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The Musharraf case

April 27, 2013

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.