We condemn the Pakistan army-backed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and his tribe in the Supreme Court on their ongoing attacks on the elected government and its various ministers and officials. Supreme Court is currently hearing a reference filed by President Asif Zardari under Article 186 (advisory jurisdiction of Supreme Court) of the Constitution seeking revisiting of the death sentence awarded to former prime minister and PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1979. However, instead of providing relief to the party whose founder was judiciary murdered 32 years ago by Pakistan army, CJ Iftikhar and his judicial co-tribals are using the case to victimize and attack the aggrieved party.
What we are currently witnessing in Pakistan is the action replay of how Teen Jeem (Jenerals and their loyalist Judges and Journalists) act in close coordination to undermine and derail a democratic government.
In the latest development, the vice president of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senator Babar Awan was today (5 January 2012) issued second show cause notice in two days on contempt of court order by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
The court was hearing the Bhutto reference case on Thursday when Awan, who is federation’s lawyer in the case, was reprimanded after a video was played in the courtroom in which the PPP leader was seen commenting on the show cause notice issued by SC on Wednesday.
The video was recorded and misrepresented by one Jeem (journalists), shown to another Jeem (judges) and the order against the PPP’s VP was passed to appease the third jeem (jenerals). Arrangements were made on the court’s orders for footage and news clips of the remarks given by the former minister.
After watching the video (in which there was hardly anything objectionable said by Babar Awan, it was a tiny piece of Punjabi poetry), the court issued another show cause notice to the senator and senior PPP leader.
The chief justice asked Awan as to why he ridiculed the notices issued to PPP leaders and said: If you would not respect the state’s institutions, then who would? [Will the ISI-backed judges show similar respect to the country’s elected president and prime minister that that they are expecting others to show to them?] Justice Iftikhar said that he was in favour of criticising the judiciary [Really? Then why this outrage against Awan?] but Awan’s comments were not criticism, adding that Awan was not issued a license to insult the apex court.
Justice Jawwad Khwaja said that Awan’s comment was not contempt of order but insult of judiciary. Justice Khwaja decided to quit the bench after viewing footage of the comments. He was quoted as saying that he would not forgive Awan even if 10 other judges on the bench would decide to pardon him.
In reply, Awan said that he did not intend to insult the judiciary rather he was appreciating the court and its order through Punjabi poetry. CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry warned Awan of cancelling his licence in view of his statement and asked him to bring his file having the details of his license in the next hearing. Awan has been directed to submit his reply by 9th January.
While we have in the past disagreed with certain statements and actions of Babar Awan (e.g., his objectionable statements about Ahmadi Muslims), such steps by the ISI-backed judiciary are in fact increasing PPP workers’ sympathies towards Awan.
As noted by Asad Munir on Twitter:
asadmunir38 Asad Munir
PPP real Jiyalas never had a great liking for Babar Awan but these contempt notices may change their opinion
It is pertinent to mention that the Supreme Court had issued show cause notices to Babar Awan and several other senior leaders of PPP over the December 1 press conference to against SC’s initial hearing on the ISI-made memo case. The other PPP leaders who were issued show cause notices on Wednesday include Federal information minister Firdous Ashiq Awan, Farooq Awan, Khursheed Shah and former federal mister for information and broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira.
Here is a copy of Babar Awan’s video shown in the court. Pakistan’s supreme court, it seems, is acting like a kangaroo court or a Nazi court which does not want to tolerate even a light sarcasm on its ISI-inspired political activism. Where is free speech, My Lord?