30 December 2011 is a dark day for Pakistan’s judiciary: Asma Jahangir

Friday 30th December, 2011 will be remembered as one of the blackest days in Pakistan’s political history and also the blackest day of judiciary when the army-backed Supreme Court declared Nawaz Sharif’s petition on the memo controversy maintainable and constituted a three-member commission to probe into a case carefully crafted by the ISI.

“The court has established a commission for the investigation into the memo case. The Chief Justice of the Baluchistan High Court will lead this commission,” Attorney General Maulvi Anwar-ul-Haq told reporters outside the Supreme Court building.

Mr Husain Haqqani’s counsel Asma Jehangir, criticized Friday’s court ruling as disappointing and said it would undermine efforts aimed at promoting democracy in the country. “This is a black day. This is very disappointing judgment”.

“Today we feel that the military authority is superior to the civilian authority. Today, the struggle for the transition to democracy has been blocked. I feel that it is a big setback to the democratic transition and I think all democratic minded people will suffer in the long term,” she said.

Ms. Jehangir says following the Supreme Court ruling, the civilian government has become subservient to the military in Pakistan.

Asma Jehangir’s assertion that ISI chief was not authorized to probe into the memo issue and meet with Mansoor Ijaz without prior permission from the prime minister has also not been given importance by the nine-member bench.

She also argued during the hearings that the army chief and the ISI boss could not have a point of view different from that of the government.

Ms. Asma Jehangir, had alleged that two of the respondents are in fact petitioners in this case. This was a clear reference to the chiefs of the army and the ISI. She also urged the bench not to be influenced by names, or she would raise the issue of bias.

But all these points failed to convince the bench.

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE – Asma Jahangir, the counsel for Husain Haqqani, while expressing her disappointment over the court’s decision to declare the petitions on memo scandal as maintainable on Friday, said that civilian authority had come under the military institutions.

Talking to media men at Supreme Court building, she said it was a dark day for the judiciary and she was forced to think that whether it was the judiciary of the people or the judiciary of the establishment. She also warned in future this decision would haunt the petitioners and they would remember her statement. ‘I was expecting at least one dissenting voice against the judgment, but I did not see any ray of hope in the court today,’ she added.

Expressing disappointment over her struggle for the restoration of judiciary, Asma said the court’s decision had compromised a person’s right to justice. ‘It is sad the superior judiciary has done it and if saying this is a contempt of court, then I am ready to go to jail for the implementation of the rule of law’, she said.

Asma contended the judgment was not accordance with the rule of law. The learned counsel said she accepted the court’s decision, even she had not agreed with the decision.

She contended the court had given the petitioners relief more than they had asked for and the court had given the national security more priority than fundamental rights.

She said she would wait for the detailed verdict and then she would decide for filing review petition on the court’s decision. “This is the most disappointing judgment,” said Haqqani’s lawyer, Asma Jehangir, after the Supreme Court ruling. “National security has been given priority over human rights.”

“This is a black day. This is very disappointing judgment,” said Asma and added “I think that this is one of the darkest days in history for the judiciary.“

Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar would not comment on the decision but said Zardari would not take on the courts. “One thing is clear. We don’t believe in confrontation with the judiciary and will continue to follow this policy of no confrontation,” Babar told AFP in a text message.

Meanwhile, Attorney General of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq, while talking to media men, said the court has not said in its judgment regarding the Parliamentary Committee, which was also probing the memo issue.

The AGP said that he could not say that the court’s decision was against the Constitution, adding anyone had the right to oppose the court’s decision on any matter. He said he court had also given him the task for the investigation of the alleged memo.

He also mentioned the government would consider for filing review petition after examining the detailed judgment. He also stated the commission would start its work after issuance of the court’s December 30th decision to its members.

PML-N senior leader Ch Ayaz Amir has also objected to the court’s decision and said that the judgments should not be delivered on perceptions. He said that the court had unnecessary expanding its jurisdiction in this case, which could be dreadful in future.

He said it was not understandable that how the security of Pakistan had been damaged through this alleged memo. He said even the petitioners had not mentioned about the violation of their fundamental rights in their petitions
Meanwhile, senior PPP leader Senator Babar Awan declared the day as ‘day of mourning’ as the apex court ruled memogate case maintainable.

Talking to reporters in Lahore, he said even 100 letters like the controversial ‘memo’ could not damage democracy. He said the government had nothing to do with the memo. “This is a constitutional government,” he added.

Speaking on Husain Haqqani’s resignation, he said anyone would have done the same to make himself/herself clear. “Haqqani is not even a ‘lion’….still he did not run away from the country,” Awan added.

He blamed the Punjab government for making people tangled up with non-issues. Awan said the democratic system in the country was not given complete freedom and chance to rectify previous mistakes of the dictators.

Source: The Nation

Asma Jahangir, Haqqani’s defence lawyer, discusses the supreme court ruling in interview to Al Jazeera from Lahore, Pakistan.


عدالتی تاریخ کا ایک اور سیاہ دن, عاصمہ جہانگیر کا بی بی سی اردو سروس کے پروگرام سیربین میں تفصلی انٹرویر۔

’یہ لوگوں کی عدلیہ ہے یا اسٹیبلشمنٹ کی‘

سپریم کورٹ میں متنازع میمو سے متعلق دائر درخواستوں میں پاکستان کے امریکہ میں سابق سفیر حسین حقانی کی وکیل عاصمہ جہانگیر نے کہا ہے کہ عدالت کا فیصلہ ایک نہ ایک دن درخواست گزاروں کو ضرور تکلیف دے گا۔

دریں اثناء نامہ نگار شہزاد ملک کے مطابق اٹارنی جنرل مولوی انوار الحق نے سپریم کورٹ کے فیصلے کے بعد میڈیا سے گفتگو کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ فیصلے سے اختلاف تو ہو سکتا ہے لیکن یہ نہیں کہہ سکتے کہ یہ آئین اور قانون کے منافی

جمعہ کو سپریم کورٹ کے نو رکنی بینچ کی جانب سے متنازع میمو سے متعلق درخواستوں کو قابل سماعت قرار دیے جانے کے بعد صحافیوں سے بات کرتے ہوئے عاصمہ جہانگیر نے کہا کہ’ مجھے اس بات سے کوئی فرق نہیں پڑتا کہ یہ حکومت رہے نہ رہے، تاہم میں یہ بات ضرور کہوں کی یہ فیصلہ ایک نہ ایک دن درخواست گزاروں کو تکلیف ضرور دے گا اور درخواست گزار یہ یاد رکھیں کہ فیصلے کے دن ایک عورت نے کہا تھا کہ یہ فیصلہ قانون کے مطابق نہیں ہے۔‘

انھوں نے مزید کہا کہ’آج میں سوچتی ہوں کہ کیا یہ لوگوں کی عدلیہ ہے یا اسٹیبلشمنٹ کی عدلیہ ہے؟ میرا یہ حق بنتا ہے کہ جو بھی فیصلہ آئے وہ پبلک پراپرٹی ہوتی ہے اور میں اس سے اختلاف کر سکتی ہوں اور میں پرجوش طریقے سے اس سے اختلاف کرتی ہوں۔‘

بقول ان کے اگر یہ توہین عدالت بنتی بھی ہے تو میں جیل جانے کو بھی تیار ہوں۔ اگر میں قانون کی حکمرانی کے لیے ماریں کھا سکتی ہوں تو میں آج لوگوں کے حقوق کے لیے، لوگوں کو بتانے کے لیے کہ آپ کے حقوق پر کیسے سمجھوتے ہو رہے ہیں؟ اور وہ بھی اس عدلیہ سے جو سب سے بڑی عدلیہ ہے اور اگر اس کے لیے مجھے توہینِ عدالت لگتی ہے تو سر
آنکھوں پر۔‘

انہوں نے کہا ہے کہ ’آج میں سمجھتی ہوں کہ سویلین اتھارٹی، عسکری اتھارٹی کے نیچے ہے اور جو ہماری جدو جہد تھی کہ ہم جمہوریت کی جانب جا رہے ہیں اس جدوجہد میں ایک ٹھہراو آیا ہے۔‘

خیال رہے کہ جمعرات کو سپریم کورٹ میں متنازع میمو سے متعلق دائر درخواستوں کی سماعت کے دوران امریکہ میں پاکستان کے سابق سفیر حسین حقانی کی وکیل عاصمہ جہانگیر نے عدالت میں دائر درخواستوں کو ناقابل سماعت قرار دیتے ہوئے کہا تھا کہ یہ ایک سیاسی معاملہ ہے اور اس لیے عدالت یہ درخواست خارج کر دے

Source: BBC Urdu



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