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We will never let democracy derail in Pakistan: CJP

04 February, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Vowing to protect democracy in country, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday rejected the accusation that judiciary was acting as ‘part of a plan’. He was addressing a meeting of the chairmen and presiding officers of all the administrative tribunals and special courts here at the Supreme Court. The meeting was held to review performance of judiciary in the country.

“I am making a pledge and promise to you from this forum that Insha Allah we will never let democracy derail in Pakistan,” the CJP said. Apparently in response to ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent accusations of judicial complicity in past coups, the chief justice said the ‘doctrine of necessity’ had been buried.

The CJP said he will not be staying as CJP if democracy is ever derailed in the country. He said the judiciary is being accused of being a part of an anti-democracy campaign, but the judges must not come under any pressure. “The judiciary is not part of any planning and we will not let anyone suffer from injustice,” he said, adding that the judiciary was no any threat to democracy.

About some ‘mistakes’ the judiciary made in the past, the chief justice said that in order to move forward, the institution will have to hold itself accountable as well. He urged the judges to regard their legal profession with passion instead of considering it a mere job. “We are the highest paid public servants in this country,” he said, adding, “We are part of this nation, so we must deliver.”

The CJP said the judiciary, being an important pillar of the state, must ensure that justice is served as quickly as possible, adding that judges must become part of the campaign to take the nation forward.

Defending his suo motu notices, he said he had never tried to exceed his authority, adding that the only reason behind taking a suo motu notice of certain issues was to ensure that the basic rights of the citizens are protected. He asked the judges to never let any emotion influence their verdicts. He said the judiciary was independent thus its verdicts should also be independent.

The CJP said although the judiciary was facing numerous challenges, everyone in the legal profession should do the best he can in the given circumstances.

Referring to a meeting he had with his Chinese counterpart, the CJP said the secret behind China’s rapid progress is that the citizens work for their nation. He encouraged the judges to work towards building a better future for the coming generations. He said no one can stop a nation that has good leaders and a strong justice system from progressing. He lauded the tribunal court judges, saying that he values and respects them just as much as those in the mainstream.

The CJP said the constitution was the supreme document of any country, adding that parliament has the authority to make laws and court’s job is to uphold the sanctity of the law.

He said judiciary was the most important pillar of the state, adding, “If this pillar does not perform, then the state will face imbalances.” He said trichotomy of power is the spirit of democracy.

The chief urged judges to join his campaign of justice and start delivering justice. “We have to enforce the fundamental rights of the people,” he said.

While addressing the accountability and anti-terrorism court (ATC) judges, the CJP said, “There will be people who threaten the system and might claim that they will make your children’s lives difficult, but you have to bring these people to accountability. Perpetrators of white collar crime and people who threaten us need to be brought to accountability.” He stressed upon all the judges to follow Article 4 of the constitution, which deals with right of individuals to be dealt with in accordance with law.

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