KARACHI: The Supreme Court Bar Association on Saturday advised the superior courts to promote judicial activism in the interest of the masses, president Qazi Muhammad Anwar said here.
“Judicial activism is the only way to provide swift justice to people, as the formal legal procedure is complicated, costly and time consuming,” he said.
Anwar told a press conference after presiding over a bar association meeting that the country’s rulers were on a collision course with the judiciary. “Nothing can be saved if institutions collide,” he said.
He claimed that a few individuals were encouraging this clash of institutions just for their petty egos. He said the National Reconciliation Ordinance was an agreement amongst a few ‘crooks’ to safeguard their vested interests and conceal their crimes. He said the Supreme Court (SC) had declared the NRO null and void, but the ruling junta was still not ready to reopen the cases of the NRO beneficiaries, including graft-related Swiss cases.
Anwar said he had opposed the controversial ordinance from day one and parted ways with the Pakistan Peoples Party, despite an association of 38 years. He said the present rulers wanted to give the NRO the shape of an act through a parliament bill, but thanks to the opposition of Muttahida Qaumi Movement this nefarious design had failed.
He said at first the rulers had taken the stance that they would reopen the case after the detailed judgment of the SC, but later they said a summary was being sent to the PM for the reopening of Swiss cases. And now they have taken another somersault that no letter could be sent to the Swiss authorities for reopening the cases. Such a contemptuous attitude on the part of the rulers may lead to a clash between institutions for which the rulers themselves would be responsible.
Anwar said it was a pity that key posts were given to the most corrupt. The rulers are now saying that action in graft cases against the rulers would bring a bad name to Pakistan.
He also said that the army would not support corruption, as it was the army that had approved the arrest and deportation of its own ex-naval chief from America due to corruption and graft charges.
Anwar condemned the attitude of rulers towards the verdicts of courts. He said if anyone wants ‘respect’, he should obey the rule of law and accept that no one is above the law.
He took a dim view of the harsh sentence given to Dr Aafia Siddiqui by a US court. “Why is our individual and collective conscience as a nation silent on the maltreatment of Dr Aafia, the daughter of the nation,” he asked. The bar association has already offered to defend Dr Aafia in the US on its own expenses. He said today the SCBA delegation would meet Aafia’s sister Dr Fauzia and her family.
A national seminar on human rights will be held in Islamabad on October 16. SCBA secretary general said Pakistan is virtually in a state of war. He claimed that agents of US agencies and Blackwater wanted to destabilise our country.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 26th, 2010.
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