Pity the nation that demands justice for all but is agitated when justice hurts its political loyalty.
This is part of a long addition Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa made to Khalil Gibran’s Pity the Nation in a six page additional note that was released with the detailed verdict in Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s contempt case.
Justice Khosa, who was part of the seven-member bench that had announced the verdict, says that he is in ‘respectful agreement’ with the proposed judgement authored by Justice Nasirul Mulk.
In a six page addition that he makes to the 77 page detailed verdict, Justice Khosa quotes Khalil Gibran and with “an apology” makes a 321 word addition to Pity the Nation.
He says that Gilani’s conduct in the case is indicative of a bigger malady, one which if not checked or cured may “overwhelm or engulf all of us as a nation.”
Justice Khosa then goes on to quote an extract from For Whom the Bell Tolls by John Donne
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
Power to the people
Justice Khosa said the ultimate ownership and power of the constitution, and all the organs and institutions created under it, lies with the people. He then went on to quote the preamble of the 1973 Constitution:
We, the people of Pakistan – Do hereby, through our representatives in the National Assembly, adopt, enact and give to ourselves, this constitution.
Justice Khosa said that the power to punish a person for contempt of court is also with the people, and through the constitution they have “entrusted or delegated” this power to the courts.
Bleak words end the six page additional note. In the conviction of Gilani, says Justice Khosa, lies our collective damnation.
He said Justice Mulk’s order is a step in the right direction as, “It kindles a flame of hope for a future for our nation which may establish a just and fair order, an order wherein the law rules and all citizens are equal before the law.”
The full version of Justice Khosa’s addition to Pity the Nation can be viewed here:
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2012.