Wrongs Which Must Be Rectified

The conspiracy against Nawaz Sharif is now an open secret.

The history of our judiciary is replete with verdicts delivered by the pliable and in some cases corrupt judges that have had a profound debilitating impact on the political and socio-economic development of the society. Although those decisions invited serious concerns regrettably no serious effort was ever made to have those wrongs rectified to mitigate their diabolical consequences.

However, under the stewardship of the current Chief Justice Qazi Faiz Isa things have started moving in the right direction which is a very welcome development. The hanging of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was viewed as a judicial murder ever since it was executed. The SC’s decision that Bhutto was not given a fair trial corroborates that perception and reality. The decision in regard to the dismissal of Justice Mazahar Ali Naqi is also an admirable decision in that direction. Equally appreciable is the 10-5 verdict of the SC regarding Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023 had been suspended by the bench headed by former CJ Atta Bandial even before passage by the parliament.

Nevertheless, there are still a number of wrong decisions given by the courts in the recent past which need to be set aside in the national interest. The case in point is the conviction of Nawaz Sharif in the Panama leaks case and the role played by the former CJ Saqib Nisar in ensuring Imran’s ascent to power as part of a conspiracy. The conspiracy against Nawaz Sharif is now an open secret.

There exists irrefutable evidence of the involvement of Saqib Nisar in that conspiracy. Nawaz Sharif addressing the central working committee of PML(N) on May 18 has said that he was in possession of an audio tape in which the former could be heard saying that Imran Khan must be brought to power by removing Nawaz Sharif. This audio is probably in regard to a call that he made from the Gilgit-Baltistan CJ’s residence to a judge of the IHC not to accept the bail of Nawaz Shaif and his daughter before the elections. He also had an affidavit executed in which he had revealed the details of the call. When Ansar Abbassi published a report in The News the Islamabad High Court initiated contempt of court proceedings against the Judge, Nisar Abbassi, and the management of the newspaper instead of having the heft to probe the allegations. They were lucky to escape conviction in the end. The opinion rendered by the SC on Article 63-A in response to a reference made by President Alvi with a 3-2 majority was a classic example of the judiciary usurping the powers of the parliament and re-writing the constitution as was rightly pointed out by the dissenting judges who held that the Article referred in this case was unambiguous and complete and there was no need to tamper with it as it would tantamount to re-writing the constitution. The decision of the court accentuated the already existing political crisis in the country. The Supreme Court Bar Association filed a review petition against it which is still pending in the SC and needs to be taken up immediately to rectify the wrong done. 

Imran Khan has been crying hoarse from every convenient roof-top that his exit from power and installation of the PDM government followed by the formation of a coalition government as a result of allegedly rigged elections was part of the London Plan but has never come up with any credible evidence to corroborate his claims. But he has never accepted the fact that his movement against Nawaz Sharif’s government with the aim of having the latter removed from power was also conceived in London. The authenticity of that conspiracy has now been confirmed and corroborated by one of the participants of that meeting. Mubashir Luqman a renowned journalist has revealed recently that he was part of that meeting in a hotel in London where that plan was hatched and the participants included Imran Khan, Tahir ul Qasri, Chaudhry brothers and Zahir ul Islam the serving DG ISI at that time. Nawaz Sharif in his address has also mentioned it. 

All the above-mentioned incidents deserve to be probed and those involved in them punished according to the law of the land to deter future adventurers from playing with the destiny of the nation. They are the cases that need to be taken up under the suo motu powers of the Supreme Court. I am not sure whether Qazi Faiz Isa would be able to rectify these wrongs during his residual tenure as CJ or not but he has surely set the direction. I am of the considered opinion that the parliament must ponder over changing the procedures of selection of the judges for superior courts to ensure that only people with impregnable integrity and professional competence make it to the high courts and Supreme Court. The elevation of the judges from the high courts to the Supreme Court must be made on the basis of the performance of the judges rather than seniority. Perhaps the parliament may also consider forming a constitutional court of Pakistan which must evaluate verdicts rendered by the superior courts on political and constitutional issues to ascertain whether they are in conformity with the constitution or law and that they are not based on personal biases of the judges. 

Almost all the major political parties at some point in time have suffered from the consequences of the wrong and unconstitutional decisions of the judges of superior courts. It was time that they abandoned their animosity towards each other and got together to close the avenues of injustice and evolve a road map for the political and economic advancement of the country. Unless that is not done the country cannot move forward.

Malik Muhammad Ashraf 

The writer is a freelance columnist. He can be reached at ashpak10@ gmail.com

The writer is a freelance columnist. He can be reached at ashpak10@gmail.com.

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