Often we jump into the debate, to determine who has delivered the more damage to Pakistan? Military dictatorship or Democratic government? Writing off the mysterious role of Judiciary in the history of Pakistan.
The strongest pillar in any country is supposed to be its judiciary. As it plays a role of a middle ware, no matter the country is being run by democracy or dictatorship.
There are countries without the military, but there is no country without its judicial system. As its an existential issue for them.
Since after the day of creation, a tussle of power had started in Pakistan. This power can be of Military Uniforms, Political Designation, or the Lawyer’s Black coat, these have marked some mysterious prints in the history of Pakistan.
But above all , a judiciary is a system that can over held any decision, either by military or political masses for the betterment of the state. Also it can only happen, when the judiciary is willing to do so.
Its been so unfortunate that, in a country like Pakistan, judiciary or the designation of the judge is somehow meant to enjoy the limitless power. Such power that can topple any govt, any narrative etc. And not being wrong here, the history of Pakistan proved me right. Every time when Pakistani nation looked up to the judiciary to see the example being set, the judiciary had laid us down.
Here are the times, when our judiciary could set an example but it didn’t:
Constitutional Coup 1954
Just after the 7 years of the creation, Pakistan had tasted the constitutional coup. Khwaja Nazimuddin’s (Second Prime Minister of Pakistan) government as well as the first constituent assembly of Pakistan was dismissed by then Governor General Malik Ghulam Muhammad with the support of Ayub Khan.
“Its no surprise to learn about this fact because Pakistan is still suffering from this epitome, yet even today, but in different form.”
The decision to dissolved the constituent assembly of Pakistan was challenged by Maulvi Tamizuddin, the speaker of the constituent assembly in the Sindh Court and later the Sindh Court overturn the decision in favor of the speaker Tamizuddin by restoring the power of the constituent assembly.
Yet this decision wasn’t acceptable to the powerful ones, those who enjoy remaining above the law and so on the decision of Sindh Court was further challenged in federal court.
And what else could happen? That was the perfect time when judiciary could set an example by upholding the rule of the common man so as the constituent assembly, otherwise known as civilian government. But unfortunately, as this blog title suggests, our judiciary/Federal Court at that time comprising of Justice Munir and others condoned the action of Gov General Malik Ghulam Muhammad and ruled in favor of him, declaring that the constituent assembly was not a sovereign body.
That was the time, when our judiciary could’ve saved the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, from being dissolved for the first time. But!
Today we are all aware of the famous slogan “Zinda hai Bhutto Zinda Hai!”. This slogan gained the momentum right after the execution of former Prime Minister of Pakistan and founder of Pakistan People’s Party Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was arrested by the army on the allegations of murdering his political opponent Ahmed Khan Kasuri (father of Ahmed Raza Kasuri) in 1974. Yet after 10 days of his arrest, he had been released from the court on the basis of incomplete evidence. Later on the Bhutto arrested again, but this time by Gen Zia under the Marshall Law.
The trial of Mr. Bhutto kept going for next 5 years and then suddenly, Bhutto was awarded with the death sentence in 1979. Those witnesses who testified against Mr. Bhutto weren’t even present at the moment when Bhutto was awarded the death sentence. One of the witnesses recanted his testimony, declaring that it been extracted from him under torture.
Moreover, the manipulation of judges had been done multiple times to not let Bhutto’s sentence to death from Lahore High court over ruled. Not only this, there were no concrete evidence that can led to the confirmation that Mr. Bhutto has killed his opponent.
After all the efforts by the state and no resentment from the judiciary, Mr. Bhutto finally hanged till death on 4th April 1979 over the death sentence by Justice Mushtaq Hussain of the Lahore High Court.
40 years after this controversial decision and execution, the decision to sentenced death to Mr . Bhutto found bias today. Even the relevant judges and personalities of that time, marked this decision as a biased from the court and Military ruler of that time Gen Zia ul Haq. In addition, the judges have also confessed on the live television in several talk shows that the decision to hang Bhutto was abrupt blunder.
Yet another time, our judiciary stands at the wrong side of the history!
The Ayan Ali’s fiasco
What is required to prove an accused of a crime? An evidence. Right. But what when the accused can still be more powerful than law, so that even an evidence of the CCTV Camera footage of money being laundered isn’t enough to stop her movement.
Well, yeah, I’m talking about the mighty Ayan Ali, who on march 25th 2015 was arrested by the Airport Security Forces under the charges of money laundering, allegedly carrying $5,00,000 in her luggage boarding the flight for United Arab Emirates from Benazir International Airport Islamabad.
Since then the musical chair between the courts and Ayan Ali went on, in which the model has been arrested multiple times.
Allegedly involved several politicians, this case was another test case for the entire judiciary of Pakistan, in which did the judiciary not only failed, but even failed to protect the life of their own man. Inspector Ejaz Mehmood who supposed to be the key prosecution witness in Ayan Ali’s case, had been shot by two unidentified man outside his house in Wazir Khan 2015.
Surprised? Not yet. The widow of Late Ejaz Mehmood, recorder her statement in court that the fashion model Ayan Ali is responsible for the murder of her husband.
My husband was in charge of the PIA Cargo air freight unit (AFU) state warehouse at Benazir International Airport in 2015. He was the first person that took official custody of the currency recovered from the fashion girl. Ejaz told the police that Mahmood told her that he was under a lot of pressure due to his association with the high-profile case. – Saima (Ejaz’s wife)
Its been 2019, and still Ayan Ali is out of the reach of Pakistani courts, so as the killers of Ejaz Mehmood.
Shehad v/s Alcohol
“Sharab ki bottle or us main Shehad…”
Its so unfortunate for Pakistan and its people, that those culprits who had been caught red handed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan along with a crystal clear evidence, find the easiest way to get acquittal from the court. Be it Shahrukh Jatoi or Sharjeel Memon، both have been succeed so far to throw dust in the eyes of Pak judiciary.
Recently, the holy Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Saqib Nisaar caught Sharjeel at the hospital bed, where he found the bottles of wine too along with Sharjeel. The same happened with the Shahrukh Jatoi who too caught red handed by the Chief Justice enjoying luxuries in his jail.
Sharjeel Memon is roaming freely, and the other one is about to release at least his tension regarding his death penalty.
Rao Anwar’s acquital
And when we are discussing the blunders of Judiciary in Pakistan, the story is incomplete without the discussion of the man who is a Senior Superintendent of Police in profile, but in actual holds more power many of the Member of National Assemblies and Senate.
Rao Anwar’s case is rare, very rare, in its own way, that after being held responsible for Naqeebulah’s death consecutively for the two times, he’s still allow to roam freely. And just when (02/07/19) I’m writing this piece, I’ve just discovered from the news channel that Rao Anwar’s bail has been accepted and he may be free from all charges soon.
On the contrary, the vocal critic of PM Khan’s govt and among the top leaders of PMLN — Rana Sanullah has been arrested by the Anti Narcotics Force over the charges of carrying prohibited drugs. Probably Rao Anwar’s crime wasn’t just serious enough, and killing somebody is lesser crime than Rana’s one.
Nothing, but sympathies for the father of Naqebullah Mehsud, who after the assurance from COAS Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa still failed to find justice for his son. Oh! just remembered the same assurance had been given by the previous Army Chief Raheel Sharif after the brutal killing of Farooq Sattar’s coordinator Aftab Ahmed. What about that?
May We, the people of Pakistan gets the Dam of Justice instead of Damn Justice!
This article doesn’t mean to degrade the judges who with their countless efforts paved the way for democracy and impartial judicial system in Pakistan. However, this article means to highlight the flaws committed by out judiciary which could set primary examples if solved as per public expectations which clearly didn’t.
Also, let’s hope that the sane voices like Justice Qazi Faiz Issa gets enough space to emerge in the horizon of ill-fated democracy.