patiently with the inefficiencies of our today’s rulers who blindfolded threw the nation into a turmoil and flared the hatred when the spirit of reconciliation was in the air. This is the time when Pakistani people have a chance to regroup and make this country a mirror image of the aspirations of millions of those who decided to join this new land at the time of independence in 1947 in a dream come true style by sacrificing nearly 4 million souls. Nation was jubilant in May 1998 after becoming an atomic power and now the nation has a cause to be overjoyed after seeking victory on a principled point of restoration of Chief Justice who defied a military dictator.

If the political forces wishes to move forward from the stalemate of 25 February, then implementation of ‘Charter of Democracy’ and free judiciary are they key ingredients to restore true democracy in Pakistan and this can only restrict military intervention(s) and nip the ‘law of necessity’ in the bud. 20 July 2007 when CJ was restored first, I wrote that one judge does not secure independence of judiciary but is a first step towards right direction. We saw the lawyers reaction, when necessary expectations were not met when SC gave a decision dismissing dual offices case against the Qazi Hussain Ahmed & orders were torn apart. I still hold the same view and political will, consultation and joint collaboration is required to effect this process to conclusion. The whole institution of judiciary needs to be revamped and If these dreams are to be translated in reality then spade work by Supreme Court Bar Association must start now to give a road map on crucial topics such as appointment of judges via non political and unbiased commission, non controversial non political future lawyers who in the end become judges, politics free bar, training of lawyers and judges, accountability of top judiciary, financial autonomy of top judiciary, protection of judges, and separation of administration from judiciary coupled with safe guards to prevent judiciary turning into another military style unbridled power which parallels the executive . These are the questions which needs to be addressed by Lawyer representatives so that Parliament could do positive legislation in days to come.

It was disturbing when we saw a popular political party taking similar actions what we witnessed on 12 May 2007 by a military dictator i.e imposing s.144, blocking channels, exclusion orders for certain leaders, closing borders and usage of containers are a few examples of many. Suspension basic human rights is against the law of the land and international law and Society endorsed and encouraged the freedom of expression, and tolerance as enshrined in Pakistan’s 1973 Constitution (art15,19, and 25) and nation considered the right of people of free speech as inalienable that is why they came in huge numbers when channels were blocked. The welcoming role of sensibles of PPP including Raza Rabbani, Aitzaz Ahsan, Safder Abbassi and Sherry Rehman, Minister of Information who resigned at the time when curbs against Pakistani media were directed acted like a fresh air in a very suffocated atmosphere. It is for the PPP to decide to bring those to books who were truly responsible to bring the country to a total standstill and for adverse administrative measures and imposition of Governor rule, though the public has given their verdict already.

In the current geo political situation in the country option of reconciliation with the people and political forces of Pakistan is the best route possible to curb radicalization and invasion of extremism and as current situation desires all heads of constitutional tracheotomy to observe extreme patience and wisdom and be visionary to avoid conflicts which have serious repercussions for the state of Pakistan. Government of the day must operate a policy of listen and learn and ensure implementation of the ‘Charter of Democracy’ in its letter and spirit, as that’s the dying wish an pledge to the nation of their leader of Shaheed Mohtarma BenNazir Bhuttoo, and a recipe to avoid disaster. The whole nation needs an appreciation for their patience, bravery and ruler’s mischiefs. Well done Pakistan.

About the author

Amjad Malik

Amjad Malik, Solicitor–Advocate of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, life member of SCBA of Pakistan, a specialist in immigration and Human Rights Law. He is a member of Law Society’s Immigration Law Committee’, he was awarded ‘Young Human Rights Lawyer Award’ for the year 2000. In the year 2001,Young Pro Bono Solicitor’s Group also named him for the national ‘Young Pro Bono Solicitor Award’. On 28 February 2007 he was awarded by (UICF) United International Community Forum (UK) in recognition to his outstanding professional contribution towards service of Asian and British community in role model capacity where Chief guest was Mrs. Cherrie Blair. He sits on ‘UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Pro Bono Lawyer’s Panel.’ He is UK representative on young lawyer committee of the International Bar Association & UK Director of Human Rights Foundation (USA) and is a current Vice chair of ‘Association of Pakistani Lawyers (UK)’.

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  • Sir,
    I had posted a blog on http://www.topix.com/forum/pakistan on 8th Match 2009. I had stressed that in this hour of turmoil it is only the great Pakistani people who could bring about the change and strengthen the democracy in Pakistani. The events just proved my point right. I am submitting herebelow my article which I am sure would interest the readers.

    Whatever is happening in Pakistan is not only most unfortunate but quite painful. Muslims, many of them migrated from India, dreamt to see Pakistan as an ideal Islamic country which would show to the whole world what is a real Islamic nation, especially it being the largest Muslim populated country in the world. Except for the initial few years, big Zamindars and feudal lords of Pakistan, took over the country and to keep control over the poor people of the country, they invited Pak Army to share the booty. The cause of the common man on the street was forgotten forever. The Army later on finding that without their support no civil Govt could survive, got over-ambitious and usurped power through successive coups. Pakistan was unfortunate in not getting any real leader from the common people who would have served Pakistan honestly. The leaders were corrupt and had selfish motives. They had myopic vision and could not see clearly as to where the interests of Pakistan lay. Their self-ego and attitude to serve their vested interests keeping them above the interests of the nation, have pushed Pakistan into the abyss where Pakistan is today. What to say about the Army Generals of Pakistan. Generals may never become good statesmen. Their training is to tackle every issue head-on. There is no room for any tactfulness, statesmanship, peoples interests. It is very aptly said that Army Generals use their heads only to put Topis. These feudal lords, Zamindars and Army Generals have virtually ruined a great country. Their flawed policies and running after America for every thing with a begging bowl have obliterated the good and honourable name of Pakistan. Today the Pakistan nationals have become an object of scourge and hatred around the world. They are linked with terrorism and are branded as the enemy of mankind. What great wrong a common Pakistani has done to deserve such a shameful treatment at the hands of the people of the world. The only sin that can be attributed to common Pakistani is that he remained a silent spectator all these years ands let these rogues rule Pakistan. What these rogue rulers have given to Pakistan during the last over 60 years. And even today they have the cheeks to tell to the whole world that they are the leaders of Pakistan. Pakistan would never forgive these rogues. They all should be tried for treason. The solution to this grave situation is with Pakistani people only. It is their continued silence over the years that has resulted in pushing Pakistan to such a shameful situation. People of Pakistan!, it is time to stand up and tell these rogues that enough is enough. Choose leaders from among yourself who know about poverty, your sufferings and have the conviction to show-case Pakistan as the ideal Islamic country in the world where compassion, brotherhood and peace reigns. Freedom essentially calls for blood. These rogues who are ruling Pakistan now would not allow you easily to snatch the power that they have been enjoying for the last over six decades. You will have to shed your sweat and blood to win back your freedom. Show these scoundrels that Pakistan does not need them any more. Army should better retire to their barracks and the so-call leaderane-watan go to their Zamindaris. It is real Zihad that is due for every Pakistani. Stand up and save the Great Nation of Pakistan. Allah will always with you. You are not alone in this Crusade; Every freedom loving person in the world is with you. Insha-Allah, you will succeed. Allah-hu-Akbar. Allah Hafiz.