Critical analysts of Pakistani politics have always insisted that the restoration of CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry and his colleagues such as Khalil Ramday, Khawaja Sharif etc in 2009 was not possible without judges’ NRO (agreement) with Pakistan Army.
The army-judiciary NRO included the following clauses:
- Judges will not pursue the missing persons case (i.e., those illegally abducted by Pakistan’s ISI, MI etc);
- Judges will not intervene in Pakistan army’s kill & dump policy of the Baloch nationalists;
- Judges will take no action against the LeJ-SSP-TTP sectarian killers backed by the ISI who are routinely killing Shia Muslims, Ahmadi Muslims, Barelvi Muslims, Christians and other oppressed communities;
- Judges will routinely release key assets of Pakistan’s ISI (e.g., Hafiz Saeed, Qari Saifullah Akhtar, Malik Ishaq and other sectarian / jihadi terrorists);
- Judges will take no action against those responsible for 12 May 2007 massacre in Karachi;
- Judges will conduct a one-sided accountability of the democratic government, in particular that of President Zardari and other leaders of the PPP while providing maximum relief to right wing politicians (e.g. Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Hafiz Saeed, Maulana Abdul Aziz of Red Mosque);
- Judges will give statements and decisions to reinforce religious jihadism and fanaticism in Pakistan (e.g., by taking public stance against secularism, Hindu community, sexual orientation, women (releasing those who gang-raped Mukhtaran Mai), banning facebook, stopping President Zardari from pardoning a blasphemy accused Christian woman);
- Judges will take no action against General Musharraf and his colleagues (General Kayani, General Pasha and others) who played an active role in Musharraf’s first and second emergency (martial law);
- Judges will not pursue Asghar Khan’s long outstanding petition about political misuse of public funds by Pakistan army / ISI in forming IJI and rigging elections.
Lately, it is encouraging to see more and more voices agreeing with the above discourse (presented by LUBP, Pakistan Blogzine and other progressive forums).
For example, in a debate in the National Assembly yesterday (12 October 2011), politicians from both treasury and opposition benches criticized judges and generals holding them responsible for the current suffering of Pakistani nation.
Judges and generals criticised in NA
by Amir Wasim
Source: Dawn, 13 October 2011
ISLAMABAD: The anniversary of the Oct 12 military coup provided an opportunity to the ruling PPP and opposition PML-N to jointly condemn the 1999 military action in the National Assembly on Wednesday, but a debate on the issue soon degenerated into mutual accusations with each side blaming the other for providing support to military dictators. It all started when PML-N members, while denouncing the overthrow of the party’s government by the then army chief Gen Pervez Musharraf, reiterated their demand for initiating a treason case against the military dictator and accused the present rulers of providing protection to him under a clandestine deal.
MNAs Ahsan Iqbal, Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar and Khawaja Saad Rafique in their hard-hitting speeches on points of order not only assailed Gen Musharraf’s policies, but also lashed out at the PPP government for providing Gen Musharraf an honourable departure. They blamed Gen Musharraf for the crises the country faced today and demanded that he should be hanged.
But, PPP’s legislator from Sargodha Nadeem Afzal Gondal came up with an equally hard-hitting speech amid desk-thumping by treasury members in the presence of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. He said he would like to know why had the PML-N singled out Gen Musharraf and spared others, including the judges who had allowed a man in uniform to carry out changes in the Constitution. An angry Gondal said the PML-N should not claim the credit for the reinstatement of superior court judges, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who, according to him, had been reinstated because of the intervention of the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) and not because of the opposition’s long march. “Long march was just a drama and a farce. The judiciary was restored when the ISI wanted it,” Mr Gondal said. He also alleged that it was on ISI’s directives that the Chief Justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, took a stand and said ‘no’ to Gen Musharraf when the former president had asked him to resign on March 9, 2007. He asked the PML-N why was it not demanding action against the army generals who had been with Gen Musharraf in the past and were “nowadays playing golf in Punjab”.
Interestingly, the chief justice also came under criticism from the opposition when PML-N’s Muhammad Safdar questioned his inaction on the May 12, 2007, incident in which over 40 people had been killed in Karachi during the chief justice’s visit to the city. “If the CJ does not provide justice to families of those killed, then one should not expect justice from the CJ,” he said.
The PPP MNA was of the view that had the then PML-N government constituted a commission on Kargil, the nation would not have suffered the Oct 12 military coup. Mr Gondal said if the PML-N announced a long march against the army generals, then he himself would participate in it. He also accused the PML-N of having links with extremist groups, particularly the outlawed Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan.
Soon after completion of the question hour, PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal took the floor on a point of order and said that under the law, only the federal government could institute a treason case against a person. He said if the government could not do it then it should change the law so that the PML-N’s provincial government could take the step. He said if the PPP government would not lodge a treason case against Gen Musharraf, then it would amount to committing treason. Mr Iqbal claimed that the Musharraf regime had received $85 billion as result of the 9/11 incident, but that money was not spent on the country’s infrastructure. He said that Gen Musharraf used intelligence agencies for his personal interests and for creating the PML-Q.
PML-N MNA Capt (retd) Safdar, son-in-law of Nawaz Sharif, called for framing treason charges against all those who had supported Gen Musharraf and jointed his cabinet.
Khawaja Saad Rafiq asked rulers as well as the military leadership to tell the nation why a “criminal” had been allowed to leave the country and given a guard of honour. He said the military leadership should now realise that the people’s attitude had changed and they would not accept any military intervention in future. The PML-N lawmaker said it was Mr Sharif’s mistake to appoint Gen Musharraf as the army chief, ignoring the seniority list.