Original Articles

Athar Minallah responds to posts on Let Us Build Pakistan


Being largely appreciative of the article of Athar Minallah titled “Who are betraying the unsung heroes of the lawyers’ movement?” that was published in The News on June 16, 2010 and also a note being posted by Fawad Manzoor titled “On Athar Minallah and the betrayal of the unsung heroes”, we decided to forward the comments to Athar Minallah on his email address that was published at the end of his article.

He has very kindly responded to the points of Fawad’s blog posting by email which is presented below.

 Dear Mr. Iqbalabadi,

At the very outset I thank you for your generous words.

I respect the views of Mr. Manzoor but do not agree or subscribe to it. I have unequivocally stated in my article that the movement was for a principle and i stand where I stood on March 9, 2007. I have never claimed to be a hero. As is apparent from my article, for me the real heroes were the young lawyers who had no expectation to appear before the CJP after his restoration. They had nothing to gain. Similarly, the youth, students, civil society members and above all the people of Pakistan are the heroes. They were with the movement for a cause and principles. Lawyers and political workers sacrificed their lives. They were selfless and patriotism was their motivating factor.

It is not fair to attribute the success of the movement to money being pumped by a particular leader. Firstly, this is not true and secondly, money can never create or sustain such a movement. By now the reality is known to all. It appears that Mr. Manzoor has not carefully read my article. I believe in a principle and have no doubts whatsoever that the movement was and continue to be a milestone in Pakistans history.

I wish Mr. Manzoor had accompanied the lawyers on thier tours through out Pakistan. He would have had a different view.

Athar Minallah


We at LUBP would like to further thank him for his kind and balanced response and invite him to share his writings on the blog.

About the author

Ahmed Iqbalabadi


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  • Thank you, Mr Minallah, for your candid response.

    In my personal view, you along with Ali Ahmed Kurd, Aitzaz Ahsan, Tariq Mehmood, Munir A Malik and a few other leaders of the lawyers movement are amongst very few honourable persons whose sincerity to the rule of law and to a democratic Pakistan is beyond any doubt.

    We may at times disagree with your point of view but we will never doubt your integrity and sincerity. Please accept this humble tribute from an ordinary Pakistani citizen.

  • Thank you Mr. Minallah & Fawad for bringing good points. Here is my take. The lawyer movement was good but the marketing thru the media was not only best but unbelieveable. Who paid for it….should not matter. Even I spent a lot of money on it. Lets analyze where we are at the moment. The lawyers supported CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry, but I would question as to why? I guess the support was to get things back on track, which the movement successfully accomplished.

    Isn’t Mr. Chaudhry a PCO Judge? It is disturbing to see the judges comments at different occassions, especially trials. It appears that they have already made up their mind regarding various verdicts, while the cases are still going thru trial. I think they are just putting dog and ponny show for the public. I also get the feeling that these judges are trying to run the government. Here is my advice to the lawyers especially Mr. Minallah. Please organize the movement again and the objective should be to remove all judges who have ever supported military rule or taken oath under PCO. Judges should be the guardians of the constitution but pakistani history shows otherwise. There are still judges in the existing supreme or high courts who have supported Musharaf. Just like NRO is history, and cases are opened against politicians. Trust me, all corrupt politicians should be barred from the politics. However, I believe there has to be a way to open cases against judges who supported dictators in their past. I would appreciate if anyone has an advice on this issue.

  • If someone have read the comments of Dr. Basit, he said that in all 17 judges, only Ch. Iftikhar and Ramdey were asking me and they forced me to reveal a civil servant’s name in an issue. Read CJ Peshawar remarks at an event at Queta. Beyond all rhetorics the lawyers movement has faced the same fate as the tehreek E nizam Mustafa ultimately had faced in the shape of Zia, a mockery to the noble principles of Islam. The currents persons in Judicial posts as CJ Chauhdry, Ramdey, Kh. shareef are a mockery to the slogans of free judiciary etc. etc. A Zia in disguise…

  • Dear Mr. Athar,

    As a Lawyer I have utmost respect for you, as a leader of lawyers movement and as a person. Similarly the honesty of Ali Ahmad Kurd, Justice Tariq Mehmood and Asima Jahangir is also above any doubt. While participating in movement, physically, by writing and by motivating others – there was a cause. The dream for having an indipendent and impartial judiciary.

    Where we have ended up is a big question mark on credibility of all of us as a community!

    Was ‘present judiciary’ which we promised to people? Not at all Sir, we promised justice and we have gave people hope – what we are witnessing is a judiciary which has allied itself with fanatics and some right-wing edia giants and playing politics.

    If we, who bring these crooks back, believing that Iftakhar Chaudhary is a changed man does failed to speak up this time – we will loose credibility and will be equally criminals as the ‘good judge’ is. And unfortunately we have failed in that task.

    Even a common man in streets is talking about what is going in in Supreme Court, people do talk about what Khawja Sharaif is doing and how Sharif’s get speedy justice and Zardari remains a punch bag. But we have not voiced with people.

    What Iftakhar Chaudhary is doing is what ‘self righteous’ men of medieval times did, he is getting shelter being religion and forwarding his own agenda. He has packed court rooms with JI,PTi, Hamid Khans group crooks and made a joke of slogan of independent judiciary.

    Is not it our duty to speak up? Do we really stand for justice and whats ‘right’? We have to stop this criminal which we put in court before he derails democracy and pushes us in to medieval times. Where a group of self righteous men in robes acts as God’s appointed Massiaha’s. We did not wanted a Massiah but a judge. The position Iftakhar Chaudhary has lost.

    Do you stand for ‘right’ and I believe you do – then a long march against this crooked judiciary lead by your goodself and Ali Ahmad Kurd – only then people will trust and respect us.

    Best wishes.

  • Mr Ramday is an ad-hoc judge ,and still he is part of bench; hearing almost every case .
    can anyone body help me understand the role of ad-hoc judge.

  • Well, for me Athar Minallah, Aitzaz Ahsan, Asma Jehangir and Kurd were all a bunch of opportunists whose provincial chauvinism and obsessive hatred for the PPP was exposed during their support for a counter democracy “movement”. After July 2007, this movement lost whatever little importance it had gained in order to divert attention away from BB’s political activism to bring back democracy to Pakistan. These opportunists marched hand in hand with Jamaat Islami and the Taliban of Lal Masjid. They did not get rid of Musharaf; BB did that! The judges who they so slavishly worship were open about their Ziaist agenda. What principles is this Minallah fellow talking about??? Typical of him to deny the Nawaz Sharif funded “movement” where JI activists, dressed in black suits, bulked up the lawyer’s processions and where pro-Al Qaeeda posters were flashed post Feb. 2008. PCO judges part I and part II going against PCO judges part III; What a joke!! Asma should be ashamed of herself. Unlike Aitzaz, she atleast had some principles in terms of unversal human rights, a principle that she thoroughly compromised by joining hands with the Jamaat for a movement which is now undoing a nascent democracy and which is freeing murderous and hatemongering Jihadi leaders even as the streets and valleys of Pakistan are being drenched in blood with the support of the judiciary!

  • “Chief Justice Lahore High Court Khwaja Muhammad Sharif said on Friday that the base of democracy was laid when Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry made a big no before the military dictator on 9th March 2007 and then civil society, lawyers and media launched a massive campaign and the nation got rid of the dictatorship and the dawn of democracy was seen in the country.”

    Someone needs to wake up and smell the roses. Lets go back to the history. Democracy was killed by the “judges” of Pakistan’s superior courts when they murdered ZAB. Democracy was brutally murdered the second time when the superior court judges supported Musharaf’s coup. I am shocked when I saw the above statement.