Lawyers can do little if judiciary bent upon sending govt home: Asma

Published: January 13, 2012
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Former Supreme Court Bar Association president Asma Jahangir continues her criticism of the judiciary.

Former Supreme Court Bar Association president Asma Jahangir continues her criticism of the judiciary.

LAHORE: Continuing her criticism of the judiciary, former Supreme Court Bar Association president Asma Jahangir has said that there is little that lawyers can do if the institution is poised to send the government packing.

“It is difficult to run a government if civilian institutions cooperate with the establishment,” said Jahangir, who had refused to represent former Pakistan ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani when the Supreme Court decided to investigate the Memogate scandal itself.

“Memogate is being made a larger issue than it is. It was not a public issue before the Inter-Services Intelligence chief met Mansoor Ijaz. There is no a single message in Haqqani’s BlackBerry which mentions the memo,” she told reporters at the District and Sessions Court in Lahore on Friday. “It appears that judges are playing the role of lawyers in the Memogate case,” she told The Express Tribune later.

Blaming the government for strengthening the establishment, she said that Memogate as well as the National Reconciliation Ordinance should be debated in parliament.

When asked if the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s new-found glory was the establishment’s doing, she said that the establishment had always supported a segment of politicians. “It had formulated one such segment in 1985 and now it needs another,” she said.

Talking about the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s role in ensuring the government’s chances of completing its tenure, she said the party’s decision will be vital.

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Reader Comments (51)

  • AQ
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:41PM

    No one cared about you for being human rights activist, no one cared when you were supreme court bar president, no one cared when you turned against lawyers and in favour of PPP, and now one cares what you have to say now. I always thought lawyers always talk logic in everything, you seem to have none. Recommend

  • Mubashir
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:41PM

    Ms. Asma is a learned lady.. yet I don’t understand why she supports a corrupt and inept Government.. even at the expense of her country.

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  • Saleem
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:45PM

    Rather than bad mouthing all the time it will be better if Asma Jahangir make her useful and do something constructive. Now that she has chosen to sit in PPP lap I wonder what she has to say about PPP Human Rights record, corruption in PIA, Railways, Rental Power Plants, Steel Mill, Fertilizer, Haj scandal, …………

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:49PM

    Judges are made out of lawyers.

    Asma knows better about her job.

    I am amazed as why Asma has not applied to become a Judge when the country provides equal opportunity to men and women in employment.

    And had she would have been a Judge of Supreme Court, she would have been of the same opinion?

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  • Stupid
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:56PM

    She is the only ‘man’ in Pakistan that stood firm on principles, from the whole lot of generals, judges, journalists and politicians. You could disagree what she says, you cannot rule out her voice, the brave voice of her conscious. I know it is too much in the land of hypocrites, just try to bear

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  • Fida Muhammad
    Jan 13, 2012 - 9:04PM

    I think that Asma Jehangir has lost credibility by issuing such senseless statements. It proves only one thing that she is showing more loyalty to his party, this good for nothing govt and Zardari rather than the state, rule of law and constitutionalism. To her perhaps PPP govt, Pm and president are above law; and beyond the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. The present govt blatantly made a mockery of SC orders and decisions in so many cases to conceal corruption either of their own or their cronies.
    I think that she is forgetting or perhaps turning a blind eye towards extra-ordinary restraint and patience shown by the Supreme Court and its honourable judges in the wake of humiliation, ridicule and disrespect which has become a hallmark of the present regime. If Haqqani is not involed, why is she so worried? It shows that her client is involved in the memo scandal that is why he has refused to waive his privacy rights. Another interesting aspect of the issue is worth mentioning; haqqani stated before the memo commission that he using a new BlackBerry as he left his BlacBerries in Washington and it is difficult to locate them while Ms Asma is aying that there is no a single message in Haqqani’s BlackBerry which mentions the memo.

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  • menteliscio
    Jan 13, 2012 - 9:09PM

    In a good scenario the establishment should have support of civil institutions especially when the main objective is to make the judiciary strong. I may be a layman compared to her but I think all the mess is in front of us. NRO, NS Deal, etc, they deserve to have same fate as Musharraf for bot abiding the law. Asma should think above her political and ideological affiliations, its not about her or PPP, its about the apex court of our country and a case of corrupt government.

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  • Khan
    Jan 13, 2012 - 9:12PM

    “Memogate is being made a larger issue than it is” true.. but NRO is NOT serious judicial case????

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  • Umer
    Jan 13, 2012 - 9:14PM

    @AQ:

    No one cared about you for being human
    rights activist, no one cared when you
    were supreme court bar president,

    I do. Always did. Speak for yourself.

    I always thought lawyers always talk
    logic in everything, you seem to have
    none.

    Show me one person who has more logic than her consistently.

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  • KiJ
    Jan 13, 2012 - 9:15PM

    Unfortunately the current Gov has lost its credibility… why is shy or scared to hold early elections? Let the people decided thru fresh, free and fair election to ascertain what they really want…

    Asma Jahangir’s comments and beliefs don’t hold water under current circumstances…

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  • Sindhvoice
    Jan 13, 2012 - 9:18PM

    She is iron lady. Some short sighted people can understand her wisdom. At this time, she is standing by democracy and civilian set up. People are caught up in memo frenzy created by media through backing from Establishment. It is pity that some fingers are also pointing towards Judiciary for their possible stand in support of Establishment. In this war of institution, powerful will win over others but Pakistan will loose.

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  • Fahad Raza
    Jan 13, 2012 - 9:20PM

    Like we didn’t know wher her loyalties lie. Just picture this for a moment What if it was any other party but PPP what would be her stance. And besides her case for Haqqani is done she has lost so why still cry get over with it with and this sorry rant of how endangered is the Present Government should cease..

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  • Sindhvoice
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:03PM

    correction: Some short sighted people can NOT understand her wisdom.

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  • Nishaa
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:05PM

    thank you ma’am one person who is not deluded by the shallow show of ‘justice’, this country blindly follows whatever is being fed to them. so much for doing justice, missing person, the lawyers who were burnt during the lawyers movement, where did all those impending cases go ? it seems like bureaucrats and politicians are the only corrupt people in this country, i wonder how come all the judges and the generals are so honest? hmm.

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  • Jpy
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:11PM

    Truth is always bitter. And Asma always fight for that. Thats why she is always disliked Whether anybody likes it or not in a democracy parliament is supreme and no democratic govt can surrender this authority to any other institution. If there is serious allegation against the govt only people can pack them thro election. There is no other short cut

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  • Khalid Faiz
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:17PM

    I am sure Asma shall fight even for their right when they will be in hot water . I salute her courage to fight for oppressed.Recommend

  • Err What?
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:33PM

    Actually Asma, you are in the minority, dont you remember how Gillani was recently booed down at the Lahore Bar Association Annual Dinner recently. It is a sign of how disappointed the legal fraternity is with the government’s open contempt for the court. It’s not just the memogate, the government has in the past 4 years defied each and every judgement of the court and openly protected plunderers of state institutions.
    Sad Asma is squandering her reputation because of this corrupt undeserving government.

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  • Ali Wazir
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:38PM

    ” National Reconciliation Ordinance should be debated in parliament.” Is she referring to the same parliament that got elected based on NRO??? Lol does any one takes this lady serious, any more…..

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  • Hafeez
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:42PM

    She has the wisdom to see beyond the facade and she has the courage to speak out about it. This makes her a formidable lady. No matter how corrupt a government is, it has the right to complete its tenure, except, ofcourse if it sent packing through a political process.Let the democracy take roots and then gradually the corruption will reduce.

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  • Umer
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:53PM

    @AQ:

    No one cared about you for being human
    rights activist

    No wonder therefore that human rights situation is what it is right now. People failed to listen to her then and have now paid with their lives and property and the lives of their children. One would have thought that people would have learned by now but no.

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  • Sajida
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:53PM

    She is debasing herself and misidentifying the issue. Recommend

  • AnisAqeel
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:55PM

    Bravo Asma as usual, but you have been fighting a war against judges, lawyers and establishment who have degrees and are literate but are ignorant or biased. Standerds of our literates can be seen where lawyers support and applause murderers and judges keep quiate and where decisions are made before the courts start hearing a case. There is no law and order mainly all concerned axceed their boundries and ‘might’ wins and any body can guess that in Pakistan ‘might’ is the most legal instrument.

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  • Sajida
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:55PM

    @Sindhvoice. PPP doesn’t stand for democracy. It also doesn’t believe in democracy as its behavior in local government issue clearly reveals.PPP is just one political party.
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  • ZUBAIR
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:56PM

    @Jpy:
    Asma is fighting for Truth?? She is actually fighting for NRO based Govt. She is fighting against the unearthing of Truth. She is fighting in favor of Corrupt. In a truly democratic country, Judiciary is always respected and it is always supreme, so that Justice can be ensured. But She has been continuously speaking against Judiciary in a baseless way. She claims that she is activist but she favor an Inhuman law i.e. NRO. She favors modern society rules but she opposes Judiciary when it gives decision against an unjust rule i.e. NRO.

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  • Amjad
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:57PM

    Asma is our last hope, may God keep her safe.

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  • Arfana
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:01PM

    Agreed, this reincarnation of molvi mushtaque,..

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  • Mirza
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:16PM

    The current govt was elected in an election held under gen. Mush and the voter’s lists were prepared under the military govt not PPP. The govt was elected with a heavy mandate and by all provinces.
    Yet after four years somehow they are “delegitimized” in every way as if they came to power like Mush. Why these forces cannot wait another year or an early elections after the voter’s lists are ready to satisfy PTI demand? The new elections can be held as soon as the voter’s lists are final to opposition’s satisfaction. If PPP uses the old Mush’s lists it would be blamed for fraud.
    Like Asma, I am not supporting PPP or any other party but democratic process. There is a difference between these two. Please do not throw the baby with bath water. If any other party were in power our stand would have been the same. Just like when the judges and their families were in detention we were with them against Mush. Now the same lawyers have heros like Qadri and not Asma, says it all.

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  • Umer
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:30PM

    @KiJ:

    Unfortunately the current Gov has lost
    its credibility…

    What is the way to get rid of it? A military coup disguised as a judicial judgment? No. That would strengthen establishment even more. This is the gist of the matter which most commentators here are unable to comprehend. Current government will go in a year if voters do not want it but any wrong precedence set will not leave us that easily. Plenty of wrong precedences are already hounding this country. Time to stop taking short cuts which actually make it harder and take longer for people to reach to their goals. This is the difference of understanding between the wise and the shallow.

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary [and in our case only assumed] Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety — Benjamin Franklin

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  • Truth matters
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:32PM

    In this country one yearns for an independent and honest opinion – everyone who is anyone is clearly aligned with one form or another of the loot brigade including law supremo Asma. The economic fabric in everysense is folding so quickly just watch how this whole provinces issue is going to be the next big divide

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  • Umar Akbar
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:42PM

    She has a strange expression on her face in the photo

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  • Jan 13, 2012 - 11:51PM

    No body has given the Government the Mandate of digracing the Pakistan and what to talk about the Court, even lay man will hurdle in the way of Government and will show his/her displeasure in coming general election by voting agaisnt PPP.

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  • salman
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:51PM

    The problem with Asma is that she is anti army no matter what.Her present stance against SC in the memo case has no legal standing but she is standing on her so called principles and in her hatred against army she is trying to cut the tree on which she is sitting

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  • SimHum
    Jan 14, 2012 - 12:02AM

    @Umer:

    Yes only Babar Awab makes more sense than her. She is just trying to stay in the news and now crying foul play since she lost Haqqanis case than went on to say that since she lost the case judiciary is biased. With each passing day she is turning out to be a sore loser.

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  • F Khan
    Jan 14, 2012 - 12:14AM

    Her vitriol against the SC after losing her poorly-argued case was nauseating. She should be disbarred.

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  • asma@london
    Jan 14, 2012 - 12:52AM

    @AQ:
    Pakistanis like yourself can never think straight and with logic…they love anything that is against any civilian government…..they have little patience….they always think grass is greener on the other side…. and the amazing part of it all is all those who criticise have at some time of their lives committed an illegal act and also exploited the loopholes in our law. Asma speaks the truth that is bitterly bitter and not meant for characters with weak hearts and low intelligence!!!! Only far sighted and those with political minds can do…

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  • curious1
    Jan 14, 2012 - 2:13AM

    @AnisAqeel:
    Absolutely, might is right and some leaders sell for too short just to climb on the band wagon. We do not need short cuts rather let the PPP complete the cycle and throw them out if people don’t want or impeach them or bring a vote of no confidence but do not strengthen the dictators on the door.

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  • Amjad
    Jan 14, 2012 - 2:56AM

    Its pathetic to read the comments against Asma.

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  • Faisal
    Jan 14, 2012 - 3:03AM

    once a sensible cannot always be sensible and vice versa..
    Asma is no diffferent… she is defending a Govt which is the most corrupt and it’s allies have alreday killed thousands of innocent people.

    Enough of this word ” Democracy” show us some now…

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  • Mir
    Jan 14, 2012 - 3:19AM

    I am amazed to see many people here who are so biased towards PPP that they dont acknowledge Asma as human rights activist and a true democrat. She is one of our asset and a voice for voiceless. Nobody can deny her sacrifices and accomplishments.

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  • Questioner
    Jan 14, 2012 - 3:37AM

    Excuse me madam! Can we get Haqqani’s BB PIN? Why don’t you let court see them?

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  • Meengla
    Jan 14, 2012 - 3:45AM

    @Asma@london,
    I wish I ‘Recommend’ you a thousand times! In a spiritual way I do. Yes, you are exactly right. These same people berating Asma Jehangir are the short-sighted populace who have made Pakistani situation so bad.

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  • Salman
    Jan 14, 2012 - 3:46AM

    Her hatred against Army is well known and she tries to grasp any single opportunity to malign Army but most of the times all in vain. She has reasons to do so and at times I do stand behind her but now she is really getting off load here. First from no where, she took the case of HH to take on the army once again but once she analyzed that its a lost cause she chickened out and blabbering against the institution whom she is part of it herself. She needs to come out of her army hatred to be more credible. People wont buy her side of the story most of the times than.

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  • Imran
    Jan 14, 2012 - 4:13AM

    People like atizaz hasan n asma janghir are all part of one culture, which is the elite culture. They have a feudal mindset n no one from a feudalistic background can ever be sincere to the masses n the vulnerable ppl of the society. Why should they care if an average pakistani cant get gas, electric, water, education, free health n education? Because asma n the elite have all these services 24 hours a day n they can afford to live a luxury lifestyle. I really feel sorry for the state of poor pakistanis and i thank god that i was born in england n that my parents migrated in the 70’s. Alhamdulilah

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  • Hamid
    Jan 14, 2012 - 4:23AM

    Asma, be a lawyer, not a Quaid.

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  • Adil Q
    Jan 14, 2012 - 5:49AM

    @asma@london:

    Unbelievable! When I see PPP and it’s supporters defending their actions in the name of democracy, it really sticks in my throat. “Pakistanis like yourself can never think straight and with logic”? Really? I have to be really careful with my words here because most of my comments do not pass moderation test because when I think of actions of this corrupt to the teeth government, it makes my blood boil and I go out of control. Do these people have fear of anyone? Have you ever seen audacious behaviour of their ministers defending actions of their masters? Start from Hajj scam, NICL, OGDC Chairman appointment, Monis Ilahi son acquittal after Chaudhrys joined allies, poverty, corruption, this memogate row and so much more.. Do you really want to defend this govt? I don’t know how these people sleep at night. Just think… sit alone some time and think. If Pakistan was your father, mother, brother or sister, would you let someone do this to Pakistan? No? I thought so. This beloved country is more sacred than our families. Get out of this PPP, Muslim League and other party mindset. Speak for your country and what’s best for the country and these corrupt politicians!

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  • tariq
    Jan 14, 2012 - 6:08AM

    The boogy man. “Establishment” everyone blames it, but no one can say what it is and if it does why dont they tell us what it is. If all else fails blame the establishment for power losses, for Airlines not working, for corruption, for gas shortages and now for memogate. Why dont these people be positive and actually fix things

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  • tariq
    Jan 14, 2012 - 6:10AM

    Why does Asma not tell the public how much she got paid to say all this. lawyers will say anything for money.

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  • Jpy
    Jan 14, 2012 - 11:49AM

    @ZUBAIR:

    Again you are wrong. She is not fighting for NRO backed govt of Zardari. She is basically fighting for a legitemately elected peoples govt. No court has ever dismissed any govt in any civilian setup just because of corruption charges. There are other means like mass protest, mass resignations of the MNA’s etc. Not thro the shoulders of other institutions which will only weaken civilian supermacy. As far as Asma’s credentials are concerned she does not require anybody’s certificate for that matter. If you go thro her biodata you can see how much she has stuggled for the civil libery of common man & how much she is respected the world over

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  • shoaib mir
    Jan 14, 2012 - 4:13PM

    @ “Asma, be a lawyer, not a Quaid.” – Hamid

    Attorney General M A Haque asked: “in which case I may appear on 16 Jan – the memo or the NRO?” as the next hearing for both cases fall on the same date “or change the date” he pleaded. For the record the CJP reportedly said: “both are important, it’s for you to decide!!” My word, this man doesn’t deserve to be an additional district and sessions judge!

    I say, Chaudhry, be a judge, not a politician!

    What’s the hurry, why this indecent haste? You retire in 2013 and have to wait another two mandatory years before you can entertain your hypothetical desire to become President and that too if the three provinces other than Punjab vote for you! Highly unlikely, looking at your ‘performance.’ However, three years is a long time and anything can happen in Pakistan.

    Asma J. has never aligned herself with any political party unlike most of the lawyers who openly sloganeer for their political party heads. Her unmistakable credentials are based on her brave and courageous espousal of human rights; and her well known stance for a democratic, liberal, secular, pluralistic Pakistan that is free from all discriminations based on gender, colour, caste and creed. For this, she is universally acknowledged and duly decorated by world bodies which are non-political in nature.

    Asma is the Pride of Pakistan.Recommend

  • explorer
    Jan 14, 2012 - 6:06PM

    @shoaib mir”I say, Chaudhry, be a judge, not a politician!” yes indeed it looks as if judiciary is been politicised and biased, as they give political observations during hearings. Its strange how both the cases marked with high importance involving AG in both put for hearing on same date??? Study must be conducted on instability and resulting losses to both economy and justice for all since judiciary movement started till now, and whether honourable justices are also responsible or not. I feel that judiciary may have role in instability in Pakistan. Justice should start from home, no favours only merit, no matter how some person, thing etc is dear to someone. yes 2 years rest after retirement before starting a political career.

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  • Khurram
    Jan 16, 2012 - 3:46PM

    If CJ really wants to bring change in System he better should start from home one simple and eye opener example is check it out the lower courts system corruption still on its peak. ZERO improvement since March 2009 to-date. This proves that after the great struggle of lawyer’s moment still need of HAJMOLA to get out of PCO’s side effectsRecommend

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