Original Articles

Reflections on the Supreme Court’s judgement on the memogate inquiry -by Zubair Torwali


I had been a staunch supporter of the CJ during the lawyers’ and civil society’s movement. I even designed a flag for a Pakistan Justice Party and that flag was on my house for almost a year. I supported them because they stood against a dictator. Asma Jehangeer was then in the streets, too, for the restoration of the judiciary.

But when they were reinstated I felt a gradual distance from them and the romance we once had began to fade away. The first blow was from the ex CJ of Lahore High Court, Khawaja Sharif when he released Mullah Baradar, an al Qaeda suspect in a single day. The Mullah was captured from Pakistan but our secret agencies ordered an immediate release of him because they feared that their ‘asset’ would be handed over to USA by the government.

Another slap on our face was when the CJ of Pakistan said in his remarks that if everything regarding the constitution was left to the sole jurisdiction of the parliament the constitution would soon be turned secular. This was a clear intervention in the affairs of the parliament which is supposed to be supreme in a parliamentary system of democracy.

When a few weeks back Nawaz Sharif walked in the Supreme Court with a matching tie and coat he was acclaimed by everybody there. His petition was taken and an immediate hearing started. The apex court was so vigilant in this regard that it altogether forgot other important issues as if Pakistan’s sole foundation lies on the Memo. Many special petitions were still lying with the registrar pending for years. One of them is by Asghar Khan wherein he requested a similar request to probe into the matter that ISI has been involved in financing political parties and in toppling governments.

You might remember that once the CJ had taken a suo moto on the situation of Swat in 2009 but since then we have noticed no mention of that.

In Balochistan hundreds of people are missing and tens of them are found dead with mutilated corpses but nobody, no court, no speedy justice takes notice of the situation. Similarly, hundreds of men are missing in Pakistan but the CJ has now turned a deaf ear to all this.

Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti were brutally killed but the Supreme Court has taken no action.
Above all the brilliant leader of Pakistan Benaizir Bhutto was killed four years back and to date no action by the apex court is observed. True that the government has not taken the case to it but the apex court should have taken that on suo moto basis as it was perhaps the greatest tragedy for Pakistan.

These instances really question the credibility of the country apex court and people like Asma Jehangeer seem justified in declaring that the court is not for people but to safeguard the mysterious interests of the mysterious agencies. It also seems partisan for its hurry on the memo case because the main petitioner was (or ordered to be) on road against the government procrastination in restoring the judges.

Moreover, in his remarks against Asma Jehangeer’s assertion that James Jones had said that Hussian Haqani was not involved in the memo the Chief Justice said that the lawyer (Asma) regarded a foreign state general credible while her own country Army Chief otherwise. Here my lord forgot that he himself regarded a foreign state ordinary citizen true while his own country’s ambassador guilty. Is it not a contradiction to be pointed out?

Another point is whose fundamental right the memogate scandal has sabotaged? This whole memogate has nothing to do with the rights of the common people.
In her arguments Asma said that the apex court already seemed influenced and impressed by the petitioners.

These are ample reasons for doubts on the impartiality of the apex court. God forbid it has taken the path of the powerful establishment; and is under its duress like rest of Pakistan. Whenever there is some case where the involvement of the all powerful agencies cannot be ruled out our courts do behave very differently from what they do with cases related to civilians.

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Junaid Qaiser

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