At Jang Group there are many conspiracy theorists, the chief of them all, Ansar Abbasi beats them all. A revolutionary journalist in the real sense, he is trying his best to save Pakistan from “crupshion”, and bring in “gud governance”. His love for Jihadis, Taliban is well known while he is also the leader of the Janisaran-e-Iftikhar in the media. In his yet another investigative report, titled “A get-CJ Iftikhar operation on the cards?”, he has done the same thing – call up political party representatives, tell them of a “plan” which may be a figment of his constipated thinking and then get a view which is off course in denial of the plan. If I were the Information Minister and it is likely that my government will be a beneficiary of a “sinister plan”, would I be admitting “yes, we are plotting to remove the CJ!”
He called Farhatullah Babar, the Spokesman of the President House to ask about the “plan”, then called Qamar Zaman Kaira, then Ahsan Iqbal, then Farooq Sattar, then Zahid Khan and then Molana Amjad of JUI-F to inquire about they knew of the plan and would they support it! I never thought Ansar Abbasi would act like a questioner from these news channels who don’t even know what they are thinking about.
But then off course, he had to call up his erstwhile pal, Qazi Anwar who has clearly said “something is said to have already been received by President Zardari against the chief justice”. Now what is that something, both Ansar and Qazi don’t even know. And then Babar Awan had to be involved and by including Asma Jahangir’s candidature for SCBA president the plot has somehow been transformed into a story.
Great investigative work. Well done Ansar!
A get-CJ Iftikhar operation on the cards?
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Kaira rejects any move, political leaders show lack of knowledge
By Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: The Presidency has launched a covert operation to target Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry with clear signs that the massive government funds being doled out to lawyers and the highly dubious appointment of an ordinary lawyer as federal law secretary are part of this larger agenda, it is learnt.
Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, however, categorically denied this and termed it baseless and speculative, insisting that publication of such a story without concrete proofs would lead to confusion and misunderstandings.
Sources confided to The News that the Presidency is desperate to effectively target the chief justice and possibly remove him for which the groundwork has already started and things are expected to mature after the Supreme Court hands down its decision on the 18th Amendment.
Feeling insecure from a fiercely independent judiciary because of their tainted past, President Asif Ali Zardari and a group of his advisers, including a few federal ministers, all of whom have their personal grudge against the judiciary, have chalked out this strategy to muster much-required support of political and legal fraternity to target the top judge. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is also said to be on-board.
Sure to win the support of all its coalition partners, including the ANP, the MQM and the JUI-F, all of them not too happy with the independent judiciary because of its decisions affecting them and their leaders, the PPP is also confident to take the PML-N on-board.
After reading and hearing the anti-judiciary sentiments of certain PML-N leaders, the sources said, the Presidency is desirous to see the apex court striking down any part of the 18th Amendment so that the PML-N’s support could also be won to target Justice Iftikhar-led superior judiciary.
Presidency spokesman Farhatullah Babar was simply inaccessible as he neither attended this correspondent’s phone calls nor responded to the SMS message conveying the question on the issue.
Information Minister Qamaruzzaman Kaira, however, when approached categorically denied this and asked how the PPP government, which gave its blood during the judicial movement and restored the judges through an executive order, could even think of targeting any of the judges.
“Neither there is any such thinking nor it will happen,” he said, adding that the PPP, the government or the Presidency have nothing against any judge. The information minister said the government respects the judges and the courts and is obeying their orders and directions. He said there is no issue of President Asif Ali Zardari as the 18th Amendment was passed by parliament.
PML-N spokesman Ahsan Iqbal, however, emphatically said that his party, which has paid a heavy price for the restoration of the independent judiciary, would not let any attempt aimed at attacking it succeed.
Denying that any of the PML-N leaders was approached even informally by the government for supporting the get-Justice Iftikhar operation, Ahsan Iqbal apprehended that the government was trying to deflect the NRO issue by preparing grounds for a bigger controversy, or a battle between the judiciary and parliament.
He said the PML-N owns the 18th Amendment and defends it too but would give its response on the court decision only after it is be handed down and reviewed by the party. The sources, however, said some of the PML-N leaders have even assured the PPP men to stand with parliament in case of the striking down of any of the constitutional amendments. In such a situation, the government plans to move a resolution in parliament in favour of the 18th Amendment and against the apex court.
Similar resolutions, the sources said, are expected to be moved and adopted in the provincial assemblies, including the Punjab, provided the PML-N gets on-board. The induction of Babar Awan’s junior as law secretary is also part of the impending get-Justice Iftikhar operation. The sources said Zardari’s confidants are also contemplating filing a formal reference before the Supreme Judicial Council against the chief justice.
About the grounds of such a reference, nothing could be ascertained by this correspondent except that the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Qazi Anwar, revealed to The News something is said to have already been received by President Zardari against the chief justice.
Qazi said he has recently hinted at a possible attack on the superior judiciary following the prime minister’s repeated statements that the judges were restored through his executive order, which could be withdrawn, and that the restoration was not the consequence of the long march.
“These statements are not meaningless,” he said but resolved that the lawyers’ fraternity and the people of Pakistan would not let the government attack the independent judiciary.
Only recently Dr Abdul Basit, the then counsel of the Federation representing in the 18th Amendment case, had talked of moving a reference against the chief justice. Basit, however, was removed from the panel because he had thrice changed his statements about the authority, who had directed him to object to the inclusion of the chief justice in the 17-member bench hearing the case.
He initially named the president, then talked of Salman Farooqi and later said that the strategy was decided in the law minister’s office.
Meanwhile, the sources said the Presidency also wants the PML-N to realise that with the kind of the judiciary that exists in Pakistan right now, no government could function freely. The PML-N, it is said, will also be made to realise that its leadership too has pending corruption cases in the superior judiciary, which might create problems for them too.
The PPP is, however, confident of winning the support of its coalition partners. The MQM, which has not shown any sign of defiance against the judiciary, is expected to join the government’s move. Senior MQM leader Farooq Sattar, when approached told The News that no one from the government or Presidency has contacted his party for any such move against the chief justice.
Sattar said if the government contacts the MQM in this respect in the future, the party would take the issue to its Rabita Committee and would take a decision accordingly keeping in view the overall situation. The MQM though never supported the NRO whether inside parliament or before the apex court, its annulment led to opening up of almost 8,000 criminal cases against the MQM leaders and workers. Of late, the Supreme Court had sought from the provincial authorities, including the Sindh government, an update about such cases.
ANP spokesman Zahid Khan told The News that neither he was aware of any such development nor his party leadership was contacted by the government or the Presidency with such a proposal.
Answering a question as to what would be the stance of the ANP if the government sought its support for such a move, he said he couldn’t respond to hypothetical questions.
JUI-F spokesman Maulana Ajmad when contacted said he is not aware of any such move and is hearing it from The News for the first time. He, however, committed to get back to The News on the issue after talking to his party’s top leadership.
Meanwhile, the government has also pinned high hopes on Asma Jehangir, who is contesting for the office of the president SC Bar Association. Though she is an independent candidate and highly respected, the government is supporting her with great hopes.