ISLAMABAD: Senior Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa has expressed surprise over negotiations with the terrorists and wondered what was being offered to them and by whom.
Speaking at the 9th judicial conference organised by the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan at the SC Building on Saturday, Justice Isa also expressed concerns over the situation in Swat.
Expressing his regrets over the reported negotiations, Justice Isa asked what offers were being made to the terrorists.
“Are we saying to them ‘please bomb five schools and not six and please take some money and weapons’,” he remarked sarcastically, before asking where the negotiations were taking place and who authorised them.
Regrets parleys with terrorists, situation in Swat; calls for reforms to address climate change, honour killings; CJP seeks solution to population growth
The judge also regretted that constitutional guarantees of right to life and compulsory education for everyone have come under attack in Pakistan.
“The only negotiation a true Muslim will have with terrorists is to present them the Holy Quran and Sunnah,” he observed, adding that the first commandant of Almighty Allah in the Holy Quran was “Iqra” (read).
Sharing data from the Global Terrorism Database 1970 to 2019, he said there were about 1,000 attacks on educational institutions in the country.
Justice Isa also touched upon issues like honour killings and climate change.
Calling the law against honour killings ‘dead letter,’ he regretted that law is there but it is not being implemented.
“This is one of a few laws which has been derived directly from the Holy Quran and deals with the offence of Qazf,” he added.
Calling for holistic reforms to address the issue of climate change, Justice Isa said the West has reshaped its policies to prioritise pedestrians instead of vehicles.
“Can we envisage in Pakistan that from this day the federal and provincial governments will stop providing cars to judges, bureaucrats and army officers and use the money to buy buses, fix pavements and bicycle paths,” he asked.
He said these steps will curb the import bill, cut emission of greenhouse gases and improve air quality.
He was asked about the newly established law directorate in the General Headquarters tasked to conduct research and render legal advice on international law and the Constitution.
In his reply, the judge said he was not aware of any such directorate but he was ‘more than ready’ to impart his knowledge of Constitution and law if invited.
Women role in decision making
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial urged different organs of the state to ensure women’s involvement in decision-making processes and called for efforts to eradicate gender-based violence and other formal and informal biases faced by women at home and workplaces.
In his closing remarks at the conference, he stressed the importance of making courts accessible to all citizens, irrespective of their gender, religion, race and economic status.
He emphasised the use of technology and asked the stakeholders in the criminal justice system — police and prosecution — to improve their performance and coordination with each other.
The chief justice highlighted the need to solve issues like population growth and climate change on a priority basis as these issues were ‘ravaging the country’.
Earlier, Sindh High Court Bar Association former resident Salahuddin Ahmed suggested organising a similar conference to outline a mechanism and criteria for appointments to superior courts.
He also said judges should welcome criticism because any critique should be considered a breath of fresh air “in a land full of sycophants”.
Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2022