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Judicial PPP: Punishing the Prince’s Petulance

Published Apr 14, 2012 06:31pm


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Last week, Bilawal Bhutto delivered a speech to commemorate the anniversary of his grandfather’s execution, which was ordered by the Supreme Court at the behest of the military dictatorship in 1979.  Mr. Bhutto asked for the Court to overturn his grandfather’s case, apologise for his murder, and went on to question the loyalty of justices to the democratic order.

These statements have prompted the Supreme Court to take notice of the speech, likely examining whether the young Bhutto committed contempt of court. While it is uncertain how the Court will decide, the justices should evaluate the cost of their current trajectory.

Before the Court takes action in this case, they should remember the vast array of problems confronting Pakistan’s populace, which manifests in murder, torture, rape, and illegal detention. This includes a dangerous sectarian campaign that has left hundreds of Shia dead and a military operation in Balochistan that incubates massive human rights violations. These newly developing cases only add to the massive backlog of active cases that must be resolved by the Court, which shows how dangerous it is for the justices to take notice of Bilawal Bhutto’s insults.

The Court could use an alternative argument to justify taking notice of insults from political elites like Mr. Bhutto. They could argue that respect for legal institutions trickles down from elites, and if elites continue to mistreat and disregard the will of the court, the populace will do the same and lawlessness will worsen. Therefore, one could argue that judges should use the contempt charge liberally against any elite insulting their credibility, in order to foster obedience to the law amongst the general public.

Justice Markandey Katju, of the Indian Supreme Court, wrote a paper that attacked such a liberal use of contempt charges by the Court. He explained that judges in a democracy should not be concerned with public insults by telling the following story.  When he was Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, two fellow judges approached Judge Katju looking upset and told him that individuals were distributing pamphlets that made allegations against them outside the courthouse. Justice Katju writes,

I went through the leaflet, and then asked them “Is your conscience clear?”  They said it was.  Then I laughed and told them to just ignore the leaflet, otherwise they would get blood pressure.  When I said this they too started laughing, tore up the leaflet and threw it into the waste paper basket.  I told them, that this was only an ‘occupational hazard’ of a Judge, and in a democracy people say all sorts of things, which a Judge should learn to ignore as long as his conscience was clear.

The “occupational hazard” of being a judge in any democracy is that there will always be a winner and a loser in a case, and the loser has a right to express himself, even if that means personally insulting the judge.  Justice Katju explains that,

their [judges’] authority will come from the public confidence, and this in turn will be an outcome of their own conduct, their integrity, impartiality, learning and simplicity. In a democracy it is not criticism by a few persons which brings a Judge into disrepute or shakes his authority, it is his own conduct (or rather misconduct) which can do so.

As such, the Pakistani Supreme Court will only build its credibility through well-reasoned legal decisions establishing fair and repeatable legal standards addressing issues that are important to the lives of average citizens.

That being said, parts of Mr. Bhutto’s speech were absolutely biased allegations against the Court. In his speech, he taunted the Supreme Court judges by claiming, “once a PCO judge, always a PCO judge.” This was an insult to remind the public that Chief Justice Iftiqar Chaudry was appointed to the Supreme Court by a military dictator, Musharraf, and that he took his oath under military emergency rule. This insult to the CJ relates to Bhutto’s argument that the Supreme Court continues to work as an agent for the military establishment, not the people of Pakistan.

Leaving aside his presumptuous tone in addressing the apex court of the nation, Mr. Bhutto brings up a valid point about the case against his grandfather, Z.A. Bhutto. The Court has continually failed to address its past decisions, which were passed under the duress of military rule. While politicians can attempt to cover up or forget the past, the Court’s power is derived from its ability to uphold precedent. Judges can rely on the history of past judgments to qualify their current actions, but are also bound by what they have already decided. The ghosts of the Bhutto decision seemed to resurface with the Memogate inquiry, which allowed the Court to take action against democratic figures based on military allegations.

If an unjust precedent is not directly overturned by a judgment, it will continue to poison the well of judicial thought. Therefore, rather than punishing Mr. Bhutto for allegations against judges, the Court should disprove his suggestion that they are controlled by the military.  This can be accomplished not only by overturning the Z.A. Bhutto case, but by continuing the judicial assault on the Army’s illegal actions through the disappeared person’s case. Perhaps if the Court wishes to charge any individual with contempt of court, it should be the counsel for the military agencies who has failed to produce witnesses for a case involving the enforced disappearance of thousands of civilians.

Mr. Bhutto’s speech was not a proper legal analysis or plea to the Court, but a biased attack as payment in kind for the Courts continual confrontation of his party’s ruling administration. However, the Court should not spend any of its precious time evaluating Bhutto’s speech for ‘damage’ to the Court’s credibility, because the only way to build credibility is through sound judgments. As such, the Court should reevaluate its precedent cases and continue its current trend of holding the Army accountable for its abuses if they wish to garner support and respect from the public at large.

The writer holds a Juris Doctorate in the US and is a researcher on comparative law and international law issues.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group


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Comments (149) Closed

Pakistani Apr 16, 2012 03:47pm
Another ruler of "Kingdom of Bhuttos"
Khalid Apr 16, 2012 05:23pm
Abdullah, I totally agree with you. Bilawal has been MADE a Bhutto, he was not BORN a Bhutto. Says a lot about him and his father who are pretending to be from the same family.
Iqbal Apr 14, 2012 06:43pm
he is a threat to Pakistan and its people.
Bashir Lahori Apr 14, 2012 07:38pm
Few people like Waris Husain say spade is spade. I congratulate him for his courage. True until Supreme Court proves that it has rendered justice (though very unlikely) with Shaheed Zulifar Ali Bhuttos, people of Pakistan would be continuing to critisize and make such allegations in future as well. The writer should make correction that Bilawal is Mr Bhutto-Zardari, not Mr Bhutto.
Farhan Apr 16, 2012 03:31am
I refer you to Shahabnama for this. PPP has never refuted this claim once Shahab wrote his autobiography and has still not refuted it. Shahab was the principal secretary to Ayub.
Farhan Apr 16, 2012 02:15am
A democratic government like ours... who needs dictatorship....think about it
Manzoor G Apr 14, 2012 12:07pm
Good article, except for the criticism of Bilawal asking if it was to be that, "should we assume that once a PCO judge, always a PCO judge?", a very valid question in view of the Chief Justice having taken oath only under Musharraf, and not under the constitution, and his emphasis on only 'getting' this government.. After all, the very touted and hard won restoration of the Chief Justice was really the restoration of a PCO judge; it was not a struggle for the restoration of what the Judiciary should be, as has been falsely claimed. Hence, the judicial biases against the elected government, which would do any military dictator proud. It is for this reason, that you do not see any positive changes in the judicial system of the country, and the only emphasis is in "hanging" this government. As they say "once you have tasted blood", Mr Bhutto's in this case.
Secular Pakistan Apr 16, 2012 04:14am
Well said. Let's stop worshipping Bhuttos, Zardaris and Sharifs. Let's start picking leaders that have national appeal rather than fuedal background and are only here becuase of their heritage. Bilawal is not the future of Pakistan. He has hardly spent any time here and has very little connection to this country.
Ajilala Apr 17, 2012 09:45pm
Precisely yes sir.
talal Apr 15, 2012 08:20pm
you should have saluted the author rather than making a solution of him
Ahmed Saeed Apr 17, 2012 09:46am
Excellently concluded.
khalid saeed Apr 16, 2012 11:09am
very true
Syed A. Zafar USA Apr 16, 2012 12:59am
It is unfortunate that we as nation always analyze things in the light of our wants/needs and affiliation with our parties and schools. This is what I see happening with this honest article. We must stay on topic and be honest in making opinion. As usual, most commentators are sounding like right or left wingers. Besides, getting into irrelevant discussion like "Bilawal is Bhutto or not" is simply silly, irrelevant and waste of time in my opinion. It is like picking a quarrel whether a lion gives birth to a baby or delivers eggs" Lion is a lion. he is the king of jungle, it is up to him whether to lay eggs or give birth to a baby. What difference will it make to our nation, if Bilawal's last name is Bhutto or not? Why we are wasting our energy on such a non issue. Does it not indicate our party mentality? By the way I am not a supporter of PPP or Bilawal. In fact I believe PPP is not a credible party. It has never been, although it had some good leaders. Somebody, has yet to convince me, how in the world a feudal lord can be a true leader of a starving nation. Roti, Kapra aur makan and a filthy rich feudal lord, what an unnatural combination. What kind of joke it was? If Bhutto was sincere, did he share his riches/land with poor people of Pakistan? If not why not? What happened to his fake land reform? Who voted against it? and why he had to please his religious lords to lay a foundation of killing and hating the minorities. Now Let us get back to the credibility of our judiciary. I do not think the writer should have tried to balance his article by lightly blaming both sides (judiciary and the ruling party). Although the politicians have all the responsibility and moral obligation to be honest and credible, but they are after all politicians not justices who are supposed to be 100% honest, impartial and competent. Although the author is honest in making a point but I believe he should have been more clear and open to prove his point of view. "kutch kah bhee diyaa, aur kutch kahtay kahtay rah bhee ga-ay" (said something, but left the dialogue incomplete) If I have to complete the authors point of view, I will say, PCO Judge is a PCO judge, it does not matter whether a judge has been one time or many time PCO judge. Wrong is wrong. In my opinion, our current judiciary is neither honest, nor competent to deliver the true and impartial justice. It is paying back to those who brought them back to power.
Ahmed Saeed Apr 16, 2012 10:12am
No need for judiciary to waste time on hooligans. People may say anything. The court need to find substance and proceed.
Iftikhar Husain Apr 16, 2012 04:43pm
Keep the people illeterate and poor and you can get away with murder this lot will come back again and make more money for them to enjoy abroad.
Hot-Ice Apr 16, 2012 09:58am
Bhuttoisim is a philosphy - (anyone can embrace to be a Bhutto) - Most of the writers in this blogs are trying issue a birth certificate to Mr.Bilawal as not a Bhutto. I think these writers are so much scared to find another Bhutto alive. Long live Bilawal Bhutto - your one Speech as gone too far in the minds of these scared opponents of Bhuttoisim.
Majid Apr 14, 2012 07:38pm
I read the first line and immediately felt like throwing up after I read Bilawal "BHUTTO". Why is this man affraid of calling himself a Zardari?
Khalid Apr 16, 2012 05:19pm
I agree. Isn't it interesting that a 23 year old who has never lived in Pakistan for any length of time to allow him to speak for the people, just because of his name. Bilawal is NOTHING but a foreigner with Pakistan passport. In my opinion, his only credentials are that he can speak English (although nowhere as articulate as his mother or his grandfather) but does that make him a politician?. I say, get rid of Bhuttos, get rid of Sharifs, get rid of the Chaudhrys and hopefully a new leadership will emerge.
Abdul Rauf (@AbdulRaufMalik) Apr 14, 2012 11:50am
CJ has become addicted of being the headline part unfortunately......
msyedh Apr 16, 2012 08:42am
Why anti Bhutto peoples, only, expect and demand justice against PPP and their leadership? Why nobody demand justice against PCO judges, establishment and other parties leadership for their corruption, anti constitutional activities and crimes? This is really shameful, bias and racial attitude.
golazin Apr 16, 2012 08:42am
i fully agree with the comments of Kanwal with regard to the silence of chief justice about the target killings of shia minority. Shia's bussinessmen, doctors, professors and other high profile people are being killed daily but the CJ who takes suo moto actions on comparatively lesser offences like acid throwing on faces seems un-interested in planned killings of shias.
Eez Apr 14, 2012 04:55pm
Our ability to perpetuate a political charade never seizes to shock me. Contempt of court or not, Bilawal has no business taking the public pedestal. Aside from lineage, he has nothing to do with main stream politics. What times have come? First Zardari and now this? I think Bilawal should be made an example out of; he was careless with his comments; we are talking about not just the well-being of the people, but National Security. Please, open your eyes.
A.Bajwa Apr 14, 2012 11:37am
There is no contempt in such political remarks.
Ahmad Farooq Apr 14, 2012 03:08pm
The author is a very light-weight opinionist. Many times he has got away with ill conceived and irrational unsought-for opinions. But this time he has grossly overstepped and needs to be told. My question to him is: what qualifies him to make judgements on the judgements of the honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan, which in its present form has so far not put a foot wrong? I may not be qualified to give it, but let me give the journalists an advice: try and do your job well and let the judges do theirs - you are out of your depth. Get your own facts right: Bilawal is not a "Mr Bhutto", he is a Mr Zardari, a big identity error.
Farrukh Husnain Apr 14, 2012 03:11pm
Revoke the buggers nationality. He doesn't deserve to be a Pakistani national.
Noman Apr 14, 2012 03:15pm
Very well said
james zatonski Apr 14, 2012 03:17pm
Just cant make any sense of what the writer is trying to say. The leadership is morally bankrupt and corrupt accross the board - why waste our time in trying to analyse which corrupt and morally bankrupt is better than the other. Bilawal Zardari was just shooting from his hip - a happy and gay youngster who is forced to say something from time to time which never makes any sense.
Pakistani Apr 14, 2012 03:20pm
The supposedly HEAD of the Ruling party should open his mouth carefully. If the comments were made by any Tom, Dick or Harry they can and should be ignored. But this this type of blatant arrogance should not be be ignored.
Ras Apr 14, 2012 03:29pm
Writer could have also wrote an article in a same manner advicing Bhutto and company to stop corruption and present themselves for trial. Dear writer, please stop defending corrupt people and do not try to make judiciary controversial
mustafa Apr 14, 2012 03:58pm
A good article and I understand the CJ Iftekhar & Supreme Court know well what they are doing. They will ignore Bilawal Zardaris statement as an outsider. They tried to bring looted money from Swiss Bank, They tried to find out truth of Moonus Ilahi A Punjabi Prince corruption and now son of great PM Yousuf Raza Gilani. The proceeding on Memogate, implementation on NRO verdict and agsinst contempt of court will conitnue never ending, toll the PPP Jiyalas like Eitijaz Husain lawyer and other functioneries are available to put their tactics to deay JUSTICE. No body can murder ZAB, Jeeyey Butho!!!
Tauheed Ahmed Apr 14, 2012 03:58pm
What is often forgotten is that Zulfikar Bhutto was created by the military (under Ayub, who elevated a 30 year old wadera with no record of any public service to become his foreign minister), just as he was destroyed by the military (under Zia). And while he was no doubt brought to trial by Zia for political reasons, the fact remains that he was hanged for the same reason any other man who did what he did (i.e. orchestrate an attempted assassination that resulted in a person, albeit not the person he targetted, being killed). So, if Bilawal Bhutto demands an apology from the Supreme Court, he is demanding it on the assumption that his father was above the law. This lawless on the part of the waderas and generals is exactly the mindset that needs to be removed (through punishments like those given to Zulfikar Bhutto) if Pakistan is to progress economically and politically.
Qamar Apr 14, 2012 04:09pm
The writer's lack of knowledge is obvious when he refers Zardari's son with Bhutto's last name.
Veqar Apr 14, 2012 04:18pm
Suprement court for once should start focussing on giving justice to the people of Pakistan indiscriminately. So far it has miserably failed and has no right to criticise other organs of state anymore. performance of current SC/judiciary is as bad as were of the predecessors. People had hope that the entire cause/struggle will result in speedy and fair justice syste. Alas, so far it remains a dream only.
Badar Apr 14, 2012 04:41pm
Pease do NOT call Bilawal as Mr Bhutto. He is NO Bhutto.. He is a Zardari. Come on....He and other fake political elites should be summoned in court and asked to explain their bizzare and erratic behavior for making insulting statement against the courts of law.
Sabih Apr 14, 2012 11:54am
Mr Bhutto???
AA Apr 14, 2012 04:57pm
Bilawal should first look himself in the mirror and ask himself the very first questions; Did he get elected for Party Chariman position? If you talk about democracy then first you need practice it yourself. As far as apology is concerned , no one owes anything to him and he needs to stop living in the Lalaland. This guy thinks he is the king but he is feudal landlord. Unless he changes his attitude, he is headed for disaster and will likely go down in history as another hated member of the Bhutto Royal family. He won't be winning any hearts if he keeps expecting respect for being member of the Bhutto clan.
M A Mirza Apr 14, 2012 05:01pm
The problem here is that our lordships are not men of learning (one must read their judgements and observations) and mediocre tend to group together and defend themselves not through sound legal judgements but through group loyalty. It is unfortunate but true that pakistan's real problem is not corruption but incompetency at all levels - from prime minister to army chief
Hot-Ice Apr 14, 2012 05:13pm
Surely we have cultivated hibit of always getting "personal" with Mr.Zardari or the matter of fact his son "bilawal" after his recent remarks in a political rally. One must not make mistake that "Bilawal Bhutto" has a long role to play in future politics of this country and as a "Lion-Hearted Mother" he has already made his presence felt by everyone - SC is not an exception anymore.
Taj Ali Apr 14, 2012 05:31pm
This writer is obviously PPP supporter and anti Pak Army. Why the writer did he not mentioned that Bilawal's father is building empire for his son but not in Pakistan. Bilawal is saying to judges I am going to break law, just like my Grandfather, my mother and father. Hope Pakistan court can put stop to this now before it is too late. All the elite have got away with breaking the laws for too long.
Owais Apr 14, 2012 05:41pm
I would agree to it for the most part as I personally don't like and don't take the retaliation route. Using the token of "Shaheed Bhutto Mazloom" and "Bainazeer Bhutto Mazloom" they abuse anything and everything patriotic. I think what Gilani is about to face or Aiwan has faced is what most of these Gung ho should also go through i.e. revocation of licenses, a felony conviction and so on
ktrashid Apr 14, 2012 05:42pm
I have no idea that how Dawn, the most respected paper in Pakistan publish such bloggers who show glaring dearth of legal knowledge about Pakistan. If the cases are not closed after they have decided there will not be end to any legal issue. Why Bhutto the Chief Marshal Administrator is singled out? The one who was directly responsible for East Pakistan debacle!.
Khan Apr 14, 2012 05:52pm
Dear author before reminding us the present problems being faced by the populace please also mention the real cause, which is in fact the rampant curruption and plunder of the PPP. I think you have got a very soft corner for them and it could be just by chance.
Ahsan Apr 14, 2012 05:53pm
Very well said. It is well known that jews and russians get their family name from their mothers.
Naku Apr 14, 2012 05:59pm
sometime mistakes of one man has to be paid for by his coming generations. bilawal sould follow his cousins, fatima and zab (j) by staying away from politics. if he can see the writing on the wall, future does not hold anything for PPP after what happened in pakistan in last 4 years. i will advise bil, to have a promising career abroad. that would be lot fulfilling than delivering speeches in english at public rallies in pakistan.
amjad Apr 14, 2012 06:03pm
Its crystal clear that tis supreme court is Bteam of Military Junta. Event the judiciary of Zia Ul Haq was better than this as there were some dissenters there!
Patriot Paki Apr 14, 2012 06:12pm
Agree with people's candid and well thought out comments. Disgrade in the name of Pakistan. Growing up in London does not make him a literate person. He has no right to say anything against judiciary. He should be charged for contempt of court.
A.C. Press Apr 14, 2012 06:13pm
Mr. Waris is at least irrelevant here. Courts are not responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the country. Why does a person like him does not know that courts respond to common citizen prayers and motions. Particularly in Commonwealth countries they are sensitive to contemptuous actions of citizens unlike the American courts. Bilawal can request the courts to review ZAB's execution but cannot at the same time insult the judges. Civilized people follow protocols of civilized procedures. It is becoming a pattern of PPP officials to denigrate our courts. This does not speak well of either the PPP or the citizenry.
Pakistani Apr 14, 2012 06:13pm
Another trick for sympathy; good going kept playing with poor people. lolx
ubed ullah Apr 14, 2012 06:24pm
well then how about the confession of a. qadir khan who confessed about trading sensitive technology supreme court has double standards and i have no doubt about it. hope sindhis understand now and dont vote ppp as it is useless, coz they wont be allowed to govern, either by army or by courts. i appeal sindhis to join hands with our baloch brethren and seek freedom, late bahsir qureshi took hundreds and thousands of people in karachi on 23 rd march for freedom march, but it hardly got reported, plzz my sindhis wake up join hands with JSQM, and quit ppp now,
ubed ullah Apr 14, 2012 06:27pm
no body would allow you to rule though you are elected lawfully my ppp fellows, appeal to sindhis plz join our baloch brethren and fight for freedom. sont vote ppp as it is of no use establishment would never let you rule.
Faiz Apr 14, 2012 06:27pm
These writers lack integrity and are unable to swallow the truth.PPP and Gilani has displayed an attitude that is insulting to Pakistan judiciclal system and should be strongly condemened.
hussein Apr 14, 2012 06:42pm
Pakistan is today JUNGLE. There are no courts in the sense that their rulings are only meant for the ordinary citizens. Fat salaries are drawn by all and sundry with perks and privileges. Designers suits, fancy cars, palaces in and outside the country............fruits of democracy!
Khan Apr 14, 2012 06:43pm
There is no Buhtto any more? Why some one still want to cash that name.
Guest Apr 14, 2012 06:47pm
In my humble opinion , The PPP is a party with proven record on doings its bidding for power on the Corpses . ZAB did it in 1968 on the Corpses of the 1965 war ( in factual matters , inciting his so called "dady the self proclaimed field marshal to start the 1965 war saga in the first place, and when the war was done with his 'dady' and the boy in toe at tashkand ) he started PPP on the promise to tell the truth of Tashkand .. he never like many his promises , BB did it on her father's dead corpse and shook hands with the very ones who had sent him to gallows , AAZ did it on the dead body of his wife and found out that he can not last longer so devised the plan of CP & CoCP and let Bhutto name to be added to his children ( legally is is allowed or not do not know but morally and religiously in Islam in fact one can not change one's family name ! ) So Bilawal zardari was not even allowed to morn his dead mother and told to become "Bhutto" and announce democracy is the best revenge even not knowing what the word democracy means in his party alone !!! So Forgive the writer , by announcing Bilawal zardari Mr Bhutto ,,,, We have now a pesedue Bhutto to cash the name and the fame of Bhutto ...........
Dr Abdul Shakoor Bha Apr 14, 2012 06:48pm
Sorry to say, he is not Mr Bhutto, but he is Mr Zardari.
farhan Apr 14, 2012 06:55pm
I think you are paid by Zardai Bhutto to write such a biased article
Bakhtawer Bilal Apr 14, 2012 06:56pm
when the courts set up a tone describing them more as a political entity, rhater then a judicial, then they risk polititical statements coming on them as well. Moreover, it is merely a fact that the honorary Chief Justice had once been a PCO judge once. How can one deny history. The current judiary once bent backward and it was only later that they stood to the military junta. It was only ZA Bhutto who never once bent back for the military junta.
Zubair Apr 14, 2012 07:19pm
I will not comment on what Bilawal Bhutto had said. But Bhutto's murder was a judicial nightmare. This has to be corrected. Zia-ul Haq had played with his foreigh masters for his own greed. This is a black spot on our history which has to be washed. Unfortunately judiciary, bureaucrats as well as the politician have been used by Pakistan's powerful military. Some of our generals have delibilately weaken all our institutions just to cover their misadventures. Our soldiers are one of the greatest in this world if one looks at the sacrifices they made, again due to wrong planning of the military elite. The general impression amoung our military establishment is that all other institutions are unprofessional and or curroupt but please look at our history of 65 years, the army elite failed us, starting 1948 when India invaded Kashmir. Let go on and evaluate operation Gibralter in 65, cleansing of bengal traitors in 1971, Siachin in 80's, or Kargil in 90's and most recently Osama's episode, We have to learn from these mistakes rather then closing our eyes like a penguin. Learning from our mistakes, so that these are not repeated is the only way to move forward otherwise history will repeat itself. I always say that every country has an army to defend its frontiers but in Paksitan Army has a country to defend its Generals' interest. I only wish and pray that we learn to leave together as a nation rather hating each other or pulling each other legs. We are great nation having lot of talent and resources but lack systems, vision and leadership.
Tash Apr 14, 2012 07:24pm
A very balanced article. We need this approach towards judiciary and from judiciary.
Nadeem Apr 14, 2012 07:31pm
You are absolutely right Mr. Bhatti...... Bilawal and his father hijacked PPP after the assasination of Benazir Bhutto. Why our voters are unable to see and analyse such facts.
Khadim Hussain Apr 14, 2012 07:33pm
well written, the apex court should not waste its precious time to defend themselves and protect only their power through sue mottoes and contempt of court cases. The write is very true and common Pakistanis want to see the court impartial and build its credibility through fair judements, not through contempt of court punishments!
NotSoConfused Apr 14, 2012 07:46pm
I agree
ali Apr 14, 2012 07:51pm
very good article. mr author u cant judge/feel pak from sitting miles away. plz come to the ground and face the real people. keep ur advice for urself. Political leaders have not only freedom of speech but also freedom of corruption and ruin the country. they can do whatever they feel like and they r doing it as well. dont worry nothing will happen to ur friends(political forces).
Ammad Malik Apr 16, 2012 01:45pm
Maybe because the SC is as corrupt and inept as the HC was 30 years ago.
ali ahmed Apr 14, 2012 08:16pm
they are provoking become political shaheed..once again b/c election is near and they know their fate
Khan Apr 14, 2012 08:27pm
What a joke? It does not seem like Biawal has any insight. He reads whatever he is told to say. His speeches are very immature and not based on reality. However, unless we change ourselves, he will be our long term leader for years to come. Corruption brings/loves corruption. Good Luck.
SKHAN Apr 14, 2012 08:34pm
What a silly reply. If the author is providing unsought opinions why are you here reading them? And if he should not judge the actions of others, who are you to stand in judgment of the author???
Khan Apr 14, 2012 08:41pm
A very balanced article but how many courts in the world have apologized ever on anything? We have a sense of entitlement when we ask the courts to apologize. Why the court should apoligize for ZAB only. If Bilawal is a people person as he is portraying, he should ask the supreme court to apoligize for all their verdicts for everything since Pakistan came into existence. Why is he thinking about the judicial system only for his grand father. It shows they feel they are untouchables and above the law as exactly demonstarted by their current government.
Khan Apr 15, 2012 07:17pm
In Pakistan, there is no democracy even in the so called political parties. For example, the leaders of almost all major poltical parties inherited politices from their elder and not on the basis of ideaology or principal. Similarly, the leader of the political party will stay the leader of that party until death. There is no democracy within the political party, so how can they talk about democracy. The best way to know about all these pesudo polititions is to have educational revolution.
Khan Apr 14, 2012 08:49pm
What do you expect from a corrupt society. Our leaders, our judges, generals all are part of our society. They belong to us because we elected/selected them ouselves. They have not come from above. As we sow, so shall we reap.
Xous Apr 14, 2012 08:56pm
destaned to be another looter like rest of his family.
Naveed Lotia Apr 14, 2012 08:59pm
Excellent article with very logical and sound reasoning. The Cheif justices in Pakistan need to get their priorities right....For example, what was the Chief Justice thinking by wasting time and resources on prosecuting Atiqa Odho for carrying a bottle of whisky....shows us his sense of priorities, doesn't it?
ali Apr 14, 2012 09:01pm
The SC cannot stop taking cases just because cases will pile up they will and should intervene whenever they seem it appropriate to do so.The country is being run by a bunch of corrupt politicians who want the courts to take dictation from them , this is not going to happen any more.Waris Hussain needs to go back to law school and start all over again.
Charminar Apr 15, 2012 07:50pm
If the justice is blind how can it sees Bilawal as an elite and then make a prejudicial case against him because of his status?
Pasta Jan (Bhittani) Apr 15, 2012 07:04pm
Mr. Bilawal’s speech was just like a Bollywood actor. He is too young for politics, Oh Dear’ first learn ups & downs of politics and then go for a speech. Remember! People choose leader and no one can choose himself as a leader.
jiya Apr 14, 2012 09:55pm
i agree with u.
jiya Apr 14, 2012 10:08pm
jiya Apr 14, 2012 10:16pm
its nothing wrong in criticising court decisions. judiciary is no sacred cow. its one of the corrupt institution in the country. its better CJP look into the affair of its own institution.
jiya Apr 14, 2012 10:26pm
whats the big deal...?
jiya Apr 14, 2012 10:28pm
he z not defending anyone. u need to open ur mind and read the article again.
ali Apr 15, 2012 02:50pm
Right on my Friend Right on.... this country is just facing these issues just because its people are not aware of the history.... nations have learned from their history but these people have only taken history as a subject so they dont learn at all... so they would be bitten by the same snake again n again.... before the realize who is the snake they'd be crippled ....
Shah jamil Apr 15, 2012 11:33pm
I think its not fare to call Bilawal B Zardari as young Bhutto the only family who are entitled to this is Murtaza Bhutto family young Bhutto according to me is Zulfiqar Bhutto Jr.
Mirza Apr 14, 2012 11:06pm
Only a very enlightened and highly educated lawyer can write this article. Even though many people do not understand but throughout the world including Pakistan a person has a legal right to change his/her name. In Islam the significance of maternal grandfather has been established for good. Following his example there is no harm in using maternal grandfather’s name. According to Islamic belief when we would be raised from the dead we would not be raised by the father’s name but mother’s. Bilawal has every legal and religious right to use the name of his maternal grandfather especially if the other grandfather and father have no problem with that. Why are so many other people stuck up in petty personal things? Coming back to the issue at hand, I want the SC to take action against Bilawal. However, they have to start with “what are the lies in his speech point by point”? I challenge they would not find any lie in his statements regarding the SC. Since when telling the truth is contempt of court? If the shoe fits wear it! The problem here is the SC is sitting on thousands of cases for years. They do not want to take care of legal petitions, appeals and constitutional work. They have to find some political and populist work, hence the Memogate, contempt, and becoming prosecutors and executives at the same time while on the bench. The poor country Pakistan has more judges than the riches country in the world ever had in its entire history. This SC and its judges had a golden opportunity to undo the wrongs of the past but they are doing just the opposite. How could you try for a kid for contempt whose grandfather was wrongfully hanged by the SC and the generals? Forget the politics and brutality, they have deprived Bilawal to see his grandfather ever in his life.
jamal Apr 14, 2012 11:23pm
Agha Ata Apr 15, 2012 12:29am
The main points of Bilawal's first speech should have been about the welfare of oppressed people, poverty, education, health and not a confrontation with judiciary. He seems to be planning to belittle all others right from the beginning. That’s what feudal thinking is.
Rosilva One Apr 15, 2012 02:25pm
Dear All. I bet Bilawal Esq., would not have dared to do the same petulance in Great Britain, even if the decisions were not to his liking. It is free Pakistan where he took the liberty to disparge. He should learn humility. Submit to the court to excuse him and set an example for being law abiding. Save the nation time and pain.
Imran Apr 15, 2012 11:13pm
Bilawal's speech was obviously written by Aitezaz Ahsan.
Concerned Citizen Apr 15, 2012 12:54am
Its become a trend that people flout rules and then they and others who defend them ask the authorities to first deal with a long list of never ending problems before punishing them (Balochistan, inflation, loadshedding, etc,etc). We have become a society where everyone wants others to be punished first. The court has every right to check Bilawal now. Under training of his father he already thinks he is above the law, if the courts continue to ignore him his sense of entitlement will only increase.
Concerned Citizen Apr 15, 2012 01:07am
No where in the world do courts go around proving their credibility. Do you think ordinary citizens get absolute justice from courts? No. There is judicial process involving witnesses, proof, evidence, decisions, appeals, etc. There are corrupt judges, police officials, witnesses and lawyers. The judicial system cannot be perfect as it is part of our society and we are very corrupt people. However, some system is better than no system. Once the due process of the system is exhausted criminals have to serve punishment if found guilty and it does not matter if they were actually innocent. On what basis should Bhutto's case be reopened? Why not every death penalty case since 1947? Does our constitution and laws allow reopening? Can justice be done 30 years later when some witnesses are dead and evidence is old? Why should the plaintiff Ahmed Raza Kasauri go through this process again when the case was already decided in his favour?
a masood Apr 15, 2012 01:19am
if the courts have integrety the would disregard billawels utterances ;as the are; the emotional outbursts of a young man
Gazoo Martian Apr 15, 2012 01:23am
exactly my sentiments. the writer is probably a PPP member or has sympathy for the ruling elites
khursheed Apr 15, 2012 12:32pm
I am overwhelmed by the number of responses, which shows that people are conscious and not ready to accept shoddy views. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was a undoubtedly one of the great leaders that South Asians Muslims have produced but at the same time no one could deny that his quest for power resulted in amputation of his own homeland and perceptive murder of many opponents …….. Qasuri’s case was one of them for which he was convicted and hanged.
Farhan Apr 15, 2012 01:36am
Bhutto was propped up on the political scene by military junta and was nurtured to become a politician under Ayub Khan whom he used to call Daddy
Yasser Masood Apr 15, 2012 05:40pm
Not the best first introduction from this young man, he just sounded so unlike-Benazir... it seems they're lost in history...
Farhan Apr 15, 2012 01:39am
These guys who live in US talk about a fanciful Pakistan with politicians being maligned and military being made hero. People are bashing military as well for its follies but what this political democratic government has done to Pakistan cannot be described in few pages of newspapers. Still our esteemed writer is interested that politicians should not be maligned in Pakistan. Better come to Pakistan and live here to see first hand what is being done in name of politics. From USA, everything looks hunky dory.
Laeeq Apr 15, 2012 01:45am
he is not a bhutto, he is son of zardari, and all his idelogy or talking is the mind of Zardari. He should be held for the contemp of court. Justice should takes its due course.
Syed N. Hussain, MBA Apr 15, 2012 01:49am
One of the sane & thought-provoking comment. Tauheed ahmed is absolutely correct.
Rashed Apr 15, 2012 01:53am
Bill, as he is known by his mates in UK, will be Pak's PM one day. This is an unfortunate reality and Pak will have to suffer time & time again. People of Pak (who still vote for PPP) were tricked before and will be fooled again. People who know this guy, hate him. It will be a blessing for Pak and its people if they can get rid of 'bhutto' name some how forever so that generations to come do not have to suffer with so called democracy and so called literetares from Oxford.
Syed N. Hussain, MBA Apr 15, 2012 01:54am
Forget ZA Bhutto. Move on! If you must treat him like a demi-god that is the right of PPP which is steeped in paganistic rituals. ZA Bhutto was one ordinary human being who betrayed and bit the hands of Ayub and was bitten back by Zia. What goes round comes round. I hate PPP making him & Benazir something they are not. Pakistan is not their father's inheritance.
javid Apr 15, 2012 02:17am
Bilawal Zardari should be put on restrained Exit List and be charged of contempt of court and jailed for at least 25 years.
Rahmat Ali Apr 15, 2012 02:27am
but people of pakistan remember Bhuttos not Ayub ,Yahaya , Zai or Musharaf.
sja Apr 15, 2012 02:41am
Actually, Ayub Khan spotted him in India and invited him back to his father homeland after quite a while because of a defeat at the hands of Khuros of Sind his father had to migrate to India. Where Bhutto was born also. He was imported, grafted and then you say so right NURTURED, and the rest is all 40 years history. No point of return for the dear HOMELAND.and unfortunately no sight of any progress except the the perpetuation of the Shahadats of so many politicos.
Adler Apr 15, 2012 03:00am
Pity those nations which bring down leaders elected by themselves.
kanwal Apr 15, 2012 05:36pm
The article pins one problem very nicely: CJ is completely and unnaturally silent about what is happening everyday to the minorities, especially Shias and Ahmadis. This silence is enough to leave him in doubt for them. Staying busy in non-issues and what the corrupt feudals' corrupt progeny says, does not justify the lack of response about target killings at any cost. Mr CJ, we are not going to forget this. We think you are part of the game: create non-issues so the public stays busy. And for the people praising Bhutto and Co. here, i would like to know what he did for this country except breaking it, making a bomb which indeed led the nation to eat grass (exclude his children of course), and leaving a legacy of corruption behind him which just would nt go away. The newset face coming forward being Bilawal.
Cyrus Howell Apr 15, 2012 06:43pm
Irfan Baloch April 13, 2012 8:39 pm This is the constituency that elected Benazir, Asif Zardari and now Bilawal is set to launch his political career from here. Former Chairperson, the Co Chairman and the new Chairman the top most brass of the PPP. But go to Lyari and look for yourself what it has become. I just do not understand PPP politics. Looking at Lyari their strong hold one can easily to the conclusion that they just do not care. To the Lyariites I would say 40 years of loyalty to this party has given you nothing.
Khalid Pathan Apr 15, 2012 04:28am
No doubt that Pakistan's problem is incompetency, however, Bilawal Zardari is desparate for a leadership role and looking for an opportunity at the earliest. Hopefully the supreme court will not walk into the trap of his speech. A huge price has already been paid by everyone for the Sindh card. Please do not renew it.
Raza Apr 15, 2012 04:37am
Bhutto was second place anyway. Mujib Ur Rehman had won the election.
Raza Apr 15, 2012 04:42am
Such an old issue, why bring it back. It's not like his grandfather was a noble saint who had won in a landslide all over Pakistan. The truth is that he had lost. That is a reality and the sooner the Bhuttos accept it the better. Or should we say East Pakistan was never a part of Pakistan? It is a long story and time to forget about it. And screw democracy man, give us power, water and gas. I want to run an industry.
Rashid Apr 15, 2012 04:56am
It is a matter of fact that Iftikhar chaudhary is biased person against PPP. Why he is not listening Asghar khan petition with the same zeal as cases against PPP. No one cannot give valid reason to this.
Rashid Apr 15, 2012 05:01am
It is totally wrong that Bhutto called him dady. Do you have any solid reference like newspaper or headline. Now all newspapers are available online please send if you have the link. If not then please don't say this again in your life.
Rashid Apr 15, 2012 05:05am
It is only illusion in ur mind. Bhuttoism is very strong
Rashid Apr 15, 2012 05:08am
agree completely
Rashid Apr 15, 2012 05:14am
Supreme court has lost its honor due to biasedness and prejudised behaviour,,,,,,,,
M Masood Apr 15, 2012 05:25am
Mr Bilawal Zardari should be called and set an example to others. The public office bearers and big political parties heads should be more responsible and set example for public.
Seema Apr 17, 2012 02:02am
Because we love to call him Bhutto.
Ashraf Apr 15, 2012 05:27am
Bilawal is son of Zardari. He is not Bhutto. Benazir shouted directing her finger towards the house of CJ - "he is my chief justice, will fight to re-instate him". How shameful that now Bilawal claims once PCO judge is always PCO judge. He is defying his own mother's words; who had been a politician, where as we respect her too much. Bhutto being living at the time of your mother's marriage, he would have never/never allowed Benazir to marry Zardari. Just go and study this in details and you will get the answer from your own kith and kins.
M. Anwar Qureshi, Li Apr 15, 2012 01:29pm
I agree with most of the commentators that Bilawal Zardar is not Bhutto. Its an assumed and fake surname like PPP democracy which is the best revenge for the poor masses who vote for it; they all should be careful in the next General Elections. Supreme Court of Pakistan must nip the evil in the bud and take speedy actions against PM Gilani, his corrupt son Musa (technical Chores), even against Raja Ashraf who has been inducted in the Cabinet against the judgment of the SC in Power Rentals case. Look at the NAP Chairman who says that let the SC give the verdict in US$ scam of Zardari (Swiss Case) but he will not take action as Zardar has immunity; its un-Islamic and discriminatory or return USD60m to people of Pakistan. Moreover, NAP chairman Admiral Sahib does not know who to speak the national language of Pakistan!!! Same is the situation with Bilawal Zardari.
Saeeda Apr 15, 2012 01:21pm
Spot on...
Amjid Apr 15, 2012 06:19am
This debate should not be about Bhutto being Ayub Khan's creation, it is without any doubt that Bhutto was a great person, and Ayub selected him because of his dynamic personality.
mohammad misbah dar Apr 15, 2012 07:32pm
Bilawal has same attitude towards supreme court which his grandfather has 30 years before with High Court.
Sami Apr 15, 2012 03:32pm
who is Bilawal? a young man entering politics and his statement is a political statement that everybody is finding interesting and important to debate. Supreme Court is much much more important institution and every act, decision, statement etc by it is much much more important and I am ready to hear something good from the side of Supreme Court to remove all the doubts over this institution and its personalities. First wash yourself and then ask others to be clean or is it difficult?
Shah Apr 15, 2012 06:34am
let take as "peeri mureedi" culture that we have in pakistan, peer is gone but his followers are still there, and it's the name of peer that attracts everyone. same here, bhutto will be a playcard for as long as PPP is in existence.
Shah Apr 15, 2012 06:35am
this govt. is a disgrace, from A to Z ... period.
Zulfiqar Apr 15, 2012 09:57pm
History Of Pakistan Shows that the country has suffered due to its generals and judges. Mr.Warris has been analyering affairs in balanced way, though he always have a soft corner for judges. This article is the only one in which he has shown mirror to judges....
Afzal Mahmood Apr 15, 2012 04:37pm
A good peice of argument. A judge speaks through his verdicts. There are lot things need to be corrected by the judiciary. The Apex Court shall earn a good name through its great and just decision and not to fall in petty matters where politicians like to qurral.
shafi Apr 15, 2012 12:41pm
Why have judges if you do not follow their judgement?
Haji Ashfaq Apr 15, 2012 12:26pm
Enough said ! "Bare mian to bare mian - chote mian subhanallah". Waris is another Piracha. Ask Mumtaz Bhutto if Bilawal is qualified enough to call himself "Bhutto".
Abdullah Hussain Apr 16, 2012 03:18pm
Dear Hot Ice, No common people is afraid of Bhuttoism Or Zardarism. If you have the courage then listen the majority Pakistanis think that Bhutto was the main character in breaking Pakistan. Bhutto's philosphy was in fact power through any source & at all cost. Are you old enough to remember that it was Bhutto who is on record of having suggested to Mujib ur Rehman " you are there & I am here" meaning that you rule there ( East Pakistan) & I will rule here (West Pakistan). It is a fact that Bilawal is a Zardari & not Bhutto.
Babar khan Apr 15, 2012 08:07am
I do not like PPP and I defintely do not like Zardari or even Bhutto. But contempt of court? Are you serious? Do you ,my former countrymen even understand what is meant by democracy? Do you have any understanding of what is free speech. Do you know what is an educated and civilized society? You hang your presidents/prime ministers, you send them to exile, you kill people like Salman Taseer because he stands for justice and you talk about contempt of court? You do not hang the murderer who killed Salman Taseer and the lawyers of Lahore supported him? And you talk about contempt of court? The court decides to act as God and decides who who is a Muslim and who is not and you want people to respect such a court? The whole world is laughing at Pakistan!!! Get educated and stop making a big thing out of nothing!! Go solve greater problems that inflict Pakistan such as Baluchistan issue, Sectarian issues, killing of Shia issues,killing of Ahmedi issues and then talk about contempt of court!!!
Imran Apr 15, 2012 12:12pm
well said!
Babar khan Apr 15, 2012 08:17am
Pakistan must eliminate all feudal landlords, all nawabs and all Sardars and all Mullahs immediately!!! Otherwise this country will not move out of the 19th century mode!!! Parties were siblings are nominated instead of elected are no parties. PPP is not a democratic organization and will never help achieve democracy in Pakistan
Dr Nadim Akhtar Apr 15, 2012 03:47pm
One thing is for sure that Bilawal Bhutto has no political future. Pakistan can no longer afford such a corrupt government. Therefore either people party will be eliminated in the next general election or there will be noting left to govern.
Hassan Apr 15, 2012 04:20pm
Bhutto did not accept the result of the most impartial election ever held. It was his plan to ampute the eastern part of our country to grab the power - the same mind-set is hounding the Bhutto dynasity till now - lust for power has made them robots, devoid of any sense - they are blind and deaf. You can notice the ''Muqafate-e-amal'' consequences. Allah is the best strategists!!!
A Sheikh Apr 15, 2012 08:34am
Even though I am not so satisfied with day-to-day performance of the present government, but I still think PPP is a ideological force that can bring back real Pakistan. The present government has not worked hard enough for whatever reasons but PPP is better than what performance of the present government tells you. For a country like Pakistan, a center left party with acceptance by rest of the world is crucially important.
shdhsn Apr 15, 2012 08:51am
Unfortunately it seems like CJ is getting addicted to media publicity. He wants to remain in the media more than politics. Instead of taking a notice on Bilawal's speech he should concentrate on thousands of cases pending justice in the Supreme Court. Supreme Court is becoming a political court now. CJ has time to check if Bilawal has done any contempt of Court but is not paying any attention to the original topic which is wrong decision by the Supreme Court to hang ZAB.
shdhsn Apr 15, 2012 08:54am
what does being a bhutooo or not has todo with the contemp of court. Wrong decisions by court should be reviewed, Judges are not God they can make mistakes and they should accept it.
Syed Apr 15, 2012 09:15am
Article is very very excellent, for which I solute the author.
Husain Apr 15, 2012 09:23am
There is a wide perception that judiciary of Pakistan has always been in the back seat of military wagon. Like politician they need to grow up with the new born democracy.
Zahid Jalbani Apr 15, 2012 05:07pm
Despite all simmering hate, PPP will again return to power - not from backdoors or on the behest of military junta, but on the backing of millions of Pakistanis, who love Bhutto. If free, fair and impartial elections take place, everyone will see that Mr. Bilawal bhutto, who is heir of Peoples Party, will emerge as a YOUNG LEADER of Pakistan. PPP will rule the country, until people of Pakistan support it.
naseem Apr 15, 2012 09:48am
I thought Zardari is Baloch-Sindhi, Bhuttos also the same. So what have they done for you, NOTHING. Your Sardars are the real culprits who do not want people to be educated, they pocket all the money they get as royalty and live comfortably in London and Geneva. Ubed Ullah you are mischief maker. First put your house in order and then point fingers to others.
Qalim Apr 15, 2012 09:56am
Bilawal Zardari forgot to add that once an NRO beneficiary will always be more of an NRO beneficiary than a PCO judge - who said "NO" to a dictator whilst Bilawal's mother was negotiating with the dictator. The author is right though that the SC should not waste time in examining his speech - deciding the difference between an impartial judge and an uncivilised political wannabee should be left to the people who are slowly gaining insight into their own exploitation by the elite - another two or three elections should complete the education of masses in choosing the right leadership.
Pat Apr 15, 2012 09:57am
I think my dear friend has forgotten that ZA Bhutto was also appointed minister by a military ruler and he accepted the ministries not only from one military ruler but two and he also for a short period was the cheif Marshal law administrator.
Naveed Javed Apr 18, 2012 11:21am
On the bull's eye- Excellent Article and Yes I endorse SC should stop this bigotry against Bhuttoism and should pay attention to other problems!
Ali Abbas Apr 18, 2012 08:59pm
You missed a very immportant point. In civilized countries anyone is allowed to crticize courts, media, govt and opposition if they want to (even when they are wrong). Courts of the Pakistan should stop bullying people and instead serve the. Who here thinks that courts are doing a good job of ensuring justice for everyday Pakistani.
sja Apr 18, 2012 05:50pm
Have you seen the last resting place for poor people of Pakistan leader replica of the Taj Mahal of Agra. I call it the Bhutto Mahal of Garhi Baksh. You are so right about the Kingdom of Bhuttos and the Bhutto Mahal.
msyedh Apr 19, 2012 10:46am
After reading so many comments against Bilawal Bhutto. I just want to say, Kal bee Bhutto zinda tha, aaj bee Bhutto zindah ha.
Muhammad Alvi Apr 19, 2012 06:24pm
Ali Abbas, you are wrong. They do not critisize courts in USA the way Bilawal and others do in Pakistan (I have lived in USA for 45 years).
Job Work Apr 19, 2012 08:35pm
I love Dawn . Its cool website
Muhammad Alvi Apr 20, 2012 02:09am
Your comment seems to be irrelevant to the present subject.