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Democracy and Judiciary

27 August, 2007

By Dr. Tanvir Hussain Bhatti


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The decision of Justice M.Munir, who quashed the Maulvi Tamizuddin case, was the first jolting blow to the sovereignty of judiciary and establishment of the public rule in Pakistan. When the G.G.Ghulam Mohammad dissolved the first constituent assembly of Pakistan, its president Maulvi Tamizuddin filed petition to Sindh High Court against the unconstitutional adventure of the Governor General. SHC Chief Justice Sir George Constantine judiciously reinstated the assembly, but the over ambitious Governor General challenged the unbiased verdict in the Supreme Court, where Chief Justice Mohammad Munir set aside the SHC’s judgment and endorsed the dissolution of the assembly in March 1955 on the basis of methodological grounds. This pronouncement undermined the independence of judiciary. Therefore, praiseworthy, shining light and salt of the earth Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, head of the 13-member full court during the hearing of a constitutional petition by the reverend CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and 22 other identical petitions, asked the state counsel Malik Qayyum not to refer to the Maulvi Tamizuddin case, saying that it was now referred to embarrass the court, reported BBC radio.

The fate of democracy has been hanging in the balance because the judiciary has never been sovereign since the birth of Pakistan.  An autonomous judiciary is mandatory for the underpinning of true parliamentary democracy. Eager beaver general Ayub Khan imposed Martial Law in 1958 that drove the first nail in the coffin of democracy. Legitimization of the authoritarian regimes of Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan and Zia-ul-Haq were the perpetual shakes given to all democratic institutions that destabilized their foundations. Unluckily, feudal lords, knowledge-drained corruption tainted bureaucracy and self-centered generals rule the roost since the birth of Pakistan that did not permitted democracy to burgeon. Therefore, even after the lapse of 60 years a ragtag-engineered democracy is in place to flirt and poke fun at democratic system.  

Pakistan is passing through miserable phase of institutional crisis, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel, as Shelley says,” If winter comes; can spring be far behind.” The present judicial crisis, the steadfast stand taken by the worthy public Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and the magnificent superb decision of the Supreme Court has shown a glimmer of hope to the nation. The highly wanted dream of establishing real parliamentary democracy will never be materialized in the prevalence of perpetual political disequilibrium, American intercession in the Pakistan’s national affairs, personalization of politics, political parties headed by totalitarian self-absorbed inept politicians, national leadership crisis, pliant and sleaze-soaked tealeaf bureaucracy, disgusting ambiance of firmly entrenched feudalism in every nook and corner of the country, scarcity of patriot sentiments, time and again army intervention in civilian affairs, a fettered print and electronic media, lack of neutral accountability institutions, a divided community on the basis of sect, caste, language, region, provincialism ,and the existence of a chained judiciary legitimizing “Doctrine of Necessity”. Due to the predominance of these bottlenecks the democratic institutions of Pakistan are fragile and shaky, and it has failed in its quest for democracy even after the trail off six decades. The failure is so astounding that it seems that democracy is irreconcilable with our national temperament.

Aboveboard, principled and meticulous Chief Justice Iftikhar M. Ch. received heroic welcome, wherever he visited, because he was fighting for the strength, sovereignty and sanctity of a highly reverend institution. Now, he has become an apple of the public eye, hailed as an icon of justice and emerged as a symbol of eyeball-to-eyeball contact with authoritarianism. As he took an audacious decision to fortify the judiciary, therefore, he received historic red carpet welcome from Islamabad to Lahore along the Grand Trunk Road by the rank and file and the law knowing conscientious lawyers’ community, neither persuaded nor requested by the elegant Chief Justice for his reception. Similar gorgeous passions of the public were also observed during his address in Peshawar, Sukhar, Islamabad, Quetta, Abbot bad, Faisalabad and Multan. This shows that people want fair play and justice and the sagacious CJP has shown them a gleam of hope.

Now, the future of the judiciary and the prospects of democracy are dependent upon the landmark decision of the 13-members reconstituted bench of the Supreme Court because all and sundry have pinned great hopes on it. The glorious historical verdict can act as a stepping stone for the independence of judiciary, supremacy of the constitution, dispensation of speedy justice, establishment of impartial accountability institutions, foundation of a strong and free media, and can ensure the establishment of highly wanted true parliamentary democracy by conducting free and fair elections under the surveillance of a powerful, impartial and evenhanded election commission. Democracy and fettered bench are incompatible. Democracy would only bear fruit when the off scorings of humanity get speedy justice at their doorsteps. Change of faces at the wheel would serve no purpose. Therefore, it is necessary to reform the system that can strengthen the institutions instead of personalities and pressure groups.

There is a crying need for division of power, following the principle of dichotomy, among the three pillars of the state, i.e. the judiciary, the executive and the legislature instead of sharing the power cake. The fourth pillar of the state, i.e., the print and electronic media, should be independent, so that it can play a constructive role to inculcate patriotism and hone-up public awareness about democracy and national issues. It should extend its helping hand to the other three pillars of the state in resolving national issues instead of further complicating them. The army should guard the borders and avoid playing the role of nosy parkers in civilian affairs. A self-governing judiciary can act as a pillar of strength for the country by providing apposite atmosphere for democracy to thrive. A booming democracy founded through transparent electoral procedure can act as a gangplank and springboard to provide sound basis for resolution of the twiddly national problems, to yield rich socio-economic harvest, and can build up nationwide consensus for fair distribution of the state resources among the constituent units.

Reader Comments:

Democracy and Judiciary

Well worded and nicely written articles are liked by all. In Pakistan the media was never as free as its today. Even though they being free journalists do not file accurate reports. Going back to 1955 and prior to that the government of Pakistan was having lot of problems with the overnight changing of Mininsteries. No one could forecast who will be the top Minister by morning. During Sikandar Miraz's time the country was not doing that good and Gen. Ayub Khan had to step in and take over through a bloodless coup. It would be fair to give Gen. Ayub Khan credit of all the mega projects like Dams etc. and during his time the country had a strong economy and per capita income was almost equal to South Korea. The spindle output was too good. Putting Japan and South Korea together the Textile was better than them two countries. It was ZAB who ruined the good work done by protesting that Gen. Ayub Khan has sold Kashmir to India. That was not the case but masses of Pakistan had too little knowledge of politics and lack of understanding they had blind attachment with Kashmir issue and lot of elections were won and lost on that subject. Military only moved in when civilian dictators ruined the economy and life of common man in Pakistan was at stake. If we look today there are more than $15.78B in the treasury and so many projects completed and some in pipeline. With the present style of democracy Parliament has completed its full term being the first time in the history of Pakistan in 60 years. If we talk about Judiciary, the problems is corruption which no has been able to root out. I saw a picture today in Paktribune that a labourer is taking away stolen grill from the Parliament building and that is common as said in the report. In a Muslim country where Islam is the religion and predominantly muslim country the teachings should be Islamic.Educate the nation that honesty is the best policy. All got to take their responsibility to do the cleaning jobs. People can cast their votes in coming elections and if they vote right for people the country will see some changes.

mohammad, United Arab Emirates - 27 August, 2007

THE JUDGE WHO WILL NOT BUDGE

A LOT OF US HAD LOST HOPE IN THE FUTURE OF OUR COUNTRY.CJP IFTIKHAR HAS GIVEN US HOPE AND REASON TO SHED OUR CYNICISM.KEEP IT UP JUDGE WE ALL LOVE YOU.

SQN LDR ZULQADAR, Pakistan - 29 August, 2007

Democracy involves the selection of government officials by the people being represented. The principles of democracy emphasize the importance of the individual in the context of government. If individual Pakistani is not free to its own representative, this anarchy will continue. Free Media/Executive/ Judiciary & Fair constitution, provides required support for sustaining democracy.

Sanjay, Hungary - 29 August, 2007

BraveHeart .

It needs character to collect courage in adverse situation.In
our course of history Judiciary
up until now has bowed to the Dictators.Ch Ifthkhar Ahmed has stood undauntedly amongst
a sleeping nation,awaking the
Legal Professionals from deep
slumber.Its Now or Never! Our
destiny is not for sale.


Khalid Rahim, Pakistan - 02 September, 2007

IMF signing - a prize of democracy Judiciary to get paid

Many Queendoms of Europe and US allied support Sheikhdom and Soldiers of
Uniform .They also call themselves Democracy.US allied forces battled for 9 months
to retain European Part of Turkey.Mustapha Kamal Attaturk defeated allied to
Retain democracy.Democracy is also Islamic method of Governace with Judiciary
of Roving Muslim Judge .Pakistan is lost in defining democracy of PPP PML and current Military Leader of PM with Judiciary Democracy . US allied soldiers are currently littered in Muslim world.

Turkish Empire is also Roman Empire with chariot race Julius Cessor
Of “to come or not to come or to be or not to be “.They were Turkey Based.
If allied soldiers had defeated Turkey like current US soldiers amid UN alliance gimmick if they install their own candidate Muslim democracy will be reduced into IMF loan WTO With Pen is mightier than sword in signing IMF loan to meet expenses Islamic Republic had republican prophet .At death new Republican leader had objection of election via Democrat (Shiite) via objection of unilateral election.Shiite leader in
Middle Lebanon announced freezing Military operation followed by attack.Muslim
Refugees and Oil owners just die via alliance of soldiers amid Democracy Judiciery and
how to get paid debate.


Z.Billo, Pakistan - 03 September, 2007

Past Role Model and future for democracy

World should reduce all political parties into two i.e.Republican and democracy. Republican should include military and religious parties or so called Conservative Party of the Right.
Democracy or liberal democratic party should include Shiite and Anglican as opposed to Republican or Catholic Orthodox jewish or Islamic conservative.However,growth of Islam was based on one party amid
Democratic election dispute.


Z_Billo, United Arab Emirates - 03 September, 2007

Dispensation of Justice

Dispensation of Justice
It is the justice given out to the public by the justice dispensing organization that builds trust of the public in other institutions of a democratic state. The rulers should do justice to the public instead of exploiting them by interference in the judiciary. It is said that Nosherwan Adel was a King of Persia. One day he went on hunting. His servants prepared barbeques but the salt was not available. He sent his servant for getting salt from the nearby village by paying its price. When his companions asked that it would not make any difference if the king would get small amount of salt free of cost from his subjects. But the king refused to do so because he considered it injustice. He said if the king would eat one apple from the garden owned by a person among his subjects without his permission, his servants would uproot all the trees of the garden. Our rulers should also learn lesson from this example. They should distribute justice instead of plundering public treasure.

Professor Naseem Abbas
Pakistan


Professor Naseem Abbas, Pakistan - 04 September, 2007

Democrat Shiite as Expatriate

Two Party Islam !Most expatriates had conflict with Republican .Expatriate Roman Turkey or Iran or Syria and Iraq followed Islam but expatriate or Shiite lived in their own country permanently. One Man religion of Islam With 4 ministers ministries tax collecting City Hall Mayor and CIA boss Hudaifa Ibn Yaman were based
At home.Hundreds of roving judge and Governors were installed in newly acquired countries when Minister of Education installed Alazhar University ( more than 1000 years ago).Muslim presented case to King of Abysinnia or Roman or foreign kingdom
Who in turn examined and approved democracy without fight. Democracy constitution in Surah with encyclopaedia (to memorize entire thing)came as defect free material .
This is only authentic.The person who brought this to the Prophet had not been given job description for 10,000 yrs by earth calculation.ALaz U of C was fatimide Shiite expatriate.


Z_Billo, United Arab Emirates - 04 September, 2007

Democracy and Judiciary

mohammad/United Kingdom, thank you sir for such a comprehensive account of the past and our ungrateful nation that gathered behind the then Madari ZAB who played with the sentiments & emotions of Pakistanis.
ZAB a brilliant man who was appropriately hand picked by Late Gen. Ayub Khan to serve the Foriegn Ministry lost it all when his greed for power placed him elsewhere. After that all ZAB was can be termed as the biggest loser of Pakistan.
International conferences were held in Rato No Dero/Larkana and special highways were built overnight to connect his village, luxurious coasters were acquired instantly to serve the route from Karachi, while even at the time when Gen Ayub Khan left this world his village Rehana did not have power supply connected.
This itself is enough to tell the difference between a real leader and not so real leader who deceived the nation while the deception continues at the hands of BB who even now dreams to be incharge of our poor nation so she can milk it some more.

Matloob Zaman, Pakistan - 13 September, 2007

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