Original Articles

Zardari cronies attempt to buy honest lawyers!

 

All I had to do was to read the headline and it made sense. In Pakistan, you are damned if you do, damned if you don’t! The recent nomination of ex-Senator Dr. Khalid Ranjha, a PML linked politician is now being painted as a nomination by PPP’s Latif Khosa. It just doesn’t make sense.

To my leadership in PPP: sirs, please nominate a Jiyala to every important position because whatever you do, the mindless media just doesn’t like it. I think we should nominate Ahmed Awais, Hamid Khan and Akram Sheikh to the judicial commission, only then will Jang and The News be happy. Oh but then the headline would be: Zardari cronies attempt to buy honest lawyers!

A sacked ‘bad’ judge to pick ‘good’ SC judges

By Umar Cheema

ISLAMABAD: Dr Khalid Ranjha, the new member of the Judicial Commission which will select superior court judges, has been a Lahore High Court judge but was removed by the then prime minister for alleged financial misconduct and arguably low professional acumen. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had removed him on the recommendation of the then Chief Justice of Pakistan Ajmal Mian.

The News has confirmed these facts from different sources privy to the then confidential correspondence between the Presidency, the Supreme Court and the Prime Minister’s Secretariat in the second term of Nawaz Sharif. Dr Ranjha is now Pakistan Bar Council’s (PBC) nominee for the Commission courtesy support of Latif Khosa, who himself was removed from the Attorney General’s post amidst rumours of possible financial misconduct. Although, Ranjha had told The News that he was not confirmed as an LHC judge by Nawaz because the latter didn’t consider him as competent enough for the position, the details of removal are intriguing and instructive alike. Background discussions with the main players of the time and bureaucrats involved in the process reveal that Nawaz as the PM wanted to confirm Ranjha as an LHC judge but his recommendation was vetoed by the then president and the chief justice of Pakistan.

As Nawaz sent Ranjha’s case to President Rafiq Tarar for confirmation, the presidency rejected his name. Tarar, who had himself served as a judge, first of the LHC and then the SC, did not accept Dr. Ranjha’s name on the grounds that he had received complaints of Ranjha’s financial misconduct and poor working as a judge. Instead of approving his confirmation, Tarar suggested giving him another one-year extension as an additional judge of the LHC, granting him a grace period for improvement and clearing himself of the allegations.

But when this file travelled to the office of the then Chief Justice Ajmal Mian, who was already aware of such complaints, he recommended Ranjha’s removal altogether and it was subsequently done by Nawaz Sharif.

Sources said Nawaz was left with no option as according to the Judges Case, any recommendation of the Chief Justice of Pakistan with regard to appointment or removal of a judge, could not be rejected without justiciable grounds.

Now as Ranjha has been made a part of this selection process, there are many questions being raised about the competency of the panel members like him who could not make to the position of a permanent judge on charges of misconduct.

The role of the PBC that nominated Ranjha for representation in Judicial Commission is also under intense debate. The ‘collective wisdom’ exercised by PBC late Thursday through balloting gave Ranjha preference over a person like Farkhruddin G Ebrahim, a man of impeccable character who commands respect among friends and foes in legal fraternity and outside.

Ebrahim, who has also served as a judge, as attorney general and Governor Sindh, was appointed on these positions by successive PPP governments and had resigned each time on principles. This man of character never hides his political tilt towards the PPP, however the party lawyers’ panel headed by Khosa thought it better to vote for Ranjha to the Commission who neither commands good reputation nor belongs to the PPP.

There is no clear procedure of replacement of a PBC member in the Commission before the expiry of a two-year term, though it is generally believed that majority of the members through a requisition can call for fresh election of the member.

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Ahmed Iqbalabadi

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  • Khalid Ranjha served in Mush cabinet, he should not be preferred over F G Ibrahim. Though PPP has no role in his nomination as it was PBC choice. And they have the right to choose whoever they deemed right for representation

  • Now that Khalid Ranjha has been nominated to the Judicial Commission, the yellow journalists at Jang and The News are leaving no stone unturned to somehow or the other taint the appointment. Ahmed Noorani writes the following today:

    Ranjha prosecuted ZA BhuttoISLAMABAD: Severe resentment is brewing within the ranks of the Pakistan People’s party (PPP) after a close aide of President Zardari, Sardar Latif Khosa, got Khalid Ranjha appointed as member of the Judicial Commission.
    Old PPP stalwarts know that Ranjha was not only the prosecutor for General Ziaul Haq in Shafiur Rehman tribunal set up in Kot Lakhpat Jail but also drafted the basic petition of murder case of Nawab Muhammad Ahmad Khan against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
    These seasoned and diehard PPP veteran leaders confirmed to The News that Ranjha, who is now close to President Asif Ali Zardari, was a blue-eyed boy of General Pervez Musharraf as well.
    Talking to The News, son of the Nawab Muhammad Ahmad Khan and well-known lawyer Ahmad Raza Qasuri confirmed that Ranjha, who was then an associate of Sheikh Shaukat Ali, advocate, (who later became a judge of the Lahore High Court) drafted the petition against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in the murder case of his father. This petition was moved in the court of sessions judge, Lahore.
    He also confirmed that besides drafting the petition against Bhutto, Ranjha also helped him a lot in his case. He said the then Assistant Advocate General, Punjab, Rashid Aziz Khan, who later became the chief justice of the LHC, also assisted the Shafiur Rehman tribunal.
    On the other hand, top Zardari-aide Latif Khosa, whose group has a majority in the outgoing Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), admitted that Ranjha was nominated as member of the Judicial Commission on his initiative. He, however, denied any instruction or role of President Zardari in this matter.
    Khosa said it was an independent decision of his group in the PBC as Ranjha is an independent and has the confidence of the majority of the PBC.
    Top legal expert Abid Hassan Manto confirmed to The News the constitution of a tribunal by the Zia regime, much before the Bhutto murder case. He said this tribunal had started proceedings against Bhutto on different allegations in Kot Lakhpat Jail.
    Other veteran PPP leaders confirmed to The News that Zia’s regime constituted this special tribunal to prosecute chairman Bhutto on six baseless allegations of corruption. They said this tribunal was constituted under the Martial Law orders.
    They confirmed that Khalid Ranjha was special prosecutor from the Martial Law government of Ziaul Haq and presented and defended the Martial Law regime’s baseless allegations.
    They recalled that the proceedings of this commission continued for a long time but all the charges and trials became irrelevant when ZA Bhutto was first sentenced to death and subsequently hanged.
    These veteran leaders also said that during the proceedings of the same tribunal in Kot Lakhpat Jail, the present general secretary Jahangir Badr was lashed and flogged.
    Latif Khosa, however, defended Khalid Ranjha, saying he was privy to all the developments which took place at that time as he was much closer than any one else to those developments and no one except him knew the accurate details.
    “I challenge that no such tribunal was ever constituted by General Ziaul Haq. It is an absolutely baseless thing.”
    He said that Ijaz Batalvi, M Anwar and Rehman advocate were counsels of Zia regime against Bhutto and Ranjha never appeared against Bhutto. “When there was no tribunal, there is no question of Ranjha appearing before this tribunal,” he said.
    He, however, admitted that Ranjha was an associate of Sheikh Shaukat Ali, who, according to Ahmad Raza Qasuri, filed the petition of murder case of his father.
    Senior PPP leaders, however, challenged Khosa’s claims, saying he had lost his memory and constitution of a special tribunal and appearance of Khalid Ranjha before it was a historic fact, which the PPP workers will never forget.
    They said if at any point of time, Khosa became aware of this cruel reality of the past, he himself should move to get Ranjha removed from the commission.

    See how much Ahmed Noorani loves ZAB and cares about the feelings of PPP workers!

  • In fact, Ahmed Nooorani is the real sympathizer of the PPP and ZAB (not unlike the pseudo-liberal class who remain concerned about the future of the PPP).

    I think Noorani should be made the next chairman of the PPP.

  • Next PPP topline:

    chairman – Ansar Abbasi (he claims he was a member of PSF)
    Co-Chairman – Ahmed Noorani
    Rehbar Chairman – Mian Nawaz Sharif
    General Secretary – Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan
    Information Secretary – Tariq Butt
    President Punjab – Shahbaz Sharif

    etc. CEC to be convened by Mir Shakil ur Rehman.

  • lol

    The honourary membership may be granted to all those who are currently outpouring their sympathies and concern for the future of the PPP.

  • Please do not be so sentimental about the due criticism on the actions and moves of ZPP, its no more PPP. At least once open your eyes and minds also and start analysis of the situation as to why such objections are raised. If all the appointees are of dubious character, turncoats,opportunists,
    corrupts to the core, then you people should criticise and protest against such appointments instead of targeting the media. If people like Ayaz Khan Niazi, Adnan Khwaja, Babar Awan, Ahmed Riaz Shaikh, Rehman Malik, Zulfiqar Mirza,Riaz Lalji,Tasnim Qureshi,Nadir Migsi etc. And if you people do not know the history of these people then you dont have a right say any thing at all.
    Once again your leadership very stupidly forgetting the game plan of the power mafia. The same game which they play whenever they had to retreat and allow civilian government with some specific parameters to work within. And the game starts once again to get the political parties discredited in the eyes of the people especially the ruling parties. Unfortunately PPP and PMLN both are playing exactly the same way power mafia wished for. In the Center as well as Sind PPP is bent on hiring the most notorious corrupt,incompetent and criminal people for the most lucrative posts. Same thing is being done in Punjab by PMLN and in Pakhtunkhah by ANP. PMLN even have a close relationship with religious extremists. MQM is also playing to the tune of majority party, knowing that they would even loose the “left overs” if they go against the majority party.
    Leaders of all the ruling parties seems to have the same agenda to loot as much as possible before they kicked out again.
    In these circumstances I pray to Allah to save Pakistan from !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    “nah injun ki khoobi nah kamal e driver
    khuda ke saharey chali ja rahi hai “

  • Trivializing everything!!!! BTW, this report appeared in Jang with the By line of AHmed Noorani!!!

    http://thenews.com.pk/02-11-2010/ethenews/t-1759.htm
    ISLAMABAD: Two strong divergent opinions have emerged on whether Khalid Ranjha, the newly nominated member of the Judicial Council, can continue as a member because the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), which has nominated him, cannot do so as its term is ending in December.
    This potential question mark will ultimately be resolved by the Supreme Court, says top aide Latif Khosa, who believes that Ranjha has a constitutional tenure of 2 years. On the other hand, chief of the other faction in PBC, Hamid Khan told The News thatRanjha’s nomination for two years is unconstitutional as outgoing PBC with only a few weeks’ life left, has no constitutional mandate to appoint a person for two years. “Only a newly elected PBC can appoint its nominee as member of the JC.
    Latif Khosa in his interview with The News was of the view that Ranjha is a representative of senior advocates of Supreme Court of Pakistan and he was appointed as member of the JC under article 175A of the Constitution. He said that under the same article his tenure is of two years. Khosa said that if the new PBC, which will be elected in December, wanted to change Ranjha it will create a controversy, which will need fresh interpretation of the Supreme Court on the issue.
    But Hamid Khan was of the view that any democratic body having life of few a weeks cannot have the mandate to appoint any person for years. He said in 2007 the whole legal fraternity of the country was unanimous on the opinion that an outgoing Parliament having life of two months could never elect Musharraf as president for the next five years.
    He said the interpretation of his fellow members in PBC was similar to his views. Khosa, however, said that as there is no mechanism for the removal of the member of the JC so the controversy would only be decided by the court.
    He said that Ranjha was elected by a majority through a democratic process so no objections should be made on his nomination. He said that results of the democratic process should be accepted.
    Hamid Khan, however, was of the view that in democracy no elected body could be given the mandate beyond the time limit for which it was actually elected and the existing PBC having only six to seven weeks life could not nominate any person for a two-year tenure under any democratic or ethical norms.
    The JC will have seven members in total with regard to appointment of a Supreme Court judge. Relevant clause VI of the Article 175A(2) reads: “(vi) a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan nominated by the Pakistan Bar Council for a term of two years.”