ISLAMABAD: After two year’s bloody struggle of Lawyers initially supported by all political parties excluding Pakistan Muslim League (Q) and during second phase of struggle the ruling Pakistan People’s Party itself in a whispering manner opposed reinstatement of deposed Chief Justice Iftkhar Chaudhry but on March 15, former two-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Long March with popular support forced President Asif Ali Zardari to reverse the judicial situation to pre-Nov.3, 2007, a historic moment came when Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was for the second time reinstated to top position at the Supreme Court.
It was a close holiday on Sunday in Islamabad. Covered with grey clouds Margallah hills which over look ‘Judges Colony’, appeared as a national salvation day. Every one was walking towards the residence of Chief Justice facing Sindh House. All the tv channels had installed their Digital Satellite Newsgathering Systems and cameramen and reporters were waiting for the moment which the nation of Pakistan had waited for long.
Pakistan’s leading jurist and a PPP leader Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan was the master of ceremony. He had invited those PPP leaders who either had given sacrifices during Lawyers’ movement or were supportive of slain prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s promise,
“A day will dawn when we will hoist national flag at the residence of Chief Justice Iftkhar Chaudhry”,
Bhutto had made this pledge while addressing a rally in front of Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s house a month before her assassination. Political Secretary of Benazir Bhutto Nahid Khan, her husband Senator Dr. Safdar Abbasi, Dr. Israr Shah, a member of PPP’s CEC who had lost his two legs during a blast at District courts of Islamabad in July 2007 when Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was to address members of local Bar Association, too was present though he is close to President Asif Ali Zardari. He hoisted the national flag.
“Benazir Bhutto has today honoured her pledge”, Nahid Khan said while talking to emotionally charged crowd. She said we waited for this moment after crossing a bloody journey which even cost life of our great leader.
People were rejoicing but the man, for the traditions and values of his office, Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry did not appear in the balcony. His son Balach kept appearing in the main balcony. Aitzaz Ahsan conducting the ceremony said that this would be the last of the series of restoration of judiciary functions, while Chief Justices of Pakistan would not participate in this function. Aitzaz thanked Qazi Hussain Ahmad and Imran Khan especially for their unflinching support to the lawyers’ movement.
The man for whom bells kept tolling Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has many a challenges ahead to face. His challenges are very complicated. What he would decided about the period between November 3, 2007 to March 22, 2009. What will be fate of those judgments which were made by outgoing Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, face of NRO Ordinance which provided indemnity to President Asif Ali Zardari in several graft cases and will he take up any appeal, writ or petitions against for military president Pervez Musharraf. Time in its maturity alone will answer these questions.