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For upholding the Constitution, Prime Minister Gillani gets convicted! – by Farhad Jarral

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has just convicted an elected Prime Minister for following an explicit Constitutional clause (Article 248 (2)) – on the basis of an Ordinance passed by a military dictator, General Musharaf (Contempt of Court Ordinance 2004) – who in turn was empowered to subvert the Constitution by this very same Judiciary!  However, if one is expecting any balance or nuance from Pakistan’s media on this landmark decision, one is sorely mistaken.

The media’s role in being a cheer leader of right-wing, Islamist politicians and populist judges is an unfortunate departure from its often stated role of being a “fair and balanced” presenter of the news and of informing the public.  In the last few years, the media, for the most part, has gone out of its way in presenting, supporting and empowering an obscurantist and conspiratorial mindset that is low on facts and high on sanctimonious piety and selective morality.

To understand the “dynamics” of the symbiotic relationship between the media and the judiciary, one needs to look no further than the following exchange that took place between the dignified Information Minister, Qamar Zaman Kaira and prominent news anchor, Kamran Khan.  It is a sad reflection of how the media distorts facts and is very reluctant to allow gentlemen like Kaira to argue a case on its merits, as opposed to moral grandstanding.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pobqdeFmWcQ

 

At this point in time, one must also reflect on the role of Pakistan’s Jejune “liberals” who were an essential part of the Lawyer’s Movement, long after it had lost its legitimacy post-2008 elections.  This was when all judges were released by the newly elected Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gillani and over 96% of them restored.  The current Junta in the judiciary that often evokes dictator-inserted clauses to continuously undermine the legislature and the executive has been hugely supported by the Jejune “liberals” of Pakistan – an exclusivist cabal who assume the moral high ground by discarding with uncomfortable facts as it relates to them.

By distorting history and constructing a narrative based on half-truths and distortions, this elite cabal of Jejune “liberals” spare no opportunity to bash the PPP in general and Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto in particular.  While one must acknowledge their mistakes, inflating their role in the current problems facing Pakistan is both an intellectual fallacy as well as deflecting the role of Pakistan’s Jejune “Liberals”.

By their willful and continuing support to this judiciary, Pakistan’s Jejune “liberals” stand forever exposed as opportunists who share an equal blame in the current constitutional crisis.  In their published articles and media space, these Jejune “liberals” of Pakistan have portrayed this judiciary as anti-military dictatorship.  After today’s verdict (on dictator-inserted clauses), their misrepresentation of this judiciary comes across as a cruel joke to the public.  However, one should not comment any further as Pakistan’s Jejune “liberals” are deeply intolerant of criticism and one cannot afford the witch hunts and intimidation that ensues after they are criticized.

Today’ verdict against the Prime Minister was based on THOSE parts of the Constitution which were mangled by military dictators, General Zia and General Musharaf while the Prime Minister did not want to violate THAT part of the Constitution that is derived from the Geneva Convention.  Pakistan’s Jejune “liberals” who never tire of inflating and misrepresenting ZAB’s role in creating religious intolerance need some honest self-reflection given their own support for this judiciary and its continued usage of Article 63 – a constitutional clause that was mangled by General Zia ul Haq; whose coup and martial law was supported by the judiciary then; as was General Musharaf by the current judiciary.  Article 63, as it stands, is the Islamist manifesto of Jamaat Islami and the pillar used by this judiciary for its often controversial decisions.

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Farhad Jarral

11 Comments

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  • Which liberals is this article talking about? It is Najam Sethi who keeps promoting the Judiciary as anti-establishment. Is he a liberal??

    Sethi tau khud establishment ka bunda hai!

  • Lol Nicely written Farhad… Nice Sarcastic tone…. It is really good that LUBP is distinguishing between these opportunistic jejune “liberals” and the real ones standing for the rights of the people…

  • Mohammad Kamil: The word ‘Liberals’ is used for those who were on the mainstream to support the current judicial mafia in the long march of Nawaz also against the current government. Chaudhary Ali Abid has defined the word liberal in a good way 🙂 Thanks Chaudhary Ali Abid!!

  • Judicial overreach in action: The President is immune from prosecution, the CJ has no right to harrass Gillani.

    248. Protection to President, Governor, Minister, etc.
    (1) The President, a Governor, the Prime Minister, a Federal Minister, a Minister of State, the Chief Minister and a Provincial Minister shall not he answerable to any court for the exercise of powers and performance of functions of their respective offices or for any act done or purported to be done in the exercise of those powers and performance of those functions:
    Provided that nothing in this clause shall be construed as restricting the right of any person to bring appropriate proceedings against the Federation or a Province.

    (2) No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President or a Governor in any court during his term of office.

  • PML-N demanding resignation of PM Yousuf Raza Gillani.. Tumhe Yaad ho K na Yaad ho, Humain Yaad Hai Sab Zara Zara — N-League attacked the Judiciary and sitting Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah when Nawaz was PM. How weak they are in history! Though PPP respected the decisions (biased) of SC and didn’t even said a single statement against Iftikhar Chaudhary’s bethak. Still we are wrong? Where’s the Justice? At Raiwind’s Palace or in the Supreme Court? Shame on Rightist Judiciary, Media and Mullah Parties..

  • Jang group aur media ka aik bara hissa propaganda kar raha hay aur sirf jhoot bol raha hay! Iss media aur judges per hazaron laanat

  • توہین عدالت پر وزیراعظم کو تیس سیکنڈ کی سزا سنانا اور انہیں توہین عدالت کا مرتکب قرار دینا جگ ہنسائی کا موجب بنے گا. ایسا لگتا ہے سزا ‘اتھارٹی و میں’ کو قائم رکھنے کے لیے دی گئی ہے. فیصلہ سے تو یہی تاثرملتا ہے کہ حکومت اور سیاستدانوں کا وقت ضائع کیا جا رہا ہے اور انہیں مقدمات میں گھسیٹ کرعوامی مسائل پر توجہ دینے سے روکا جا رہا ہے. تین ماہ سے زیادہ کی کاروائی کا نتیجہ ‘لیبر لاسٹ’ سے کم قرار نہیں دیا جا سکتا جو کہ عدلیاتی نظام پرسوالیہ نشان چھوڑ جاتا ہے.

    پاکستان کی حقیقی والی وارث چاروں قوموں کی عوام صبح سے سپریم کورٹ کا فیصلہ سننے میں بے تاب تھی اور ان میں خاکسار بھی شامل تھا. لیکن جب سپریم کورٹ کو فیصلہ آیا تو فدوی کو سب سے پہلے نا جانے کیوں الطاف حسین اور مسٹر بین بہت یاد آئے. یہ فیصلہ کوئی آسمان سے نہیں اترا کہ وزیراعظم کو اخلاقیات یاد دلائی جائیں. ساری دنیا جانتی ہےکہ صرف پیپلز پارٹی ہی قابو آئی ہے جبکہ باقی گنجے برادرانز معہ لسانی ٹولہ و بوری بند کلچر کو ااُف تک سننے میں نہیں آتی. ایسا لگتا ہے جیسے ضیاء دور کا عدالتی نظام آب وتاب پر ہو۔

    عدالتی فیصلہ فیصلہ عوام و ملک کو ‘طالبانائزیشن‘ کی طرف لے جائے گا. وجہ یہ کہ اس وقت پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی ہی وہ واحد جماعت ہے جو طالبان کی پیداوار نہیں ہے اور طالبانائزیشن کی نظریاتی دشمن بھی ہے. باقی سب جماعتیں براہ راست یا غیر براہ راست طالبائزیشن کی یا تو پیداوار ہیں اور یا پھر ان سے نظریاتی مسابقت رکھتی ہیں. ن لیگ ہو, ایم کیو ایم ہو, دفاع پاکستان کونسل ہو, سنی اتحاد ہو … ان کی تاریخ اور پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی کی تاریخ باہم الٹ ہیں. لہذا فیصلہ ملک و عوام کے لیے نیگ شگون نہیں ہے. تھینکس

  • It is amusing to see that LUBP constantly redefines the word “liberal” for its viewers. People have a right to express their words in whatever way they deem necessary. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. We are part of a drawing room culture when conducting our politics and it comes as no surprise that this attitude is reflected in our government, military and politics in general.

    In regards to your reference of clauses in the constitution penned in to law by a “dictator’s parliament” or an “elected parliament” is rather false. The law was on the books prior to Gilani taking office. If the Parliament had an issue with it, PPP are in the majority and could/can easily revoke it.

    By the same argument, if laws passed by a military dictator are not legal, then the NRO should never have been passed (which means half of the Parliament is invalid), all decisions by CJ Dogar should be revoked and any ordinance from the time of Ayub Khan to Musharraf should all be deleted from our constitutional books.

    Point being, that if these laws are illegal (by your rational) what is stopping a democratically elected Parliament from getting them off the books?

    This seems to be a prevalent problem with the GoP. What is stopping them from governing towards a progressive Pakistan? Lack of vision, ideology and most importantly; implementation.

  • @ AHR : Okay even if considering the law made by Musharraf as legal, can we accept the fact that, that clause is used as a pretext to violate a well established constitutional clause 248(2). Who gives the judges the right to violate the constitution. They are bound to give judgements within the parameters of the constitution. We have no issue in accepting The Contempt of Court Ordinance 2004, until and unless it is not used to violate the constitution. What Farhad was stating was that the Judges are ready to accept the clause made by the Dictator and use it to violate a well established constitutional clause… Who gives them the right to decide which clause is appropriate and which not? It is the authority of the parliament? And Supreme court is restricted to give judgements based on the constitution formed by the parliament. Which unfortunately in this case they are not following.