The people of Swat may be delighted but they also have many expectations from the incoming Chief Justice of Pakistan, the “jus soli” Justice Nasirul Mulk, who takes oath on Sunday, July 6.
Justice Nasir, who was born on August 17, 1950, in Swat Valley, belongs to a notable and influential family. He is the son of Kamran Khan, a former senator, and nephew of Chacha Karim Baksh, a renowned social worker in Swat.
His brothers also have public careers – one sibling Shujaul Mulk is a former senator and the other Rafiul Mulk is a former tehsil nazim.
Justice Nasir completed his bar at law from Inner Temple, London, and was called to the bar in 1977.
Before he was designated as a senior justice of the Supreme Court in 2005, he was the chief justice of the Peshawar High Court. He also served as the acting chief election commissioner from November 2013 until July this year.
Many people in Swat are excited about Justice Nasir taking charge as the country’s custodian of justice as “it proves that the people of the valley are educated and not extremist”.
“The news is really a refreshing one for Swat as the Taliban takeover scarred the valley. The world knew Swat not for its beauty, but for terrorism. But in reality, the people of Swat are educated and peace loving, and we hope Justice Nasir will herald a new era,” Abdul Basir, resident of Matta told The Express Tribune.
The Swat Valley is known for its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. However, from 2007 till 2009, the valley was in the grip of insurgency where Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s Swat chapter challenged the writ of the government and unleashed a reign of fear.
“That was a black chapter in the history of Swat. We are a people who have never thought ill of humanity and never opposed the state of Pakistan,” said Zahir Khan, a civil society member. With Justice Nasir as the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Swat will finally have its real image shown to the rest of the country.
Others claimed that the onus of fixing responsibility for the bloodshed in Swat is on the incoming chief justice as he is from the soil. He should constitute a commission to find the truth about what happened in Swat during the insurgency rule.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2014.