10 March 2012

5th Anniversary of Start of Judicial Crisis

Date: 10th March, 2012

5 years ago on 9th march 2007, Dictator Gen. Musharraf demanded resignation from CJ Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. After the decline of latter to resign Musharraf made him non-functional and put him on house arrest. A civil society campaign started in couple of days and CJ Iftikhar was reinstated on 20th July 2007. He was once again sacked by dictator Musharraf on 3rd November by same dictator. Later Chief justice was once again reinstated on 21st march 2009.

Everyone was happy that Restored judiciary will bring some peace in the lives of people and it will solve some problems. 3 years of restored judiciary are almost complete and still no major change in life of a common man. Judiciary has been after NRO, Memogate and other high level issues but the problems of a common man such as Law and order, inflation, unemployment, corruption and bad governance are far from any sort of improvement. In fact state of affairs in all these fields have Deteriorated and life of a common man is worse as compared to situation 3 years ago.

Thats not all, the situation in judiciary has also not improved. The pace of solving pending cases has remained the same. With the passage of everyday the number of unresolved cases is increasing. The corruption in lower judiciary has also not been eradicated. Still people don't get any relief from courts normally. The emphasis of Judiciary has been mostly on political cases such as Memogate and NRO and the cases of common public don't fall on the top of priority list.

There are allegations by PPP and its supporters that current judiciary is only against PPP. According to them judiciary only pursue the cases which are against Asif Zardari and other PPP leaders. They also say that corruption cases against Nawaz Sharif are not touched by the court. There was also similar sort of thought about Mehrangate, which is known as Asghar Khan case. This thought has evaporated in the air after Supreme court restarted hearing Asghar khan's case against ISI's role in 1990 elections. Apart from PPP some famous lawyers such as Asma Jehangir and Ali Ahmad Kurd have also raise suspicions about Apex court's neutrality.

However this Judiciary has also done a lot of good work as well. Most notable example is the Missing person cases. Despite non-compliance by government and secret agencies, supreme court is determine to recover as many missing persons as possible. On numerous occasion judiciary has taken Sou-moto notice on matters of public importance and issued orders which have relived indiviuals immediately. Supreme court has also ensured that correct and free form error voting lists are used for by-elections last month. It was on Judiciary's pressure that election commission started preparing genuine electoral rolls and begin eliminating around 37 million bogus votes.

Lawyers movement to restore Chief justice holds paramount importance in history of Pakistan. It was aimed at upholding the rule of law and constitution. Although after its restoration nothing much has changed for Pakistani public. Only Judiciary is not responsible for this. Current government has used every possible tactic to avoid following supreme court orders. Its deliberate efforts to delay the cases has been one of the major factors in not allowing independent judiciary to benefit public at grass root level. Anyhow, People have a lot of expectations from this judiciary. They hope that one day the whole Justice system in country will be transformed into quick and accurate Justice delivering system. Amid all the corrupt politicians and uncontrollable armed forces, Judiciary is the last hope for the oppressed people of Pakistan

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