ZAB case: Revisiting history is necessary

The personal prejudice of the judges who voted for the capital punishment is now well-documented.

Amna Lone April 21, 2011
The government’s decision to file a judicial review reference to reopen the case of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, in which he was convicted of murder and sentenced to hang, has come under much opprobrium from various quarters.

There is a view that reopening this 32-year old case is basically just a ploy to divert attention from the various follies that this government has committed, ranging from the fiasco that was the National Reconciliation Ordinance, to the botched-up restoration of the judiciary to the various corruption scandals that have dogged the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) fourth dispensation in power.

However, whatever side of the political divide one may belong to, it must be noted that the PPP founder’s trial that sent him to the gallows was not that of an ordinary criminal or a small-time neighbourhood bully, but of Pakistan’s first democratically-elected prime minister, who was the father of the country’s nuclear programme, the 1973 Constitution and the policy of building an indigenous defence manufacturing base. The personal prejudice of the judges who voted for the capital punishment is now well-documented, with former Chief Justice Nasim Hasan Shah who sat on the trial, even admitting in his memoirs that the judges had been guilty of bias.

Even the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, who was excommunicated by the Catholic Church in 1633 for challenging its dogmas, got a pardon after nearly 360 years had passed. Thirty-two years is but a fleeting moment in a nation’s history, especially of one that has spent 36 of its 63 years under military rule.

The present judiciary takes much pride in restoring the independence of the judicial branch of the state that was enshrined in the 1973 Constitution. Surely, as a nation we owe this much to the man who gave us our Constitution in the first place, that the allegations of miscarriage of justice that dogged his trial and which led to his eventual execution be looked into and the matter be decided once and for all, that whether there is substance or not in these accusations or whether he was, as many have said, a victim of “judicial murder”.
WRITTEN BY:
Amna Lone A sub-editor for The Express Tribune’s editorial pages.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

COMMENTS (21)

hedgefunder | 10 years ago | Reply @Jiyala: Which democracy are you talking about???? The one where the foriegn policy is made in GHQ ! Or the one where the Prsident and PM act as spokesman for the real powers to be!!! Democracy does not the feed the people or provide shelter and healthcare, concrete programs do and lot of hard work do!!! Which sadly this democratically elected Govt has forgotten all about, until such time when elections are on horizon!!!!!
Jiyala | 10 years ago | Reply @hedgefunder Dude i learnt this saying on the 18th of Oct 2007, the last time i saw people from all corners of this country gather on the main Shara-e-Faisal in Karachi... for their Leader...their Country and for Democracy It is so disappointing to see you the calling the people of Pakistan the idiot masses.. sadly the privileged class of this country dont have any idea of Politics or more importantly the word Democracy... All you people can do is ridicule and make fun instead of talking about the real issues... terrorism is product of Gen. Zia, Terrorism and the power Crisis is a gift of Gen. Musharaf reign... Peoples Party always saves this country from the dictatorships... The Benazir income support program supports the downtrodden People of Pakistan NOT YOU.... The 18th Amendment empowering the provinces and the parliament for continuation of Democracy in this country was for the poor people of Pakistan NOT YOU... and so on and so forth.. since you are blind to all the above mentioned realities you are the idiot dude!!!! i think you should apologize for what u said..... Support Democracy... and Respect the Majority... Bhuttoism Zindabad... Pakistan Zindabad!!!!!!
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