Original Articles Video Clips

‘Chief Sahab’ how was this ‘interview’ possible under house arrest? – by Farhad Jarral and Hafsa Khawaja

A few baffling events have come into view, including the situations that occurred during the tumultous time of Musharraf’s November 3 Emergency and the Judiciary Movement such as the interviews conducted by various media names with CJ Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry while he was placed under house-arrest:

How was this “Interview” possible under house arrest and Incommunicado too, as per the news below: (By Aamir Mughal)

I wonder how an incommunicado CJ was issuing statement often published in The New York Times/Washington Post “during his days in Bastille” – [I still fail to understand that when CJ was sacked in March 2007, he and the press said the CJ is under house arrest and held incommunicado whereas the very next day Air Marshal [R] Asgher Khan “successfully” met him per Daily Dawn dated March 12, 2007 Monday. (Research by Aamir Mughal)

“ISLAMABAD, March 11: Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry has demanded that the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) should hold open proceedings on the reference against him sent by President Gen Pervez Musharraf. This was stated by seasoned politician Air Marshal (retired) Asghar Khan after a meeting with Justice Chaudhry here on Sunday. The demand made by the suspended chief justice indicates that he is not ready to resign and is determined to contest the allegations levelled against him. – But one day earlier the CJ was held incommunicado – “There is no other way to describe the situation as no one is being allowed to meet him,” he said after police officials stopped him and other lawyers from going inside the chief justice’s residence.


1. Justice Iftikhar seeks open SJC proceedings: Asghar By Iftikhar A. Khan March 12, 2007 Monday Safar 22, 1428http://www.dawn.com/2007/03/12/top1.htm

2. CJ held incommunicado; lawyers slam ‘arrest’ By Nasir Iqbalhttp://www.dawn.com/2007/03/11/top1.htm

It is mind-boggling to say the least how he was able to communicate, confabulate and freely meet others while being stringently restricted but the question is how? Were the lawyers providing facilitations through it all? And was it suitable or appropriate for a man of his position to issue statements and talk to international media keeping in mind his words could be twisted and manipulated to the advantage of others? How was it that he met Asghar Khan who conveyed his message?

The divisions that have now emerged between those towering figures that lead the Movement, once united, and the behaviour of the lawyers today do show that their expectations from the achievement of the Restoration of the Cheif Justice and other Judges have come crashing down and are not being met. Is it due to the inside news that they are cognizant of, of the ‘politicising’ of both the mind-set of the Judiciary and its withering impartiality?

While the reasons, causes and outcome of the Movement are known by all, there’s alot to be answered of the events and happenings that happened in between over the past two years of this struggle for an independent judiciary.

About the author

Farhad Jarral


Click here to post a comment
  • A Riposte to Ansar Abbasi By Mustafa Azizabadi Member – Central Rabita Committee & In charge Central Media cell. MQM http://www.mqm.org/English-News/feb-2009/azizabadi-article07-02-09.htm On Thursday, February 05, 2009; 2:44 AM….In the Urdu daily Jang of February 2, 2009 there was a column titled “Would Altaf Hussain participate in long march ?”, by the famous journalist Mr. Ansar Abbasi known for his research and investigative journalism. This column was a direct response to MQM’s Quaid Mr. Altaf Hussain’s address to MQM’s rabita committee in London on Jan 27, 2009. During the address Mr. Altaf Hussain put a simple question to Mr. Nawaz Shareef vis-à-vis PCO judges. that “what does the Charter of democracy’s article 3, clause (a) & (b) says about those judges who took oath under the PCO and if Mian sahib can answer this question then MQM too would diligently work with them towards the enforcement of Charter of Democracy.”.

  • @Aamir Mughal
    So my (conspiracy) theory is that in the movement of restoration of democracy had 4 major forces operating. Each of the force had their own objective and there was no single winner and no single looser. These forces were:

    1. Mad dictator and his faction of army and establishment
    2. The Current Don (Kiyani) and his faction of army and establishment (including media)
    3. The democratic forces in Pakistan (these forces included the political parties like PPP, PMLN, ANP, and civil groups like lawyers, certain part of media etc)
    4. The disgruntled right wing forces like religious parties , right wing media.

    All of these forces had very complex relationship with each other , somehow the last three forces were up against the mad dictator , despite their inherent differences.

    Due to the electronic media it became impossible to distinguish between the three forces. The cronies of ISI (belonging to current Don) will appear/host the tv. talk shows for CJ IMC , right wing hate mongers will sit beside the liberal democratic leaders and it looked as if all of them had the same objective i.e. to overthrow Mad dictator.
    That was not true all of these groups had very different and opposite objectives. The current Don (Kiyani) wanted to overthrow the sitting Don (Musharraf) , and he could not do so without the help of the people of Pakistan.
    Right wing forces wanted to overthrow the mad dictator and wanted revenge against the Army. If you look back you will find that the target of terrorist during those days were not the Data Darbars and religious Jaloos , instead there targets were the military men.
    The democratic forces had no other agenda bring all the political leaders back , and have general elections and form a new political government.

    I personally think CJ IMC was just a pivot. All the forces revolved around him. Nobody knows how it was started, but remember Kiyani spent time with CJ IMC on that fateful day of 9th March 2007, at that time nobody knew what was Kiany’s role , however in the hindsight it makes sense that Kiyani had a very important role to play and his only objective was to overthrow the sitting Don without causing a rift in the Army.

    To me there was no real looser or winner in this struggle. This is how the society evolves. It is a slow and gradual process. Only thing we should remember is that the in this battle (of democracy) , there are only two forces fighting each other , the people of Pakistan vs the military of Pakistan. All other forces come and go in this process of evolution.

  • Our dictators and Judiciary always find easy to chew democracy because it is very soft target. Perhaps the most merciful thing in our country is democracy that has been dragged, maligned and punished for almost 63 years. The recent scenario of Judicial activism against democracy lucidly explains the story of last 63 years. The same Chief Justice was dragged in streets by a dictator and finally a democratic party restored him but after restoration the same Chief Justice is trying to punish democratic leader by tooth and nail. He has no courage to take action against the dictator and failing to take bull by horns. The judiciary, which was the actual victim of the dictator’s swagger and unconstitutional actions.. The recent statement of the chief justice that prosecuting Musharraf is the responsibility of the government is quite in line with the policy of ‘hands off the khakis’, adopted by the judiciary as reflected in its decisions on the PCO judges and NRO cases. Why the judiciary has not taken suo motu notice of such a crucial national issue while it has shown an inexplicable enthusiasm in doing this in a number of cases even beyond its jurisdiction is not difficult to comprehend. It is well aware of where the real power lies as well as the repercussions and consequences of bringing to book the uniformed tormentors of the nation. Another, and the most inhibiting, factor in this regard is that if Musharraf is at all tried under article 6, it will not only be him. The other generals who abetted his crime of undermining the constitution and the members of the judiciary, who in the first place gave legitimacy to his takeover under the doctrine of necessity, might also have to be roped in. As it is, the possibility of the judiciary exhibiting this kind of courage is minimal.

  • Well i really dont understand your point.Every thing is possible in Pakistan. If your point is thaat the movement of judicial independence was just a political move to get to the highest seat, then i would say it inaproperiate.

    Justice chudary was already a CJ at that time. If he loved his seat too much then why to defy Mushraf? He could remain a CJ if he just validated the Presidential elections.

    Its true that the results of judiciary movement are not the same as were the expectations. But so is the case with Democracy. People expected much when they voted for the ppp.
    Does it mean that we again go to ground zero. Offcourse NO.

  • Maximum effort should be directed to settle the dispute between institutions. This is the only way the nascent democracy in Pakistan would prosper.