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 OUR GREAT REDEEMERS II

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yasmeenali



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Age : 55
Location : LAHORE ,PAKISTAN
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PostSubject: OUR GREAT REDEEMERS II   Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:43 am

Our great redeemers – 2



By Ardeshir Cowasjee

IT has to be said, the evidence being clearly on the ground, that by and large this is a nation of 'junglees' — there are too many of us who have yet to lose our tails. Whenever, a 'core issue' (to use one of President Gen Pervez Musharraf's favourite phrases) arises, brawn weighs heavily over brain.

How much has this 'long march' which was not a march but a drive (we have had 'marches' in vehicles and trains in the past orchestrated by our political leaders) burdened this deprived nation and its thirsty and hungry people? If street thinking or street power is to be believed, the funds for the lawyers' movement and for this culmination have emanated from the coffers of Mian Nawaz Sharif and his brand of Muslim League, whose coffers were and are filled to the brim with the nation's money.

We must always remember that if this country had law and order, accompanied by justice of the genuine type, many of those who now lord it over this country would be looking at us, rather than lounging in their gilded chairs, through the spaces between the bars that separated them from us.

Nawaz Sharif, now championing the cause of an independent judiciary purely as a means of getting his own back on Musharraf, was once caught out when he carelessly signed a loan agreement that was subject to English law. During his second term in office, whilst riding high, his Hudaiba Paper Mill borrowed money from Investment Funds Limited operated by Al-Tawfik Company. Defaulters are held to be accountable in England and Mian Sahib and his partners were dealt with successfully by the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice in London. That court did what no court in Pakistan could or dare do.

A master of the court, not even a judge, served an order on the defendants in September 1998 and properties in London were attached. End of story. The Sharifs paid up the loan plus interest amounting to approximately US$450m within 16 months. According to the Mians, which is somewhat unbelievable, the money was paid back by an 'Arab friend' out of pure love and affection. The details of the repayment were not disclosed, as requested by the Sharifs. The lenders did not object and the court so ordered.

The Sharif clan owed almost half a billion dollars which they held abroad, and which they repaid. How many of us have a 'friend' so friendly that he will repay for us a debt totalling millions of dollars?

Nawaz's professed love for an independent judiciary can never ring true in the light of his past dealings with the judiciary of his country. His party man, Gohar Ayub, in his book published last year, has recounted how one day early in November 1997 Nawaz wanted to arrest the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Sajjad Ali Shah, and jail him for a night, merely because he was getting uppity. A couple of weeks later, on Nov 28, came the storming of the Supreme Court. The arrival outside the court of the 'storm-troopers' was recorded in detail by the international TV news channels and the action inside the court is on record, on cassettes, recorded by the closed circuit cameras installed in the Supreme Court.

Then we come to our courts and judges. After Sajjad Ali Shah had been unseated, I received a cassette upon which was recorded the events of Nov 28, 1997 as recorded on the CCTV cameras. I sent a copy of this cassette to the new chief justice, Ajmal Mian, asking him to investigate the matter and take suo motu action. Believable, because we all know how our judiciary has evolved, is the fact that many of the judges sitting in the Supreme Court resented this — they did not want the storming to be taken up, and rather than taking measures to strengthen the internal security in the court they did the opposite.

A letter dated Jan 7, 1998 (No.P.Reg : 174/97-SCA) was sent by Registrar Mohammad Zakaullah to Ikram Sehgal, the owner of the security service, SMS. It read:

"I am directed to inform you that the CCTV security monitoring system installed by your Company in Oct 1996 in the Supreme Court building, Islamabad, is no more required and may be removed. I am also directed to convey the appreciation of the Hon'ble Chief Justice of Pakistan [Ajmal Mian] and Judges of this Court for this gesture and your concern for the security of the court and it judges as a result of which you offered to install this security system in the court building free of cost. This indeed has been very useful and gave us an added sense of security during the days of turmoil." What is one to make of it?

The fame of our redeemer of the judiciary, Aitzaz Ahsan, has spread far and wide. The New York Times printed a lengthy spread on him on June 1. His interviewer, James Traub, describes him as being "almost recklessly outspoken". In Benazir Bhutto's first government, Aitzaz "served as minister of law and the interior, making him, he says, 'virtually the deputy prime minister'. But Benazir's inexperience, her imperious manner…" Why did a man steeped in law choose also to head the 'dirty tricks brigade'?

"You can't have a democracy without an independent judiciary," says Aitzaz, "And you can certainly not construct a parliamentary structure on the debris of the judicial edifice." As for the judges, "There have been corrupt and vile chief justices in the past," but to him the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry "seemed to be a prince, the prince who challenges authority, defies his executioners and was prepared to go to the gallows holding his head up."

So says the Cambridge Chaudhry and good for him. But Traub sees it otherwise. "The chief justice had become a political shuttlecock. Both the Bush administration and the PPP would have liked to bat him down but could not publicly say so. The PML-N wanted to keep him aloft, both because Nawaz Sharif, who as prime minister had trampled on civil liberties, would be delighted to position himself as the champion of democracy against a reluctant or double-dealing Zardari."

As Traub relates, "Zardari, Aitzaz told me flatly, 'doesn't want independent judges. He wants dependent judges'." Poor Chief Justice Chaudhry — he deserves better.
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MAJOR(R)KHALID NASR
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PostSubject: Re: OUR GREAT REDEEMERS II   Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:55 am

Thank you Yasmeen for posting this nice article.Kindly show some input on my google group " right angle" which you have already joined .

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jameelzaidi7
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PostSubject: Re: OUR GREAT REDEEMERS II   Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:37 pm

Wouldn't one be justified to infer that
Opportunism is the name of the game
and each generation plays the same.

The central idea of the above referrred lines have been borrowed from the famous English movie Come September and the existing situation in Pakistan can't be specified better than the one described in this couplet. Though generally speaking our nation has a rather short memory, but it isn't short enough to forget storming of the Supreme Court in times gone by, nor has the nation forgotten the way so called democracy was run after the sudden demise of Father of the Nation i.e Quaid-e-Azam. Actual players from 1949 AD include men from all walks of life i.e politics, bureaucracy (both civil & military), and judiciary. Amongst politicians we had stalwarts like G. M. Syed, Mumtaz Daultana, Maulana Bhashani, and Suhrawardy. We also had the historical figures (remembered with ignominy) like Major-General Sikandar Mirza & General (later assuming the title of Field Marshal- I am intentionally avoiding the term 'self-styled') Ayyub Khan and a member of Judiciary who introduced the concept of law of necessity later to play havoc by derailing & mutilating the face of democracy to the extent that nation never heaved a sigh of relief afterwards. Otherwise a fertile soil was turned into a barren piece of land by destroying the roots of democracy and never allowing the sapplings of democracy to sprout. This process couldn't be compared with the agricultural process of salinity, because instead of washing the Nitre coming out, acid concentrate was thrown in order to ensure that popular will was not to be given an opportunity to exhibit its own existence. For want of political acumen & lack of political opportunities, we faced a civil war in consequence of which Bengla-Desh came into existence. During this phase, atrocities of War of Inde
pendence-1857[/b] and partition of the sub-continent-1947 were repeated at a much larger scale. It was perhaps for the first time in History that inhabitants of the same soil living side by side for ages showed an unparallelled babarism, passing on the heritage of hostility to the posterity.The root cause of this hostility has never been attended to so far, and the two emerging states due to division of the sub-continent are content to window dressing hoping against hope that circumstances might take a turn for the better.The United Nation assuming the role of watchdog of human conscience after League of Nations is a silent spectator to this melodrama despite its resolutions that fate of Kashmir would be decided through an impartial plebiscite. Bharat had been functioning as a democratic state right from the beginning, whereas in Pakistan the concept of popular will was found dysfunctional. It is mainly for this very reason that we can't confront the physical might of Bharat because of its bigger size & greater resources, and lose on the Conference table for want of democracy in Pakistan. It's an irony that elected representatives of the people also choose to act as Martial Law Administrators, because they have never been trained in the traditions of democracy; and the country slips into martial law time and again. Lack of political foresight & concept of accountability soon reveals that the claims of democracy are hardly skin deep ; whereas Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde are the two faces of the same coin.Jameel Zaidi
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PostSubject: Re: OUR GREAT REDEEMERS II   Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:04 pm

Thank you Zaidi Sahib for such a nice input. God bless you.

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