Contempt of Parliamentary Democracy
PM waves as he arrive at the Supreme Court in Islamabad on Feb 13, 2012. PHOTO: AFP
Caught in their petty zeal for authority and their messiah complex, the custodians of law and justice have chosen to humiliate a duly elected Prime Minister. “Great Day for Pakistan” claim the pseudo intellectuals of this country and the haranguing anchors and the orchestra gets louder. The scum Sheikh Rashid (a failed politician to boot) has been resurrected and is preaching an ‘arab spring’ in every town and village. Might not be a bad idea for his minders to first see what the ‘arab spring’ has left in its wake before propagating this ‘Plan B’. Might one assume that they are re-thinking Plan A-that is if one can credit them with ‘thinking at all.’ Let us not for a moment have any illusion. Whether it is the ‘arab spring’ or the ‘tsunami’, nothing but destruction will follow in its wake.
In every democratic society, respect is given to the office-the incumbent does not count. It is the sanctity of office that must be guarded. The concept of contempt of court is rooted in the same principle. Democratic societies prescribe clear cut and unambiguous remedies for removing an incumbent. All other routes run contrary to the spirit of democracy and cannot and should not be tolerated.
When Musharraf tried to oust Chaudhry Mohammad Iftikhar, a photo on the front page of the “News” showing the CJ sitting flanked by people in uniform was enough to prompt us to flock spontaneously to the Constitution Avenue in support of this principle. The only question in my mind was “What right do the generals have to summarily dismiss a CJ? What right do they have to humiliate the CJ?” I did not know Chaudhry Mohammad Iftikhar and I did not want to know him or of him. My choice was made. I remember a retired air commodore with some links to Quetta (who is now incidentally applauding Chaudhry Mohammad Iftikhar and his ‘honourable’ brothers in arms with gusto for humiliating the Prime Minister because “he is a chor” while Musharraf was honest”) telling me “what a ghattiya person” Chaudhry Muhammad Iftikhar was and I remember my own spontaneous response “I don’t care- He is the Chief Justice of Pakistan”.
The same principle applies today and with greater force. Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani is the elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. His office is sacred. What right do the judges of the Supreme Court have to insult or humiliate him. In doing so they are violating the sanctity of the office of the Prime Minister. What right do they have to tell him to enter the Supreme Court on foot? In telling him this they are condemning us all to remain on foot forever and lest they forget they are establishing a tradition where nothing will be sacrosanct including their lordships.
It is time to stand up for the Prime Minister.