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The Musharraf case


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I AM shocked at the role now being increasingly assumed by the judges of superior courts in being the prosecutor as well as the judge at the same time.

Only on the April 23 morning I had mortification to go through press reports to the effect that Justice Jawwad Khwaja showed his annoyance over the refusal of the federal interim government to prosecute Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf under Article 6 of the constitution.

I remained associated with the judiciary from 1961 to 2010 from the lowest rung of judicial office (civil judge IV class) but it had never occurred to me that feeling interested in the prosecution of any individual was one of the subsidiary functions of a judicial officer.

The universally approved view seems to be that the work of a judge is to try a case brought before it by the prosecution.

He should never show any keenness in the prosecution of any particular individual and the moment he shows his personal interest in prosecuting an individual, he falls from the high pedestal of a judge and becomes a party to the case and is unfit to hear and try that case.

To prosecute or not to prosecute is the exclusive domain of the executive power. Unfortunately, an impression has been created -- I pray and hope that it must be a wrong impression -- that the courts are guided more by motives of vengeance and hatred rather than justice in proceeding against Musharraf. The judiciary is the last refuge towards which a common man looks for his grievances to be redressed. But if even this last refuge betrays and is gone, we will be totally doomed. It will then be the law of jungle where might will be right and who does not know that the army is the most disciplined institution of the state.


Lawyers’ hooliganism

RECENTLY a very ugly incident transpired inside the premises of superior courts when a group of lawyers attacked and beat with shoes the officially deputed guards of former president Pervez Musharraf.

Most unfortunately, however, the court did not take any notice of that attack, though when Ali Musa Gilani had been arrested by the ANF from outside the court premises in the ephedrine case, the judges had jumped with shocking speed to claim that the sanctity of the Supreme Court had been violated.

They also ordered the ANF to produce the accused before them in less than an hour. And, of course, when that order was obeyed, the accused was granted a bail within minutes.

The most painful aspect of this episode of is that neither the commanding officer of the two soldiers beaten by the lawyers has not so far done anything to defend the dignity of his troops, nor has any FIR against the lawyers has been registered in any police station.

The interior minister, defence secretary, the army chief, the defence minister and the supreme commander are all tragically mum over this conduct of the lawyers.

And, unfortunately no political leader, prominent social figure or even pseudo - intellectual has uttered a word in condemnation of the attacker. This reflects moral degeneration that we as a nation have undergone over the years.

I think the DG Rangers should resign in protest if he can’t do anything, and if the interior minister doesn’t budge in, then GHQ should take up the case with the supreme commander.

No compromise should be tolerated in this matter of common soldiers’ dignity. No, the honour of our soldiers is not for sale.


Better days

FORMER president Musharraf gave us good governance, economic stability and better law and order situation.

The image of the country was enhanced during his tenure. If he had erred in some of the things, they have been overshadowed by the economic performance, relative peace and stability and improvement in the conditions of millions of poor people.


Comments (26) Closed

wachucha Apr 27, 2013 05:53am
Corrupt rulers, albeit democratically elected, can be thrown out of the system by people ONLY if the country's judiciary and all other institutes are strong. Unfortunately judiciary in Pakistan is hand in glove with the corrupt political elete and the masses have no rescue.
ATIF Apr 28, 2013 08:02am
If the judiciary has become free and is doing its job efficiently then why we have a long list of cases pending since the creation of this homeland. Is it that they are only looking at the cases which interest them. Where is the case for the son of chief justice - no suo moto on that ?? It was very common in the distinct past that the one who cannot get admission in any respectable college/university went on to acquire a lawyer qualification!!!
khalidmurad1 Apr 28, 2013 11:01am
Although everyone is watching this "Tamasha" with disgust, but trying to pose very libral and democratic, although in the heart of hearts they don't accept it, as almost everyone had enjoyed the days of Musharraf's government. Now this is the first time I find Jusice Mirza and Brig Toor, having guts to blast out against this drama. I am not that sharp to understand following: 1) The classical judgment they have given in Lal Masjid case, where the people stacking arms in the mosque and having killed one Army Colonel and soldiers were considered innocent and Musharraf has been declared criminal for ordering cleaning up of the mosque ? 2) After having taken oath on PCO twice how CJ becomes clean of all sins? 3) How this CJ does openly invites people to sue Musharraf, just to take his revenge? 4) Aren't these people, after having thoroughly destroyed all the systems in the country, i.e. Revenue, Civil Administration, Educational, Agricultural and Health organizations, are after Pakistan Military system? Initially they attempted to get Pakistan Army Act amended, then they tried to create a gap between senior officers and the soldiers, then they started ridiculing army on talk shows and now they got an afterthought on the instigation of CJ to ridicule an Army General. This effort started from Bhutto, who on the behest of Russians started humiliating Army and it was followed on by these politicians and now taken by the lawyers / judges. A tragic story for me. A formidable institution being rediculed, which the Indians are enjoying.
SMSKHAN Apr 28, 2013 02:37pm
No he never acted like that
Agha Ata (USA) Apr 27, 2013 01:36pm
Talking about the judges' role, extraordinary problems under extraordinary circumstances need extraordinary solutions, sometimes!
Syed Ahmed Apr 27, 2013 01:44pm
I totally agree with Justice (r) Salahuddin Mirza, besides Justice Jawwad Khwaja the Chief Justice Ifthikar Chaudhry has publically become party to the case by asking people to file treason cases against Mushrraf. Also Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui publically displayed his vengeance by cancelling the bail of Mushrraf, affixing terrorism charge against the person who had been combating terrorism and ordering his arrest. These courts have once agai become
Paki Apr 27, 2013 03:00pm
This is the kangaroo court Benazir was referring to
Ismail Suleman Apr 28, 2013 03:05pm
we want musharraf back as the president of Pakistan
rana1 Apr 27, 2013 04:45pm
was musharaf not himself at one time the prosecutor and the the judge.
shah Apr 27, 2013 05:24pm
Why three province has trouble but peace in Punjab.can i get the answer from reader
shah Apr 27, 2013 05:29pm
Just keep watching all the the wrong act being done by judged and don't raise your voice otherwise you will get a notice , worst dictator ship i have seen in my life
S. A . Afaqi, Apr 27, 2013 06:37pm
General (r) Pervez Musharraf, it must be admitted, did his best, especially after 9/11, he discharged his duties as head of the state in superb manners and kept the writ of the state as intact. One really feels very sorry to point out that the political rulers, who followed the General, could not do their duties as the result of which, the Mullah groups have became so powerful that they would like to see Pervez Musharraf treading the lines left behind by the first popularly elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. The negative impression given by the peculiar judges/justices' treatment being meted out to the former Army Chief/President of Pakistan is giving the 'trapped politician' a positive U-turn for better future.
Anwar Rajput, Apr 27, 2013 06:50pm
After seeing the shabby treatment being given to the home-returning of the three top positions holder of the country, one wishes that General (r) Musharraf should have come to Pakistan only when the sitting Chief Justice had been retired at the closing of the current 2013 year.
akhter husain Apr 27, 2013 08:17pm
No wonder that judiciary has assumed all the powers of executive after their successful movement for CJP.
AbdulMukhtar Apr 28, 2013 03:21pm
judiciary seems to become a party in Musharraf case...if it is the case!!! it is suicidal.
Syed A. Zafar (USA) Apr 28, 2013 01:38am
My trust and respect for judges was totally gone because they are not only corrupt, dishonest and incompetent in my opinion but also indulged in party politics and taking revenge. But these two pieces of Justice Salah-ud-Din Mirza and Brigadier Liaqat Ali Toor has given me little hope and reason to believe that all justices and army officers are not dishonest and corrupt. Although it is too little and too late, but at least it is one step towards realizing our mistakes/duties. I still salute them for their courage. I have been righting this over and over that in my opinion CJ and his buddy justices were raised and given a mission to humiliate and throw Mr. Musharraf out of his office, and to try him against made up cases, so that one way or another, he is hanged or jailed for life. The problem is that most people of our country including institutions, politicians and intellectuals have already made up their minds against Mr. Musharraf, just because he does not belong to land of pure, his last name is not Khan, Waraich, Chaudhry or Tarara and on the top he did not serve the interests of right wing extremists as Zia did. My question to all sworn enemies of Mr. Musharraf is: What if Musharraf have served the interests of religious extremists? Would he not be their hero, ruling now, his uniform and declaring emergency would have would have been no problem? In case if I am wrong and the sworn enemies of Mr. Musharraf are right for trying him for treason, murders and what not, then why they did not do the same with their own military heroes like Zia, Yahya, Ayub etc.They were dictators too, they wore uniforms, declared emergency, amended the constitution and gave away half of Pakistan. Why only Musharraf? I have a question for judiciary and other sworn enemies of Mr. Musharraf who are busy working together in creating and honoring any petition against Mr. Musharraf: If they are honest and truly believe that Mr. Musharraf is a traitor, murder and what not, and they can prove the charges against him, why they do not request/arrange an international panel of independent justices, legal experts and observers excluding Indians, who can come and take over these high profile cases against Mr. Musharraf in order to avoid "CONFLICT OF INTEREST" and deliver nothing but true justice, and if it is found that it is a set up and political vengeance against Mr. Musharraf and others then those who are involved must be tried for treason and other crimes. Would the judiciary accept this honest proposal in order to save the unity and integrity of our country including its own reputation? If not why not?
Ghareeb Adami Apr 28, 2013 03:07pm
Every one is watching the game by judges and lawyers, and surely, we are going to have another Martial Law which would be different from earlier one's. There after no General, Politician, Judge or lawyer will dare to be dishonest to their profession or the country. This is the last chance, we are heading to avail.
Concerned Pakistani Apr 28, 2013 06:34pm
Things have taken a totally different shape in Pakistan, judiciary has not become an independent entity but an entity that considers itself above the law and more powerful than all other institutions, and the judges are here to show their power instead of focusing on justice. So in short, constitution is not supreme, the judges are.
ali ahmed Apr 26, 2013 06:52pm
our judiciary has become a political party and the lawyers act as it worker and as a political party it is taking revenge against Musharraf...and made alliance PML-N and Jamat-e-Islami..
Mustafa Apr 26, 2013 04:34am
Can any learned lawyer opposed to Pervez Musharraf tell Dawn readers as well as myself why Musharraf should be tried in court after his actions were validated by Parliament of Pakistan and Supreme Court of Pakistan as follows: On 13 May 2000, Pakistan
MAlvi Apr 26, 2013 10:54am
I fully agree and appreciate the views expressed by both the writers above, Mr. Jan and Mr. Noorani. It could not be said better.
Ahmed Apr 26, 2013 12:37pm
Have pity on the poor people of Pakistan and stop defending the dictator who sabotaged peace talks with his Kargil mischief. No doubt political parties and judges are no angels either - BUT they are part of the democratic system that more and more Pakistanis are finally beginning to understand is a necessary ingredient of a civilized and progressive society.
Amjad AbdulShakoor Apr 27, 2013 12:18am
This country suffered enormously because of his lack of vision and his attitude that "he knows the best", during his 11 years as the head of this state. Thank GOD it is over; now only he and his handful of supporters suffer his lack of visoin and poor decision making, and see the jam he is in. I am told hat army advised him not to come back. ;}
ismail Apr 26, 2013 04:51am
neither me(supporter of Musharraf)I also want to know why he went to Kargil? where our jawans got shaheed(there should be enquiry)before that there was a reception for Mr.Vajpayee at Lahore and he he didn't turned up but as soon as he came into power he went to Agra to talk to him but on the other hand I must admit he is not like Altaf Hussain who is living in London and giving long speeches and so on he should learn from Burmese opposition leader a woman who left her family to stay with her people but alas Musharraf will not dare to give this example because he knows Altaf Hussain can play a big role as power breaker or sharer or will he???
akhter husain Apr 26, 2013 07:34pm
Mr Mustafa you are right on all counts,but the problem here is that we believe in justice is seen to be done,and not necessarily done .
MOHSIN Apr 27, 2013 10:06am