Everyone including the judges of the higher judiciary had done wrongs in the past, and delivering the verdict in this sixteen-year-old case of political bribes now would add to the political instability, the CEC told BBC Urdu on Monday.
“It is the time to forget the past mistakes and look to the future as we all have committed mistakes in the past,” he said, pointing out that the Supreme Court of the country legitimised the rule of military rulers and judges took oaths under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO).
“We don’t know what had happened when Ayoub Khan came to power; we don’t know how Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged; we (even) don’t know anything about the reign of General Zia – my dear, it’s time for a new beginning by forgetting about the past!”
Justice Fakharuddin said that with this decision not only the Supreme Court has made itself controversial but it has also created a new controversy in the country. The CEC said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) cannot take action against any politician accused of receiving bribe in the past.
There was even no space for any ECP action against the politicians involved in the Asghar Khan case, as per the SC decision, he added.
Also on Monday, CEC Fakharuddin called on Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who told him that the National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPCM) will consider ECP’s request for involving the district judiciary in the forthcoming elections.
The meeting, also attended by ECP members Justice (r) Riaz Kiyani and Justice (r) Shahzad Akbar Khan, was held in Islamabad in pursuance of a written request made earlier by the election commission.
The CEC told the CJP that there was broad consensus among the civil society, political parties and media for enhancing the credibility of electoral process, so that the district and sessions judges might be appointed as district returning officers.
The chief justice told the CEC and ECP members that the national judicial policy barred the district judiciary from involvement in the elections process as it distracted the judicial officers from performance of their professional duty while complaints of corrupt practices tarnish the image of judiciary.
However, he assured that the request and sentiments of the civil society would be placed before the NJPMC for sympathetic consideration in the national interest in its meeting scheduled for November 3.
The CJP said that the committee would also consider the possible role of the judges of the superior judiciary to supervise the district and assistant district returning officers to ensure transparent role of the district judiciary in the election.
After the meeting, the Chief Election Commissioner told the media that the chief justice had assured them of full cooperation on the issue of appointment of judicial officers during the upcoming general elections.
He also told that no decision could be taken on eligibility of Interior Minister Rehman Malik in dual nationality case because no reference had been received from senate chairman. His eligibility matter would be decided after the reference was forwarded by senate chairman, he added.
He held that when the nomination papers would be filed by the politicians for upcoming general elections then it would be examined if they were truthful and ‘Ameen’ (honest) as per the constitution.
to fuel political instability: CEC