Friday, March 09, 2007

Not news, but views: What we think about Justice Iftikhar, and his removal from office

Now. The job of a blogger is not just to report events, but to speak what the heart and mind say.

Let me begin by quoting some of the work of Justice Iftikhar. A random search:

1/ CJ Iftikhar takes notice of intended commercialization of college space - Ayaz Amir

Converting my column regarding the intended commercialization of the open spaces of the Government College of Chakwal into a petition under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudry, has caused notices to be issued to advocate-general Punjab and the administration of the college. DCO Chakwal has been asked for his comments. Hearing is set for this morning, Friday, before Bench Number One.

2/ IIBL depositors’ plea to CJ for justice

As the honorable Chief Justice who himself conducted enquiry of the scam, knows the plight of IIBL depositors and the brazen modus operandi of the incarcerated bankers. It is not secret that registrar Supreme Court itself deposited Rs. 493.498 million in IIBL in July 2002, which is the token of mistrust of SC upon IIBL management. It is learned through reliable sources that the families of Nadeem Anwar and Javed Qureshi have already left for Canada and they want to sneak through as and when they are out of jail through the clever appeal they made to CJ in an article that appeared in press on 19-07-06. [More...]

3/ Trafficking of girls

Islamabad police have confirmed to `The News’ that after directions from Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, they have made significant progress in the case and have already arrested four accused including a “madam” of this gang, who adopted unique methods to transport these girls after breaching the so-called sophisticated systems of Nadra and passport departments by getting their fake identity cards and machine readable passports. [More...]

4/ Fettered Inmates

A Supreme Court full bench on Thursday expressed its displeasure over the Lahore district and sessions judge’s report informing the court that he had constituted a committee to look into the condition of more than 100 under-trial prisoners who were being reportedly kept in fetters in small Kot Lakhpat Jail cells for weeks, and in some cases even for months. [More...]

5/ SC takes suo moto notice of New Murree Project

The story of a "development" project. [More...]

6/ Take note of the Police

"The Punjab police’s negative role is hurting the government’s credibility. Gangsters are playing with the lives of the people and police seem to be silent spectators despite possessing all resources and privileges to counter crime,” the chief justice observed while conducting the suo moto proceedings of a case regarding Punjab’s high crime rate and the presence of different gangs operating without checks." [More...]

Civil Society
These are the matters relating to civil society on which the Supreme Court of Pakistan, under then chief Justice Iftikhar Chuadhry, took mostly suo moto (self-started) action. In fact, Justice Iftikhar has become popular with the citizens for his involvement in the civil society.

The Shock
The news has shock many in the corridor of law in Pakistan, and the people of Pakistan. Justice Iftikhar also took brave actions in the cases of the thwarted privatization of Pakistan Steel Mills (here and here) and an inquiry into the Stock Exchange crash (here and here) - and in both cases the name of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz was implicated.

A Prime Link in the Stories?
As leading Pakistani media reported, President Musharraf removed Just. Iftikhar on the recommendation of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. And this is the murkiest part of the story, since the Prime Minister has been implicated in the cases of Steel Mill privatization and the doctored crash of Karachi Stock Exchange.

High-Handed Move by Musharraf
Another high-handed move by Musharraf, without the need to take the nation into confidence. After the serial attacks of Americans on Pakistani soil as in the case of Bajor, the secretive killing of Bugti, and the abduction of Pakistani citizens, journalists and activists in which the agencies are reportedly involved - comes another controversial decision from the President. To top things, this is an unprecedented constitutional move highly reminiscent of some of the actions that ultimately led to the downfall of Nawaz Sharif.

The People
We have lost what was probably the last resort of any form of justice in Pakistan. What more can be said?

It begins...

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