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#IftikharMental: Pakistan social media abuzz with insult for country’s top judge

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Five facts which go in favour of Pakistan’s new PM Raja Pervez Ashraf – by Ali Tahir

22 June 2012 – Islamabad: Pakistan’s top judge (Chief Justice of Supreme Court) became a centre of attention on Pakistan’s social media (Twitter) when a group of pro-democracy activists started a hash-tag #IftikharMental.

The hashtag became popular within minutes and kept trending in Pakistan for the next few hours.

According to @Zalaan1 (a social media activist), the hashtag (Iftikhar Mental) is meant to express doubts on the sanity and mental stability of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

Barring a few cities in Punjab (Lahore, Rawalpindi-Islamabad etc), CJ Chaudhry is quite unpopular in Pakistan particularly in Southern Punjab (Saraikistan) and other smaller provinces (Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baltistan).

Only three weeks ago, CJ Chaudhry was called a terrorist and Taliban supporter on his face by Pakistani protesters who disrupted a dubious award ceremony in London. https://lubpak.net/archives/78012

He is increasingly seen as an egotistic person interested in his personal projection as a hero and saviour while demonstrating a skewed approach towards justice and accountability.

CJ Chaudhry’s critics are in particular upset with the following:

  1. His increasingly sympathetic handling of cases against ISI-backed Jihadi-sectarian militants. In recent years he has acquitted dangerous terrorists including but not limited to Jamaat-ud-Dawa’s Hafiz Saeed, Sipah-e-Sahaba’s Malik Ishaq, Jaish-e-Muhammad’s Qari Saifullah Akhtar, Laal Masjid (Al Qaeda)’s Maulana Abdul Aziz etc;
  2. CJ’s personal ties with the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (an affiliate of Al Qaeda). His cousin Rana Sanaullah (Law Minister in Punjab) is a known sympathiser of the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and has participated in SSP’s public rallies;
  3. CJ’s personal vendetta against democratic government led by Pakistan Peoples Party. In the last four years, CJ Chaudhry has consistently provided relief in various cases and petitions to PML-N, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Taliban, Jamaat-ud-Dawa and other right wing parties, however, his accountability and suo moto actions have remained, in the main, confined to PPP leaders and workers;
  4. CJ’s insistence on blatant violation of Pakistan’s constitution. In last few years, CJ has demanded the civilian government to write a letter to Swiss courts to start investigation on charges of corruption against the country’s elected President, which is a violation of the constitutional immunity available to the president;
  5. Most recently on 20 June 2012, the Supreme Court expanded its domain and dismissed the unanimously elected prime minister in contempt of court because the PM had refused to violate the constitutional immunity available to the President. It’s the first time in Pakistan’s history that the Supreme Court has removed a prime minister.
  6. Recently, a Pakistani real estate tycoon has accused Judge Chaudhry of turning a blind eye to his son’s alleged corrupt financial practices. Malik Riaz, a billionaire philanthropist, said he was forced to give almost $3.6-million in bribes to Judge Chaudhry’s son Arsalan Iftikhar. Mr. Riaz suggested that Judge Chaudhry knew about the matter in advance of the Supreme Court’s hearings on the issue but still deemed it fit to be a part of the bench.
  7. The total number of innocent Balochs, Pashtuns, Shias target killed in last few years by Jihadi-sectarian proxies of Pakistan army has is on the rise, however, CJ’s action against army remain limited to token hearings and admonitions.

In view of the above, Pakistan’s social media activists were found tweeting and retweeting #IftikharMental to show their contempt for Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

Here are specimen tweets:

Zalaan ‏@Zalaan1
what do you mean by independent democracy? there is no independent judiciary under #Iftikharmental

Shakir Abbas ‏@shakirabbas
#IftikharMental trending on Twitter; Jiay Pagal khanay se Azad Adliya!

SalMan Sikandar ‏@SALSIKandar
Do you have 340 millions? “@MUsamaKabbir: #IftikharMental #IftikharMental #IftikharMental #IftikharMental Koi mujpe contmpt lagao”

Taimoor Malik ‏@TaimoorMalik
Azaad Adliya ne awaam mein apna waqar bohat bulund kar liya hai. #IftikharMental is becoming an increasingly popular trend.

@sindhyar
I’d say #IftikharMental but Insanity is a defence .. Malice isn’t

Karrar ‏@KarrarrHussain
Har Mushkil ka aik hal, #IftikharMental #IftikharMental
PTI Nazariati ‏@PTInazariati
Reason why terrorists such as Hafiz Saeed and Malik Ishaq roam free in Pakistan is its Chief Justice #IftikharMental

Tarek Fatah ‏@TarekFatah
Objective of #IftikharMental is to overthrow the government at the behest of the Mullah-Military mafia @vijaygkg. Law & constitution? Not.

Tarek Fatah ‏@TarekFatah
Pakistanis should never ever forget this picture. Chief Justice #IftikharMental giving blessings to a military coup. http://pic.twitter.com/HxrUqTS8

Laibaah ‏@Laibaah1
#IftikharMental RT @NadeemfParacha No, mental balance is what we need. “@ahsansh: rental is the leader we need then?

Farhad Ahmed Jarral ‏@farhadjarral
Mr. #IftikharMental needs tribute but with jootay(boots), Danday(Sticks). Better for his mental sickness :p

Fouad MZ ‏@FouadMZ
Chief Justice #Pakistan has let more #terrorists walk free than anyone; why? Who’s payroll is he on? #IftikharMental

Laibaah ‏@Laibaah1
I start my day by seeking Allah’s refuge from Satan and #IftikharMental (the pro-Taliban Chief Justice of Pakistan)

Ravez Junejo ‏@ravezjunejo
#IftikharMental approves a dictator, punishes a democract 0_o

Syeda Afrin Abbas ‏@Afrin_Abbas
Pakistan’s biased Chief Justice #IftikharMental

Abdul Nishapuri ‏@AbdulNishapuri
Pakistan is held hostage by a psycho judge #IftikharMental

Zalaan ‏@Zalaan1
@arifpk calling bad names is haram when #JI preaches in practical they abuse people #JI4Nation #Iftikharmental

Zalaan ‏@Zalaan1
ملک,شخصیات سے نہیں اداروں,نظام کی مضبوطی سے چلتا ہے,اگرشخصیات کو ہیرو بنایا جائےگا تومینٹل پوری قوم کوعذاب میں مبتلہ کردینگے ‎‪#Iftikharmental‬‏

Fouad MZ ‏@FouadMZ
ننگا کر کہ چھتر مارو افتخار چودھری کو!! ‎‪#IftikharMental‬‏

Abid Iqbal ‏@toolpush1
@yaryyal FamilyGate & IftikharMental

Aamir Nawaz Khan ‏@aamir_khan82
what abt #IftikharMental? “@salman2979: Raja Rental or Raja Mental?”

Mian Adnan ‏@lovelyMian
The Don Arsalan and #IftikharMental will not take Suomoto against his Army #PMLN #PTI

Ahsan shah ‏@AhsanAbbasShah
Me near judges colony listening sufiana kalam kahi suadi judiciary Suo moto na lay. #Scared #IftikharMental

PTI Nazariati ‏@PTInazariati
Why should we respect a biased Chief Justice aka #IftikharMental who routinely releases terrorists?

Zalaan ‏@Zalaan1
@MansoorGeoNews yes its far less then #Iftikharmental wealth

Atif S Ahmad ‏@atifahmads
Sad state of Pakistan, oppressed communities siding with the Pharaoh of the time, #IftikharMental ! #NoHope

Atif S Ahmad ‏@atifahmads
What a moment it would have been for Yousuf Raza Gillani, round of applause at the ceremony! A slap on the face of #IftikharMental #Pakistan

Abdul Nishapuri ‏@AbdulNishapuri
As expected, ISI is now colluding with Punjabi judges in Lahore to attack Prez Zardari: http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2012/06/120622_highcourt_notice_fz.shtml #IftikharMental

Laibaah ‏@Laibaah1
World must save Pakistan’s civilian government from a psycho Chief Justice #IftikharMental who acquits Taliban but punishes politicians.

Ali Waqas ‏@bonbondude
I never said #iftikharmental as I fear contempt :p

Aniq Zafar ‏@Aniqzafar
#IftikharMental a believer in chaos, for now check mated by prez Zardari

M Usama Kabbir ‏@MUsamaKabbir
Ye Bahriya Bahriya kya hai ! Ye Bahriya Bahriya ! #IftikharMental

Zalaan ‏@Zalaan1
کون دباے ارسلان اسکینڈل ، افتخار مینٹل افتخار مینٹل ‎‪#iftikharmental‬‏

M Usama Kabbir ‏@MUsamaKabbir
Vote for Monte Carlo Justice Party in next elections ! #IftikharMental

Atif S Ahmad ‏@atifahmads
IK says “Im the only politician who spoke against MR”, y wouldnt u speak against him, he attacked ur daddy’s son #Pakistan #IftikharMental

Farhad Ahmed Jarral ‏@farhadjarral
#IftikharMental is a PCO Wala Mental :p I am sure he would have done the same with BB Shaheed if she were alive.

Tarek Fatah ‏@TarekFatah
To save himself & hid bribe-taking family, Pakistan’s Supreme Court CJ has compromised the institution & country. Selfish. #IftikharMental

Naeem Shamim ‏@naeemshamim
So #IftikharMental is trending , not on twitter but in Abphara & the GHQ

Farhad Ahmed Jarral ‏@farhadjarral
#IftikharMental people talking about PM Raja Parvez’s past.. What about #IftikharMental ‘s PCO wala past?

Abdul Nishapuri ‏@AbdulNishapuri
Please RT #IftikharMental to express contempt for a pro-Taliban ISI-backed CJ of Pakistan.

Zalaan ‏@Zalaan1
@ShkhRasheed Shaikh Sb do you remember you have said some truth about #IftikharMental http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_VE_b5dDU0

Abdul Nishapuri ‏@AbdulNishapuri
One day they attack an elected PM in Islamabad via #IftikharMental, next day they attack Kabul via Haqqani. “They” are omnipresent.

Zalaan ‏@Zalaan1
دو سو بارہ ووٹ لے کر راجہ پرویز اشرف کامیاب ہو گئے ، افتخار مینٹل کی نیدیں حرام ‎‪#IftikharMental‬‏

Zalaan ‏@Zalaan1
He is don اگر راجہ رینٹل ہے تو افتخار مینٹل ہے ‎‪#iftikharmental‬‏

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  • CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry has not conducted himself as a CJ, he has played to the gallery

    ’پاکستان سپریم کورٹ نے تو حد کردی‘
    آخری وقت اشاعت: ہفتہ 23 جون 2012 ,‭ 15:51 GMT 20:51 PST

    بھارتی سپریم کورٹ کے ریٹائرڈ جج جسٹس مرکھنڈے کاٹجو نے کہا ہے کہ پاکستان کی سپریم کورٹ نے عوام کو خوش کرنے کے چکر میں وزیر اعظم کو نااہل قرار دے کی اپنی آئینی حددو کو پار کیا ہے۔
    بی بی سی اردو کے ساتھ ایک انٹرویو میں انہوں نے کہا عدلیہ کو ہمیشہ تحمل کا مظاہرہ کرنا چاہیے۔سننے کے لیے کلک کریں

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/multimedia/2012/06/120623_indian_sc_judge_ra.shtml

    Pakistani Supreme Court has gone overboard – by Justice Markandey Katju (Supreme Court of India)

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/79330

  • Not a single work about #RajaRental Which was last longer for almost 6-7 hours? No? lol how bias you guys are. *sigh*

  • Please, not again
    By Saroop Ijaz
    Published: June 23, 2012

    The writer is a lawyer and partner at Ijaz and Ijaz Co in Lahore saroop.ijaz@tribune.com.pk
    It is always slightly discomforting when one is deprived of a metaphor or an agreed upon symbol. ‘Dictatorship’ — of the Pakistani variety — has been defined over the years and now we have the definition down cold, it is almost an intuition now, for e.g., it is khaki in colour, comes from the GHQ etc. However, in the past few days, the term, ‘judicial dictatorship’ is making the rare appearance here and there. This is, admittedly, an awkward term and also perhaps, inaccurate since it seems to suggest that judiciary as a collective is becoming dictatorial. Over the past four years, the authority and decorum of all courts in Pakistan except the Supreme Court has seen tremendous erosion, with lawyers routinely beating judges up in civil courts and using ‘non-parliamentary’ language in the High Courts. There is no point in euphemism now, hence somewhat more precise would be the even more clumsy phrase, ‘dictatorship of the Supreme Court’ or some permutation thereof.
    The Pakistan Supreme Court has sent an elected prime minister home. This in itself is disturbing, however, permissible it may be under some circumstances. What is infinitely more worrying is the fact that the Supreme Court did not feel itself constrained by the procedure of law. The argument that the order of the Speaker cannot overrule the Court is a very decent one, yet does not explain why the Court ignored the clear provisions of the Constitution to send the matter to the Election Commission of Pakistan. There is also the issue of the three-member bench making a mockery of the seven-member bench. However, there is a vaguely linear progression to all of this. The Supreme Court terminated the employment of “PCO” judges without reference to the Supreme Judicial Council, which was allowed to go unexamined. More recently, when memberships of members of parliament were suspended for dual nationality, again without reference to the Election Commission of Pakistan, not enough noise was created. Demagogy has a tendency of being incremental sometimes; they have tested the waters and now found it appropriate for a splash. It is likely to get worse now, it always does.
    Even now there is a curious reluctance to unequivocally condemn, or mildly speaking, criticise the judgment of the Supreme Court. Yousaf Raza Gilani and his maladministration is not the issue here, the issue is considerably more fundamental, namely the right of the people to elect their representatives and also to send them home. The Supreme Court does not represent the will of the people and the Court repeatedly saying so to the contrary would not change that. Let me also say this about the law of contempt, if the Court in fact does believe that it represents the will of the people then it will have to make its peace with the fact, that people talk and also talk back.
    The problem with the perception of selective justice is that it compromises all justice. The contempt proceedings against the corps commander at the time of November, 2007 emergency have not really taken off, the IG FC has still not appeared in Court, the Asghar Khan petition is still pending, the case of Dr Arsalan Iftikhar is not being heard daily (the cynic might also raise the issue of the timing of the PM’s disqualification as a diversionary tactic from the focus on the fantastic entrepreneurial success of Dr Arsalan Iftikhar). Remaining on timing, does anyone else find it strange that the arrest warrants of one of the designated candidates for prime minister are issued as soon as his name is proposed? It does push the ordinary serendipity of coincidence a bit. None of this maybe personal, however, it certainly gives that impression.
    Leo Tolstoy begins Anna Karenina with: “Happy families are all alike, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” It is painfully ironic to see how the Supreme Court has gone the full circle and joined the ranks of the previous “Happy families” of Pakistan. From sending judges of the superior courts to now sending the prime minister of Pakistan home. The anger at the slightest bit of criticism by the media resembles our gallant masters of the past. The impatience and not feeling the need to give reasons, the short orders, grand poetic epitaphs and ‘because I say so’ arm-waving and desk thumping. There is a visual image of a few days ago, which does concentrate into a microcosm the similarity. It was a video on some television channel of the Pemra chairman standing with his hands almost tied in front like an orderly, a man obviously broken and being humiliated in a room filled with judges either reclining or leaning in with contempt. I wonder nobody, not one judge thought it appropriate to ask the chief justice to allow the man a chair as it was not a court proceeding but an administrative meeting convened to watch on a projector screen the leaked video of Malik Riaz. (The Pemra chairman has since suffered a heart attack; I restrain myself from speculating on correlation, although it would be good speculation). The parallel video image summoned to mind is that of my Lord, the chief justice resisting with genuine bravado while being bullied by Musharraf and his cronies to resign and that of My Lord being pushed and shoved by contemptuous and contemptible foot soldiers of Musharraf. The moral texture of both images has unavoidable similarities. I was repelled then and I don’t like it now.
    My Lords probably are driven by the best of motivations and believe them to be the saviours who would rid us from the corrupt, incompetent government. Firstly, My Lords are not vested with the power to do so. Secondly and more significantly, we appreciate the concern but no, thanks anyways. We will be glad if we are allowed to exercise our right of making our own mistakes. My Lords have seen Musharraf and his arrogance up close and personal and it is with utmost deference I quote Habib Jalib “Jo shakhs tum se pehle yahan takht nasheen tha/ Usko bhi Khuda hone pe itna hi yaqeen tha” (“The person occupying the throne before you was equally convinced of his divinity”).

    Published In The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2012.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/398189/please-not-again/

  • Many are also questioning the speed with which Chaudhry took up the petitions against Gilani — they were filed on June 7 and disposed of within a fortnight. During this fortnight, Chaudhry himself had come under the scanner after his son Arsalan was accused of blackmail and extortion by the real estate developer, Malik Riaz Hussain. Respected lawyer Asma Jehangir, once Chaudhry’s biggest backer in his fight against Musharraf told the BBC, “When the court becomes a dictator, the situation could get worse than under a (military) dictatorship”.

    Chaudhry’s past may hold some clues for those confused by his judgment. Given the bitterness with Musharraf at the end, many forget that in 1999, Chaudhry was one of the few judges to back the general’s coup. He was elevated from the Baloch high court when 11 supreme court judges resigned in protest against Musharraf. A few months later, he validated the coup under the “doctrine of necessity”. In 2005, he was part of the five-judge bench that dismissed all constitutional challenges to Musharraf

    Yet just two years later, he spearheaded the campaign that eventually forced Musharraf out, riding on a wave of pro-democracy protests that only gained strength each time Musharraf retaliated with draconian measures. Crowds greeted Chaudhry in every Pakistani city, but his main support came from the “black coats”, as lawyers, particularly of the Lahore Bar Association (LBA), are referred to.

    Black coats are a politicised, radicalised group, often seen in clashes against the police. In 2007, they braved bullets and lathis in the pro-democracy movement to back Chaudhry, but were also known to assault any lawyer or judge who did not. Last year, they were seen lifting the assassin of Punjab governor Salman Taseer on their shoulders and showering him with rose petals in full public view outside court. When Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, black coats around the country wore black armbands and held prayers of mourning. When the US announced a reward for Hafiz Saeed’s arrest, the LBA’s official statement called “Obama a terrorist, not Saeed”. But the radical Islamism cuts deeper. Earlier this year, the LBA banned the sale of drinks and products made by companies owned by minorities like the Shias. This triggered some protests but no action from the judiciary. Chaudhry has remained silent on many of these controversial acts, and has stayed their hero. When Arsalan was accused of extortion, the black coats were protesting again, banning the entry of Hussain’s lawyer in court, and shouting that old slogan, “Chief, tairay janasarbeshumar beshumar (Chief, you have countless followers).” They accused the PPP government of conspiracy, and the PPP now accuses Chaudhry of having disqualified Gilani as an “act of revenge”.

    The writer is senior editor, CNN-IBN
    express@expressindia.com

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/judgment-in-islamabad/965078/2

  • Leaders of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party believe that the allegations of corruption levelled against Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s son have some link to the Supreme Court’s decision to disqualify Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

    Arsalan Iftikhar, the son of the Chief

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    Pak PM Gilani can appeal to apex court within 30 days
    Justice, has been accused of receiving payments of over Rs. 342 million from property tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain to influence cases in the apex court.
    The tycoon has acknowledged making the payments in a statement submitted to the Supreme Court, which directed authorities to take action against Iftikhar and Hussain.

    “Since the Chief Justice’s son case surfaced, the case to disqualify the Prime Minister was suddenly taken up by the Supreme Court and we had the decision regarding Gilani’s disqualification,” senior PPP leader Usman Salim Malik told PTI.

    A three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice yesterday disqualified Gilani as a member of parliament due to his conviction of contempt for refusing to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

    The apex court also overruled the National Assembly Speaker’s decision not to disqualify Gilani following his conviction in April.

    Malik said after the corruption case involving the Chief Justice’s son, it seemed as if the apex court was in a hurry to “punish” Gilani.

    “As the Speaker’s ruling cannot be challenged at any forum, the court’s decision leaves several questions unanswered. Only time will reveal the real motive behind the decision of the bench led by the Chief Justice in Gilani’s case,” he said.

    “It is a biased decision as the courts have always targeted PPP governments. We reject this verdict and the masses will give a befitting reply to it in the next election,” Malik said.

    PPP secretary general Jehangir Badar said it was not the first time that such a decision had been given against a PPP leader by the judiciary.

    He said since the corruption allegations against Iftikhar came to the limelight, the PPP was expecting something “unusual”.

    Badar said: “And the inevitable happened.”

    He added: “Conspiracies had been hatched against the PPP since it came to power in 2008. PPP workers are dejected and disappointed over the apex court’s decision but they will continue their struggle to strengthen democracy.”

    Badar said the PPP could organise countrywide protests against the “unfair and biased” verdict but it would show restraint for the sake of democracy.

    “We do not want a clash of institutions,” he said.

    Malik contended that the judiciary had given nine years to military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who violated the constitution, but never allowed PPP governments to complete their terms.

    “There are different standards of justice for the Sharif brothers (PML-N leaders Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif) and the Bhuttos. The judiciary in the past restored the Sharifs while it sent the PPP Prime Minister packing,” said another PPP leader who did not want to be named.

    Gilani’s special assistant Chaudhry Aslam Gill said the apex court had already made up its mind to send the premier home.

    “No legal arguments have any value when a judge has already made up his mind in a case,” he said.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Pakistan/Gilani-s-disqualification-linked-to-CJ-s-son-case-PPP-leaders/Article1-875387.aspx

  • How both the apex court and its judges as well as the chief justice apply their own standards of justice to themselves will show if they practise what they preach when it comes to accountability, impartiality and fairness.
    The resistance in 2007 by the judges to their sacking, led by the chief justice, and the movement for their restoration was always predicated on a moral high ground that necessitated not accepting the decision by a military dictator to sack them en masse – notwithstanding the fact that the same set of judges had validated General Pervez Musharraf’s self-confessed unconstitutional putsch against an elected government.
    That the showdown between the judiciary and the army eventually resulted in Musharraf bowing out and the justices donning their black robes again ostensibly meant judiciary had become ‘truly independent’ and severely dented the military’s powerful dominance over the polity and apparently strengthened the parliament and presidency.
    How ironical, then, that five years down the road, the army is stronger than ever before and the parliament and the elected representatives as well as the political forces on the back foot. And, the judiciary itself in the proverbial dock, to boot.
    All this because, rightly or wrongly, the superior judiciary decided soon after its second restoration by the elected coalition government to focus its energies on not just taking on political cases but itself encouraged litigation on political issues.
    Where this encouragement wasn’t enough, it launched into an undisguised phase of judicial activism based in a perceived legitimacy drawn from restoration as an outcome of its institutional resistance to the executive fiat of General Musharraf’s dispensation.
    This activism driven by a sense of mission and destiny has also been helped by the fact that Iftikhar Chaudhry has managed to get an unusually long term in office as the head of the apex court, which has fuelled the drive to be judge, jury and executioner in several cases – best illustrated by the trial of Prime Minister Yousaf Gilani for contempt of court, which by implication sought to all but throw him out of office based on perceived slight.
    With less than a year to go in his tenure, the chief justice, as illustrated by his larger than life profile and vocal demeanour, also seems to be obsessed by his legacy.
    Legacies, however, are a dangerous business when the equation includes the power to influence events that not just go beyond your term in office but sometimes a generation and beyond and to actually have, by the last word on fates of institutions, governments and nations.
    Notwithstanding the intention, influence or capacity of Iftikhar Chaudhry to accomplish goals that seemingly go beyond the normally perceived and acceptable mandate of judges and judiciaries, the legacy of the Chief Justice is looking different from his stated (as opposed to accorded) mandate of ridding the society of all ills.
    Chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s real legacy throws up at least three characteristics in relief:
    1) The Supreme Court has been rendered a court of complaint more than a court of appeal. Consequence: defendants lose at least two chances of self-defence and appeal in case they feel shortchanged by an inefficient justice system. No-one in the last four years has won a single case of appeal against the apex courts own judgment. High profile examples: Admission of petition after petition against the government from ordinary citizens – from an appeal to stop sacking of ISI Chief General Pasha when there was no such decision to stop former ambassador Hussain Haqqani from working and putting him on Exit Control List.
    2) The Supreme Court has turned the maxim of innocent until proven guilty to guilty until proven innocent. Consequence: Whoever moves the Supreme Court first against someone all but wins the case. High profile examples: President Asif Zardari guilty of alleged corruption despite failure of both complainants and courts to convict him for over two decades now, half of which he spent in prison. Another example is Hussain Haqqani who has been all but declared a traitor without even being tried – the commission that investigated him not having the status of a tribunal.
    3) The Supreme Court moves in a pack and hands out unanimous judgments with nary a dissenting note from a judge in a bench in sight. Consequence: Defendants are at a significant disadvantage in the pursuit of justice when dealing with a bench that has clearly strong opinions on issues – sometimes bordering on premeditation. High profile example: a seven-member bench declaring Prime Minister Gilani guilty of contempt of court in a unanimous decision that oozed unusual venom.
    l The writer is a freelance journalist based in Islamabad and can be reached at kaamyabi@gmail.com

    http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=513608&version=1&template_id=46&parent_id=26

  • Gulf News

    Pakistan Supreme Court goes beyond the law
    Supreme Court’s pursuit of Gilani has a strong poltical element
    Gulf NewsPublished: 00:00 June 21, 2012
    Share on twitterShare on gmailShare on facebookShare on emailMore Sharing Services15
    Politics in Pakistan was flung into confusion when the Supreme Court disqualified the sitting Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani from public office, thanks to Gilani having “flouted, disregarded and disobeyed the court order” that required Gilani to ask the Swiss authorities to reopen a corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari.
    The Supreme Court is headed by the politically active Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry who gained huge public profile by challenging Pakistan’s previous head of state, the military dictator Pervez Musharraf. Under the present elected government, Chaudhry has continued to take the Supreme Court beyond its basic legal remit and has plunged it into the heart of day-to-day politics. There can be no doubt that Chaudhry was making a political statement when he read out the court’s order that “Gilani is disqualified from membership of parliament. He has also ceased to be the prime minister of Pakistan”.
    Of course, no one is above the law and this applies to the prime minister and the president, as it does to any other citizen of the country. It is well known that there have been accusations of corruption swirling around Zardari for years, Long before he took office, dating back to the time when his wife late Benazir Bhutto was the prime minister, and these should be answered with facts, rather than pleas of immunity to avoid trial.
    But that said, any case brought against any public official has to be legally sound and should exclude any political element. It is a problem that the Supreme Court’s pursuit of Gilani has not been about a straight accusation of corruption, such as looking at misuse of office or money or favours received. Instead, the court has focused on where Gilani’s loyalty should lie: either to the law and Supreme Court (according to the Chief Justice), or to the President and party leader of the Pakistan People’s Party, which has a majority in the National Assembly. This apparent legal issue has a strong political element.

    http://gulfnews.com/opinions/editorials/pakistan-supreme-court-goes-beyond-the-law-1.1038312

  • Times of Inida

    Judicial coup
    Jun 21, 2012, 12.00AM IST

    Tags:
    Yousaf Gilani|Swiss government|Asif Ali Zardari
    It is entirely possible that the Pakistani Supreme Court genuinely fancies itself as a champion of Pakistani democracy, and that its chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry is a stickler for constitutional propriety. But in its zeal to purge the system of perceived vices, it has not only created a precedent for future confrontation between the judiciary and the executive but also plunged Pakistan into yet another period of political uncertainty. The apex court’s disqualification of Pakistani prime minister Yousaf Gilani may or may not have been sound in law. Having been convicted of contempt in April for refusing to ask the Swiss government to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, Gilani’s membership to the Pakistani parliament was placed under a cloud. But what is disconcerting is that the drastic judicial activism on display is neither consistent nor free from prejudices.

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    Notwithstanding its crusade against the civilian leadership, the Pakistani judiciary continues to fumble in convicting terrorists, despite Pakistan itself having become a prime victim of terrorism. Nor can the judiciary claim the moral high ground on the anti-corruption score. That justice Chaudhry saw it fit to preside over a corruption case involving his own son and only excluded himself after mounting criticism from across the board speaks volumes. Throughout the various military regimes in Pakistani history, the judiciary was an equal victim along with the civilian leadership. That it should now use its authority to bully the latter is highly ironical.

    The problem lies in the political culture of Pakistan that has consistently seen power gravitate to unelected poles. This has not only stymied the development of democratic institutions in Pakistan but also obstructed a genuine respect for the ideal of democracy. In its absence, the civilian government continues to be a soft target. That hitherto no elected government in Pakistan has completed its full term is telling. In such a scenario, supporting the civilian government should be topmost priority for all the arms of the Pakistani state.

    It hardly helps that the current political turmoil comes in the midst of a deteriorating Pakistani economy. As the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party-led coalition searches for Gilani’s replacement, it’s also unclear if the next Pakistani PM would be obliged to reopen the corruption cases against Zardari. Unless flexibility is shown by all sides, Pakistan risks receding from its fragile democratic progress.

    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-06-21/edit-page/32336957_1_corruption-cases-yousaf-gilani-pakistani-judiciary

  • Pak Chief Justice resorts to judicial vendetta against PM Gilani

    Tuesday, June 19, 2012 – 19:15
    By: Vimal Sumbly
    No Prime Minister in Pakistan, for that matter not even a democratically elected government, has completed five year term in office. However, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was about to, but for the disqualification by the Pakistan Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry for his conviction on April 26 last in a contempt of court case, today.

    Prima facie the harsh order appears to have been provoked by the recent allegations against Iftikhar Chuadhry’s son Arsalan Chaudhry leveled by a leading Pakistani businessman Malik Riaz Hussain that he had paid Rs 400 million to him (Arsalan). Hussain is considered to be very close to President Asif Zardari.

    This has once again reaffirmed the belief that all democratically elected governments in Pakistan are jinxed and these have to end in a coup. However, this time the coup was not staged by the army, but by the judiciary and that too for personal reasons and vengeance.

    A three judge bench of the Pakistan Supreme Court headed by the CJ Chaudhry disqualified Gilani from being the Prime Minister because he had been convicted for contempt of court on April 26. However, the Speaker of the Pakistan National Assembly, Fehmida Mirza had ruled that conviction did not debar Gilani from being the member of the PNA or the Prime Minister. Her ruling was passed by the PNA on June 14 and now it has been overruled by the SC.

    However, the hyperactive SC and at that the Chief Justice pursued with the case and in an obvious overreach disqualified him today much to the disappointment across the subcontinent as how a democratically elected Prime Minister was removed in a coup of sorts. The protests against the removal have gone viral with people registering their protest on Twitter and Facebook, with journalist Nadeem Pracha tweeting, “Chaudhry d’état”, while alluding to coup d’état.

    Arsalan case
    On June 12 Malik Hussain, twelfth richest Pakistani in the world, told the media that he had paid Rs 400 million to Arsalan. However, he did not mention for what. When the revelations came, Iftikhar took suo motto notice and started hearing the case. However, on some saner advice he later recused himself from the case. At the same time he defended himself claiming that he did not own a car or a house and was not aware what business his son did.

    Hussain revealed that his son-in-law, Salman Khan, who lives in London, had paid the money to Arsalan and also been host to him during his trips there. Arsalan has agreed that he had accepted Salman’s hospitality in London. Finding himself in such a defensive situation Iftikhar Chaudhry hit back so hard at the government and in the process has undermined the institution of the Prime Minister as well as the Pakistan National Assembly.

    Gilani’s case
    Gilani was convicted for the contempt of court for his alleged failure to reopen the corruption cases against the President Asif Zardari and his alleged Swiss bank accounts. Actually issue goes back to the era of President Pervez Musharaf who had granted general graft-amnesty to Zardari and 8000 others. However, the Supreme Court annulled the amnesty in 2009, with Zardari being the obvious target, asking the Prime Minister to probe Zardari. Prime Minister had a valid point that Zardari being the President enjoyed immunity, an argument overruled by the SC.

    Judicial overreach
    In obvious clash of personal interests the Pakistan Chief Justice has only tried to undermine the authority of the Pakistan National Assembly and the Prime Minister which is indeed very bad for the democracy there. Iftikhar Chaudhry has done to the Pakistani democracy in black robes what army generals used to do in uniform. Iftikhar Chaudhry has not just misused his power, he has abused it. He has betrayed and defied the meaning of justice itself in pure self interest and personal vengeance with judicial vendetta.

    Source:
    Punjab Newsline Network

  • Baloch, Shia, Ahmadi, Pashtoon

    Baloch, Shia, Ahmadi, Pashtoon

    Baloch, Shia, Ahmadi, Pashtoon

    Shut up, LUDP

  • #RajaRental
    #RajaRental
    #RajaRental
    #RajaRental
    #RajaRental
    #RajaRental
    #RajaRental
    #RajaRental

    #LUDP
    #LUDP
    #LUDP
    #LUDP
    #LUDP
    #LUDP

  • LUBP’s herod #RajaRental Raja Pervez Ashraf – Many years of excellent work as minister for power means elevation to bigger role in Pakistan.

    Raja Pervez Ashraf’s first act as IT Minister was to ban twitter. Wonder what his first action as PM might be.

    Hope you will think again before writing against an honest and God fearing, true Muslim judge.

  • We don’t need an Ayatullah as our Chief Justice.

    Parliament cannot legislate against constitution, Islam: CJ

    23 June 2012

    Dawn

    Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in a group photo with the delegation of Youth Parliament at the Supreme Court Building in Islamabad on Saturday. – Photo by APP
    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top judge has said that the Parliament cannot legislate any law repugnant to Constitution, injunctions of Islam and contrary to fundamental laws.

    “If such law is promulgated, Supreme Court under its power of Judicial Review can review it. The underlying object of judicial review is to check abuse of power by public functionaries and ensuring just and fair treatment to citizens in accordance with law and constitutional norms.”

    Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry was speaking to a 50-member delegation of Youth Parliament on Saturday at the Supreme Court Building in Islamabad.

    The CJ said: “The system in our country is parliamentary system. From 1973 onward there have been National Assemblies and Senate but on account of Constitutional turmoil time and again there had been intervention in Parliamentary System, therefore, the expectations of people attached with Parliament could not be fulfilled. Parliament is required to give laws in accordance with Constitution for betterment of public at large so that laws can be made applicable.”

    “I can say with utmost respect that they cannot legislate any law repugnant to the Constitution and injunctions of Islam and contrary to fundamental laws,” he added.

    The CJ stressed that the Constitution is a complete document which answers all questions, adding that every organ of the State enjoys complete institutional independence within its constitutional domain, however, any excess or misuse of power beyond that domain becomes the subject matter of judicial scrutiny.

    Speaking about fundamental rights, he said, where any question of public importance arises with reference to enforcement of any of Fundamental Rights ensured by the Constitution of Pakistan; then the Supreme Court has power to make any appropriate order for enforcement of these rights.

    The law applies to all, irrespective of their status, power, caste, creed and religion. No one can claim supremacy over and above the law, the CJ added.

  • Hira is #IftikharMental’s sister Everyone is ordered to attend #HiraKiDholki. ordered by Pakistan’s top judge

  • Rehman Malik ‏@SenRehmanMalik
    Dear all,I saw few tweets with negative remarks on our judiciary request to Pl avoid it as we should always respect our judges..

    Laibaah ‏@Laibaah1
    Dear all, Ignore Rehman Malik’s advice. Becharay Majboor Hain. We will carry on our #CyberSuoMoto against #IftikharMental

    Darvesh ‏@Darveshh
    If Twitter has any representative here, he may well be called, like PEMRA chairman, in the court to explain why CJ ws called #IftikharMental

    Ali Muntaziri ‏@AliAMuntaziri
    Really deserves this title, does #IftikharMental. Keep it up.

    Shahzadi Tauseef ‏@ShaiziCheema
    Its possible @Laibaah1 #IftikharMental can take suo moto on #HiraKiDholki

    Abdul Nishapuri ‏@AbdulNishapuri
    Dear Pakistani democrats, If someone insults your elected Prime Minister, throw this at their face: http://criticalppp.com/archives/79712 #IftikharMental

  • […] Now, in response to the great Twitter Hashtag of #RajaRental that was developed by the pious, independant and un-corruptible Pakistani media, liberal fascist “scum” have come up with their own twitter hash tag that is called #IftikharMental :  #IftikharMental: Pakistan social media abuzz with insult for country’s top judge http://bit.ly/LfgsSm. […]

  • Nadeem F. Paracha ‏@NadeemfParacha
    Ifti Mental, gentle to Mian Sentimental, parental to Immy Accidental; and Media Judgmental, losing dental, flatulence monumental.

  • […] Now, in response to the great Twitter Hashtag of #RajaRental that was developed by the pious, independant and un-corruptible Pakistani media, liberal fascist “scum” have come up with their own twitter hash tag that is called #IftikharMental :  #IftikharMental: Pakistan social media abuzz with insult for country’s top judge http://bit.ly/LfgsSm. […]

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