I got a kick out of reading the news about Justice Khalil Ramday’s comments regarding constitutional amendments petition being heard in the Supreme Court these days. His remarks sounded not just funny but hollow as well. He said,
“the courts accorded temporary endorsement to martial law rule, while parliament provided permanent protection to it”.
I almost jumped out of my chair after reading this. A sitting Supreme Court judge had the gal to say something like this. Courts were the first line of defense against martial law and they completely failed. If 1999 coup of Musharraf is to be considered, SC gave few too many “temporary endorsements”.
- First “temporary” relief to Musharraf for his illegal act of over throwing elected government.
- Second “temporary” endorsement was the decision of SC to give him extra constitutional power to amend the constitution as he deemed fit.
- Third “temporary” relief by SC to Musharraf was to hold farce referendum.
- Fourth “temporary” relief was letting a uniformed general to launch his own political party and the result was PML-Q government.
- Fifth “temporary” relief was Musharraf’s introduction of LFO and the assembly passed it with flying colors. All the champions of democracy and fair play in the country today MMA, PML-Q, MQM gave wholehearted support for the amendment. LFO introduced some very unfortunate clauses to the constitution especially the ones that allowed Musharraf to keep Uniform and presidency at the same time.
Fast forward to 2010, now a very out spoken and then a docile Minister, S.M. Zafar and Sharifud din Pirzada defended vehemently this act of Musharraf. SC kept quiet all through these violations. If Justice Ramday holds parliamentarians responsible for providing relief he should think twice before making such remarks. If my lordships at SC hadn’t provided “temporary” relief to Musharraf there is no way there would have been a referendum and definitely there would be no Parliament and then of course there would have been no LFO.
Even if first “temporary” relief was a mistake and decisions taken by the SC were under pressure, courts had enough chances to correct it. The LFO was challenged in SC but it was rejected by saying no constitutional amendment can be challenged as it is passed by two third majority of both houses. If that was not enough, many petitions were filed against Musharraf for keeping two offices but our honest Lordships threw the petitions in the faces of petitioners. Amongst all the SC judges at that time no one had the intellect to bring out “Objective Resolution” of constitution of Pakistan but now it has been talked about when legally elected parliament has made the amendment.
Where was the objective resolution when Musharraf was allowed to hold two offices? Where was the objective resolution when the condition of degrees was imposed on the legislators? Where was the objective resolution when all of our Lordships took oath on PCO? Where was the objective resolution when Musharraf issued ordinance to hold two offices in 2007? Did any lordship question that ordinance. Is it just a coincidence that whenever there is democracy, we become such law abiding courts and media becomes just bubbling spring of honesty whereas when we have dictator with a gun in his hand they all forget their honesty and laws. It is nothing but shameful.
This self professed honesty of SC judges at this juncture is not helping democracy but it is an attempt to derail the fragile democratic set up. Why judges had not taken such steps to provide “temporary” relief to democratic set ups, if they in their own words had provided “temporary” relief to the dictator they could have done something on the similar lines in the larger interest of the nation. The law on the other hand they are trying to implement and make example of parliamentarians ie requirement to be a graduate is already defunct. The law has already been declared illegal by previous SC but current SC can’t come to the reality of accepting it and ignoring the frivolous petitions filed by the losing candidates and people with ulterior motives. We have had these kind of people appear whenever there is a democratic set up. If parliamentarians did provide permanent relief to a dictator why didn’t you check the amendment (LFO) and declare it ulta vires like you are planning to do with 18th amendment albeit partly?
My dear lords, look into your part. It is all to shameful for me as a Paklistani to see you hands and gloves with military and establishment. You apply the rules and laws where ever you seem them to be fit. You couldn’t admonish your colleague for making political statement, you couldn’t even register FIR against many lawyers who have beaten up Judges instead you were holding negotiations with Lawyers involved in criminal act, your colleagues are defending people who are wanted in criminal acts in other provinces. I completely fail to understand how are you going to implement any law on others when your colleagues’ actions are dubious. You have only one objective and it is very evident: you don’t like the taste of democracy, you’d rather have a dictator whom you keep providing “temporary” endorsements every six months. Your competence can be gauged by your decisions that were written by or in favor of GHQ.
One last request, my respectable dear lordships – you don’t need to rewrite the history and glorify the role of SC. Our eyes and ears are open. We can’t be fooled by you anymore. Our judiciary has been and still is the one of the most unjust institutions institutions of our country. If army was the one which destroyed the country SC is the one which provided full backing and endorsements to all their illegal acts. It wasn’t the army that killed first democratically elected prime minister of Pakistan it was Supreme Court of Pakistan for the heinous crime. Justice Naseem Hassan Shah’s interviews are testament to that crime. It is time you show some courage and seek forgiveness from the people of Pakistan for all the ill-decisions made by the Supreme Court.