GHQ consultations: Army set to throw its weight behind judiciary

Published: January 13, 2012
The army will certainly consider assisting the judiciary if help was sought to implement the court’s decision, said an official. PHOTO: PPI/FILE

The army will certainly consider assisting the judiciary if help was sought to implement the court’s decision, said an official. PHOTO: PPI/FILE


A day after releasing a hard-hitting press release against the prime minister, the army has decided it will throw its weight behind the Supreme Court – which is embroiled in its own standoff with the government. 

Top commanders who met with army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Thursday appear to have their eyes set on the apex court to deal a decisive blow against the beleaguered incumbents.

The army chief held consultations with select corps commanders and principal staff officers to discuss the evolving situation at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi – meetings for which there was no official statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

However, military officials confirmed the long consultation sessions with top commanders over the army’s deepening rift with the government.

According to a military tations, the military decided that it will stand behind the Supreme Court, which has already warned the government that it could disqualify the prime minister if the government failed to take action on its verdict in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) cases by January 16.

The army will certainly consider assisting the judiciary if help was sought to implement the court’s decision, the official added requesting anonymity.

“The army will follow the legal course and if the Supreme Court directs the army for any assistance, we are legally bound to respond to that,” he said.

Article 190

The apex court has spelt out six options for itself to exercise in case the executive failed to implement the court order before January 16, the next date of hearing.

Legal experts believe that the Supreme Court can invoke Article 190 of the Constitution to ensure implementation of its verdict. The Article says that “all executive and judicial authorities in Pakistan shall act in aid of the Supreme Court.”

Some constitutional experts are of the view that the apex court may also seek the assistance of the military to implement its order under Article 190.

There has been an instance in the past when Justice Sajjad Ali Shah had written a letter to the then army chief Gen Jahangir Karamat, who served under Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, seeking military help to provide security to the Supreme Court in view of a possible attack. However, Gen Karamat forwarded the letter to the defence ministry.

Justice Sajjad Ali Shah did not invoke Article 190, instead he wrote a letter in his administrative capacity, said Supreme Court lawyer Justice Tariq Mehmood. He argued that it was beyond his comprehension for the military to help in the implementation of Supreme Court verdicts.

“Will the military takeover the government affairs? Will they force the government to write a letter to Swiss authorities at gunpoint,” he asked rhetorically.

Another Supreme Court lawyer Justice Salman Akram Raja, who argued against the NRO, endorsed the view saying, “The army has nothing to do with this.”

But there are others who believe the army is bound to help the court if Article 190 is invoked.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (50)

  • BS.Detecter
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:29AM

    i appreciate army isnt going for the coup which PPP wants now so badly


  • Concerned
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:45AM

    Judiciary helped military thrice in the past now its time for military to help judiciary,


  • Imran
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:52AM

    Who’s the mole among “Top Commanders”, the one who’s leaking the news? Or is this just an imagination of overzealous “Senior Analysts”? What if that turns out to be another “Qadam barhao, hum tumharay sath hain”?Recommend

  • F Khan
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:21AM

    this should have been the army stance right from the beginning when the scp took up the nro case….anyway its never late to be correct yourself.


  • Kafka
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:22AM

    The Government wants to be overthrown. They have made a mess of things in the country from which it can’t get out. If the military hands them any kind of punishment, they will play the oppressed to get people’s sympathies.


  • MA
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:35AM

    Now we are getting some where with democracy, looks like the institution a.k.a Judiciary has been strengthened :)

    Bring back all the looted money asap!!!


  • xasan
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:42AM

    i m sick of this news etc gov should be kicked out on 16th enuff of this derama


    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:48AM

    ” . . . if the Supreme Court directs the army for any assistance, we are legally bound to respond to that “

    Dear Mr. Kayani, does the same apply in Missing Persons case ?


  • Usman Ayub
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:49AM

    at Last


  • Ishtiaer hussain
    Jan 13, 2012 - 12:01PM

    The generals, the judges and the journalists (and yes, to some extent, the politicians) are the prime villains in the high drama of destroying Pakistan. In our country, only the politicians are made to pay for their corruption or mistakes. Nobody dare to ask generals, judges and journalists about their wrongdoings. Do generals, judges and journalists inherit some specials genes or DNA which make them pious and stop them from corruption or crimes? Recommend

  • Mubashir
    Jan 13, 2012 - 12:04PM

    We have tried everything else… it is time to support the rule of Law.


  • Tahir
    Jan 13, 2012 - 12:04PM

    The stage is set…..


  • Syed Imran
    Jan 13, 2012 - 12:07PM

    Great News


  • Javed
    Jan 13, 2012 - 12:20PM

    Judicial coup on its way…….


  • Feroz
    Jan 13, 2012 - 12:35PM

    Whether the Army is throwing its weight behind the Judiciary or the Judiciary throwing its weight behind the Army is debatable. Who cares for the Constitution ?


  • Jp
    Jan 13, 2012 - 12:38PM

    Be good boys & keep quiet


  • Chacha
    Jan 13, 2012 - 12:41PM

    It is so amazing that given a choice between the constitution and democracy, the constitution is being chosen. However if democracy is given a go by then of what value is the constitution ?

    Pakistan public is so blind in its dislike of the present government that they are ready to give thier own freedom.

    Democracy is not for Pakistan, it cannot flourish there, if the army does not prevent it, then the courts will prevent it, and if the courts do not prevent it, then the people will prevent it


  • Irtiza
    Jan 13, 2012 - 12:47PM

    The forces are supposed to be under the civil government and their stance truly shows that they are abive law. I fully enodrse the views of Ishtiaer hussain. God save this country.


  • Deepu
    Jan 13, 2012 - 12:48PM

    Pakistan might be the only democracy in the world with little control over its army.


  • Rizwan
    Jan 13, 2012 - 12:52PM

    The Army should stand by the Judiciary for the enforcement of law in Pakistan .Good decision


  • Muhammad
    Jan 13, 2012 - 12:57PM

    our army had no plan in 1948 for Kashmir, lost Siachen, lost east Pakistan, lost war to surprise in 65, failed in Kargil, sheltered Osama, slept through Merhan base attack, could not protect its airspace.

    Now we the people need to repeat how many time it planned and successfully captured Islamabad?

    Once again they are planning capture of islamabad!


  • Jan 13, 2012 - 1:05PM

    That’s More Like It !!


  • Shahid Malik
    Jan 13, 2012 - 1:16PM

    It is an open secret that our Generals are indulging in politics. This is against their oath. I wonder if Supreme Court has the guts to take notice of this grave violation.


  • mahmutmaha
    Jan 13, 2012 - 1:21PM

    army commanders need to be educated they are unaccountable to the people and can never be the executive. only parliament, in its full deficient glory can take that role.

    if they want to be executive, let them contest in the forthcoming elections.


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 13, 2012 - 2:29PM

    The Army should not become a party in the ongoing politics in the country.

    Let the Supreme Court decide the fate of the cases and the government is bound to obey the orders of the Supreme Court.

    It is not a matter of Executive or the Judiciary, but it is matter of the principles and how to put the wrong things right.


  • Zafar
    Jan 13, 2012 - 2:29PM

    It would have been great for army to seek guidance from the apex court on submitting ones replies in individual capacities. As such there should not be any question on it but let it be spoken loudly in interpreting the law. In this way the army will not only gain respect but also a space at people’s heart which it almost lost during its role in fighting a controversial war. Let it be a precedent for all Govt. official to act in the aid of Supreme court.


  • bhai
    Jan 13, 2012 - 3:15PM

    sensible decision by the army!


  • Jan 13, 2012 - 3:33PM

    @Ishtiaer hussain

    “to some extent, the politicians”

    you got to be kidding. Dont be emotional. As far as matter of journalists is concerned, Pakistan is among the countries of highest killing rate of journalists.


  • Muhammad Arshad
    Jan 13, 2012 - 3:40PM

    In the history of Pakistan this is the first time that we are feeling change… for better Pakistan. Now supreme court is independent, army is not considering coup, media is independent, corruption near to death and young generation is coming up for a new Pakistan.

    Now army should stand in behind the support of supreme court and court should capture corrupt politicians, dis-qualify current prime minister and president and order for new fair & free general elections before senate elections, also army must support for the surety of fair & free elections.


  • Z Khan
    Jan 13, 2012 - 4:11PM

    Another bouncer by the army to test the limits of each other.Sanity appears to be missing all over. God may save the country and the nation.


  • Azam Bilal Habib
    Jan 13, 2012 - 4:55PM

    So finally the bully have taken refuge behind the bullied institution. I don;t know how the judiciary will act but it will have long impact in already a very turbulent history of Pakistan. I hope that the President,Prime Minister, Chief Justice and the Army Chief understands what each institution is meant for and act accordingly.


  • Sachal Sarmast
    Jan 13, 2012 - 4:56PM

    Such statement is uncalled for. Pakistan never gained independence from colonial inheritance. The mindset and the boiling mental-pot have always been there against its own people.
    We have lost 64 years. Absolute majority of People have been and are still languishing at animal level. Still we do not blame ourselves. Main culprits are bureaucrats mainly those in uniform with slave and parochial mentality. Yet superior judiciary except the incumbent has done more harm than generals. They have betrayed their conscience, God, constitution and the people.
    Even though, present government is extremely inefficient and even corrupt- and Mr. Zardari is able to outmaneuver many a smart and is disliked accordingly , however, that does not justify to repeat the crime with full force or in a moderate manner.
    Wake up please! Rise to the occasion.


  • Anoni
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:01PM

    It a good thing they now admire constitution . Wonder what took them so long to learn ?


  • Asad
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:11PM

    It’s good to see the army is not preparing a coup. Off course some would argue that they are strangled in the other issues and can’t handle this mess right now. But still the ppp’s govt should have taken advantage of this and strengthen democracy not there bank accounts!!!!!!!!!! Please stop looting the country’s money


  • moeed
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:19PM

    this time i am on the army’s side


  • akhan
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:20PM

    Very sensible, let the SC decide the final verdict on NRO and if they want Army to help them, let it be…


  • saeed ahmad
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:20PM

    Sad to discover that even your paper is also busy in making score in public’s eye by publishing materials that is doubtful and based on guesswork

    Whoever supplied the given photo on top of this page was foolish and is certainly not working in your paper’s best interest. This photo comes from some low level / unit level presentation event, likes of what happen almost on daily basis, around the year.

    Please exercise some caution…Recommend

    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:29PM

    Good News !! Army should stand behind the Judiciary and kick out these corrupt peoples. PPP , PML (N) , ANP , JUI – F , MQM , PML (Q)….


  • Salman
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:33PM

    @Ishtiaer hussain:
    yes; i can tell u that Generals hav special genes, n they acquire it after giving life to hardwork,,, my dear, no one gives them power in Charity. threre are only two things,,, u dont have Army, or, when u have army, they cant b treated like Sui Gas Department,,,, HAVE FUN


  • dv sikka
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:38PM

    The fact is that Pakistan has not been destroyed so far is because of its military. They have consistently been loyal. Their joining hands with judiciary to get rid of corrup politicians is a good and welcome step.


  • Paki-Australian
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:38PM

    Some respect for the constitutionally elected Govt. would be appreciated!


  • Ahsan Raza
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:47PM

    Pakistan needs a system of Checks and Balances . All the People who have the audacity to defend this Government’s right to loot should get their heads check.


  • Uza Syed
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:54PM

    They should do what their job is—make sure no such incidents recursion of any Abbotabads or Mehran Gate, no killing of Saleem Shahzads. Period. Someone must remind them all such gestures amount to interference in affairs of the state beyond and above their limited job description. Moreover showing contempt to their civilian employers tentamounts to treason and they ought to know the consequences of mutinous behaviour while in uniform—-if not—–I’ll give them a quick ‘refresher’ one more time. If they don’t mend their ways, heads would roll and it’d be their.


  • Eyes wide shut
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:08PM

    As much as we love democracy, we can’t afford a LootMart in the the centre and Ittefaq Superstore in Punjab. It’s a Dillemma for GHQ. Damned if they do something; damned if they don’t. Inaction could ruin the country. Action would destroy the system. May God show them the light. PMLN top guns in style. PPP top guns loot in-your-face. How much tolerance is the 4 star General is supposed to have????? Democracy must prevail. But what would you do if the country goes bankrupt and the people can’t eat?


  • zubair rabbni
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:52PM

    That is change historically in Pakistan judiciary behind the Army and we hope one day army will behind the parliament and parliament behind the judiciary. that is called magic of democracy.


  • Umer
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:50PM

    Whether we call it army behind judiciary or call it judiciary behind army; it amounts to same thing. The stronger party army will get its way.


  • salman
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:58PM

    It is nice that army is following the legal path.


  • Shyam
    Jan 14, 2012 - 5:53PM

    If the army stuck to their job i.e. defending Pakistan, they probably might do a better job of it than they have in the past


  • Ahmer Ali
    Jan 15, 2012 - 11:13AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.The more and more time PPP’s government shall waste to resolve this issue by using delaying and useless tactics especially to secure and save leadership and creating conflicts and confrontations with the judiciary and army then the more and more chances of any mishap or military coup ant day any time shall rise.


  • hamid
    Jan 28, 2012 - 3:33AM

    @Ishtiaer hussain:

    Well said Mr Ishtiar.


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