Institutional locus of control: Weapons alone no longer assure national security says CJ

Published: November 6, 2012
"Gone are the days when stability and
security of the country was defined in terms of number of missiles and tanks available at the state’s disposal" says CJ.

"Gone are the days when stability and security of the country was defined in terms of number of missiles and tanks available at the state’s disposal" says CJ.


Underscoring and redefining the term national security, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said on Monday that the Supreme Court was the absolute authority with regards to the national interests of the state.

Asserting that weapons alone could no longer assure national security, the chief justice said: “Gone are the days when stability and security of the country was defined in terms of the number of missiles and tanks available at the state’s disposal.”

The top judge of the apex court was of the view that as guardians and protectors of the Constitution, a heavy responsibility lay upon the judges of the Supreme Court to uphold the canons of constitutional predominance and its supremacy over all other institutions and authorities.

Addressing officers of the 97th National Management Course, National School of Public Policy, Chief Justice Chaudhry stated that the concept of national security had been redefined as a polity wherein a state was bound to provide its citizens with overwhelming social security and welfare nets.

“Primarily it is the duty of the state, and to a large extent the executive, to ensure fundamental rights are not only freely available to the people but any denial of these rights is swiftly responded to.

“It is sine qua non of a truly independent and welfare state to ensure that relief is provided to the citizens at a minimum cost,” he declared.

“If the citizens of the country do not trust the system… then I am afraid the system is distorted and does not provide a level-playing field to the people to achieve in life whatever they are capable of.”

Quoting founder of the nation Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s speech to civil servants, the chief justice told future bureaucrats, “You are the servants of the state. You have nothing to do with this political party or that political party, with this government or that government. Prime ministers come, prime ministers go, but you go on.”

Regarding Supreme Court’s locus of control, he said that the courts were seized with many issues related to enforcement of constitutional provisions. “Whether it is the law and order situation in Karachi or Balochistan, the footprints of weak administration and failure of implementation of framework is… everywhere,” he said.

He told bureaucrats that no cohesive efforts were in sight to tackle mega issues within a national framework. “This institutional failure is directly linked to your ability to formulate national policies in the field of public policy.”

Quoting examples from cases of F-9 Park, law and order in Karachi and Balochistan, and Tariq Azizuddin, the chief justice said: “In all these cases the court observed that the holders of the public offices should adhere to the principle of transparency in the discharge of their duties and should refrain from implementing any order of a higher authority which is contrary to the rule and regulations.”

“It is my firm belief that unless and until we reform ourselves individually and institutionally, rise above our petty conflicts and unite our energies for the cause of our national growth, the dreams of our nation cannot be realised.”

However, he added that all was not lost yet.

“Pakistan has a vibrant media, a healthy mix of political parties jostling for political space with a common agenda of public welfare and, last but not the least, a truly independent judiciary which is geared to ensure that the twin principles of rule of law and supremacy of Constitution are enforced even if heaven may fall.”


Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2012.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (19)

  • sabi
    Nov 6, 2012 - 3:01AM

    Sir,enough of speeches let us revisit this constitution and see where it is bleeding.This constitution is meant to benefits only right wingers and there is nothing that promis freedom of speech, religion.Does this constitution gives equal rights to all it’s citizens If yes then why we have minorities on the bases of faith.Can a christian,parsi hindu.aethist,etc becomes a head of the state.This constitution says no- sorry.only for exclusive class.
    This constitution itself is bleeding how come it protect the intrests of the nation.Not possible.


  • Syme
    Nov 6, 2012 - 3:05AM

    Seem like doomsday prophesy of december 2012 is right…


  • Nadir
    Nov 6, 2012 - 3:05AM

    What you mean? We have bum!


  • imran bhatt
    Nov 6, 2012 - 5:32AM

    Rules of games sure did change. Previously we had confrontation between Army and politicians and from now on this will be three way fight among Army, judiciary and politicians.


  • Sultan Khan
    Nov 6, 2012 - 8:29AM

    Who are you Mr.PCO CJ? You are just a paid servant and getting extraordinary money and perk-ups for what you do. Your job is to decide the cases which are brought before you and no more. You could not safeguard the the interest of the nation while taking oath under PCO. You could not safeguard the “interests” of your pious son. How can you save the national interests of the nation?. It is only the people of Pakistan represented by their elected Parliament and not the paid servants who have absolute authority over their national interests but with the help of the armed forces who though must be subservient to the civilian rule but should be given due respect. America, Russia, China, India etc.are big democracies and large economies but all this is due to their military power and not judicial power. All of them give due respect and honour to their armed forces. But unfortunately a conspiracy started some years ago at international level to malign, to weaken and demoralise the Pakistan armed forces and now the local “actors” have also entered into this onslaught just to keep their name alive in talk shows.


  • Abreez
    Nov 6, 2012 - 8:58AM

    Let’s see who will be the new guest of Attock Fort or royal guest of Saudi Arabia.


  • khalid
    Nov 6, 2012 - 9:26AM

    finally someone has the courage to say what pakistan and its people deserve, social wellfare and a right to decent secure living rather than making it a military power house with nuclear arms and rockets and the army officers defining our destiny and living a life of luxury at the expence of its citizen..


  • gp65
    Nov 6, 2012 - 9:44AM

    OFcourse SIr. And where were you in October 1999 when you rubber stamped Musgarraf’s action of overthrowing an elected government and effectively trampling on the entire constitution – not just some minor section?


  • syed Imran
    Nov 6, 2012 - 9:57AM

    The CJ is becoming more and more political, which in no way in line with his designation. Its like throwing a challenge to the Army,which is unbecoming of his position.


  • khan
    Nov 6, 2012 - 10:22AM

    @Syed Imran agree with you.Recommend

  • Waheed Mazhar
    Nov 6, 2012 - 10:25AM

    The nation is already reaping dastardly crop of “strategic depth” in the form of terrorists and extremists, adopted by another institution on the similar grounds of “national interest” theory. Now, the same recipe from another institution would put the poor people out of the fire and into the frying pan. Is it not better for all the institutions to remain within their prescribed limits instead of becoming jacks of all trades….administration of justice itself is an overwhelming task which seems reeling if viewed without the spin and gloss put on it by our media using the cherry blossom polish of lawyers movement on it. The only message that all the institutions need to remember is to live within their prescribed limits and bounds of law, else enter into a new social contract by including everyone in the process, not just the two institutions.


  • A J Khan
    Nov 6, 2012 - 10:29AM

    CJ is going to wind up democracy by his adventurism.


  • M.Ahmer Ali
    Nov 6, 2012 - 11:47AM

    “Gone are the days when stability and security of the country was defined in terms of the number of missiles and tanks available at the state’s disposal.”
    Mr. CJP methinks you have to deployed on the borders instead of in the Supreme Court because your decisions can only give assurance of law and constitutional enforcements within the country but not on the borders because country’s and nation’s security is possible when your borders are strongly protected and the borders can only protected and secured by the missiles,tanks and troops not by the courts and Pakistan army is doing so more and more effectively than the democratic and judiciary systems of Pakistan……You do your duty and let do army its duties without criticizing and blaming…….
    I salute Pakistan army it…….


  • Anoni
    Nov 6, 2012 - 11:55AM

    He may be right but then again. “Justice delayed is justice denied” so the focus should be on delivering justice to common man. And that is the biggest cannon for the nation, the glue that will hold the nation together.

    And put the Ego’s to the side . As Ego’s is the root cause of any destructions. Hold true for every one in this nation.


  • Zaffar
    Nov 6, 2012 - 12:18PM

    The CJP is just doing his job and he wants others to do their job as well. He is not in the habit of taking crap from anyone. The Army Chief should also do his job and let the law take its own course. They have been protecting their interests for long time at the expense of taxpayer and USA aid.


  • Muneer
    Nov 6, 2012 - 12:37PM

    “…that the SC was the absolute authority with regards to national interests of the state…”. Nothing of the sort is mentioned in articles 184,185, and 186 of the constitution which deals with the jurisdiction of the SC. It is a self assumed proposittion of the CJ.


  • Amir
    Nov 6, 2012 - 3:16PM


    Please do not mix apple with oranges. In USA (so called owner of equality, human rights, religious freedom n what) NO Muslim can even think to become President. Pakistan is an Islamic Republic n majority are Muslims, for you to raise such a point seems out of place to the extend of stupidity, please think5 before writing something on a public forum. Tks


  • S K Afridi
    Nov 6, 2012 - 3:41PM

    He has said this so many times that one is now completely fed up with his unnecessary utterances. Apparently the PCO CJ appears to be flexing his muscle but in his own heart he knows that he is either suffering from inferiority complex or his limitations in implementation of his own judgments against the Government.


  • zohaq
    Nov 6, 2012 - 9:21PM

    If citizens who have never worn a uniform are subject to the penal code of Pakistan why are civilians who once served as Generals protected from appearing before a civil judge for a corruption trial?


More in Pakistan