Between March 2007 and March 2009, Justice Tariq Mehmood along with Ali Ahmed Kurd, Asma Jahangir and Athar Minallah plus a few others were the darlings of our right wing media members like Hamid Mir, Ansar Abbasi, Talat Hussain, Kamran Khan, Kashif Abbasi, Moeed Pirzada, Shahid Masood etc. They would never stop short of praising them for their unstinting support for the restoration of Iftikhar Chaudhry which was mistakenly termed the restoration of judiciary.
It was only after the September 2009 that the above four eminent lawyers saw through the CJ and his agenda that they started criticizing the CJ, Khalil Ramday and Khwaja Sharif particularly. The rationale for their criticism was that the judiciary is playing to the galleries, it is coming up with judgments which are not implementable while Ali Ahmed Kurd went on to say that it seems that the judges read newspapers and TV talk shows and then come up with judgments.
Suddenly from being the most able and honest people in Pakistan, the four of them became the evilest forces in the country with they being labelled as part of the “Zardari Camp”. During the 2010 SCBA elections, these four boldly sided together with Asma Jahangir leading a heated campaign in which she was competing not only against the Hamid Khan Group but also the CJ’s cronies like Jang Group and other media outlets that left no stone unturned to make her lose the elections. Off course, she won and baatil ka muun kala hua!
On the matter of Raymond Davis, PPP’s Information Secretary, Fauzia Wahab came up with her interpretation of the Vienna Convention and Pakistan’s own laws on diplomatic immunity in her press conference on February 14, 2011. Whether she was giving the party line, the government line or her own line, the fact is that she has started a debate which not many were willing to start. Everyone was afraid of the right wing media, right wing religious-political groups and eventual retribution from the “Azad Adliya” of Pakistan, hence it seemed all were willing to let it reach its own conclusion.
Notwithstanding the fact that both PPP and Fauzia Wahab have termed her statement as her personal opinion, her candid, honest and bold perspective on a sensitive topic (Raymond’s immunity) deserves to be lauded.
In this regard, one may also have a look at the Capital Talk on February 15, 2011. The program had Justice Tariq Mehmood and Ansar Abbasi in studio whereas Rana Sanaullah joined from Lahore.
The program was on the matter of immunity of Raymond Davis in the context of current situation while Fauzia Wahab’s press conference was to be discussed threadbare. Justice Tariq Mehmood raised two pertinent issues:
Demand for Khalil Ramday to be extended by one more year
Comparing the case of Mumtaz Qadri with Raymond Davis
His point was that on one hand, the judiciary is clamping down on appointments through extensions in the bureaucracy whereas it was doing the absolutely opposite in the SC. He even went on to say why only Khalil Ramday? Why not Sardar Raza? If one recalls, Sardar Raza had given a dissenting note on the NRO issue.
On comparing the case of Mumtaz Qadri with Raymond Davis, he was of the opinion that when some people are demanding that Raymond Davis be prosecuted by Pakistani legal system because of murdering two people while the same people are demanding the release of Mumtaz Qadri. Isn’t that hypocrisy.
Off course, this wasn’t liked by Ansar Abbasi as this was against the notions he and his group have been promoted. He even went on to twist Justice Tariq Mehmood’s attendance in Salmaan Taseer’s chehlum as a “mom batiyan jalanay walay”.
At the end it was qaumi ghairat, Dr. Afia and various other theories put across by our popular media. The program is a must watch as a very decent expose of Ansar Abbasi and his Jang Group.