Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday, while rubbishing the idea of a 'judicial martial law', said all 17 judges of the Supreme Court would step down if anyone tries to "harm" the country.
"This could be someone's heart's desire, but people should not think that we are doing anything to usher in 'judicial martial law' in the country," the chief justice said while addressing an event at Lahore's Aiwan-i-Iqbal.
"There is no such thing in the Constitution, and we will not do anything that is not by the book," the CJP said, before adding that no one in the country would let the judges do such a thing.
"I earlier said that if any such move is made, I will leave my post. Today, I am saying that if anyone tries to harm this country, all 17 judges of the Supreme Court will no longer continue in their posts."
He also stated unequivocally that the court will not take any pressure.
"This country is a democratic state. Allama Iqbal and the Quaid-i-Azam dreamt of it as a democratic state, and so it shall remain," he said.
"We will fight for the nation's rights and the day we feel that the country does not stand with us, we will give our posts up," Justice Nisar stated.
"I promise this nation that I will do whatever is in my power for this country," he added.
"Nations with no countries of their own are unfortunate. We should thank the Almighty that we have a country to call our own, which the Quaid [Muhammad Ali Jinnah] and Iqbal fought for us to get," Justice Nisar said.
"We did not get Pakistan as charity. We had to fight hard and sacrifice blood, sweat and tears to build this country. However, this country today is not being given its due importance."
"In my eye, education is the most important issue of all. Those nations which have educated their youth are leading the world today. We, on the other hand, are shutting educational institutions down instead of creating new ones to cater to our needs," the chief justice said.
Referring to the Punjab University case he had ruled on earlier in the day, Justice Nisar said, "80 canals of land from a university were taken away to build a grid station. How will this nation flourish until we give our youth the education they need to excel."