Original Articles

Punjabi judges must stop the witch hunt in the name of justice or risk backlash from other provinces – by Farrukh Siddiqui

Source: State of Pakistan blog

The News reports the following on March 29, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) warned the Chairman of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) that he may be put behind bars if the judicial ordersdelivered on National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), were not implemented, Geo News reported Monday.Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday said in his remarks that it is unthinkable why the court order on the NRO is being criticized; though, theParliament threw it away terming it ‘a stinking mouse’.Justice Ramday wondered what wrong was done in delivering the NRO verdict that a volley of invectives is being showered.

A seven-member of the SC headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry heard the corruption case against Riaz Sheikh, FIA’s additional DG Finance.

Court voiced annoyance at Acting Chairman of NAB for not appearing before the court. When he came to the court, the SC ordered him to present by this afternoon the report on the implementation of the NRO verdict

The CJ addressed the NAB acting chief, ‘If you fear, then go home. You are doing your job and want to get the SC slurred.’

The CJ Chaudhry expressed surprise saying how Riaz continued in a high office despite being accused of massive corruption.

The court also called Home Secretary.

The court also scolded the Rasheed A Rizvi for pleading the case for Ahmed Riaz Sheikh.

The CJ said the court ordered to restore the accountability cases to October 5, 2007 position; however, the matter is being slighted with letters being addressed to the Attorney General and sometimes to the Law Secretary.”

It is high time that the Punjabi judges of the Supreme Court stop this drama and witch hunt in the name of rejection of NRO. It is the height of hypocrisy and double standards that some of the biggest loan defaulters in Pakistan’s history (all from Punjab) , such as Nawaz Sharif, Chaudhris of Gujrat, and Faisal Saleh Hayat – who all cut deals with Musharraf at different points of time – are free to go around. However, the only corrupt person and the only unjust deal, their lordships  (a bunch of highly incompetent, corrupt, and prejudiced lot, who revolted against Musharraf only when they got a wink from the ISI) see is the Zardari and the NRO. It is ludicrous to talk about justice when the Supreme Court cannot touch the people in the Mehran Bank scandal but goes into high gear when it comes to cases against Zardari. Zardari is a man with a tainted past but then where are the angels?

The first deal to pardon all crimes was done between Nawaz Sharif and Musharraf, without even the formality of NRO.

The following is a snapshot (Urdu translation) of the documents that were signed.  Nawaz Sharif could not endure the hardship in the jail and begged his friends in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon to bail him out in exchange for not only the remission but also in exchange of the forfeiture of $10 million worth of property.

While the remission document has been made public, the complete deal was done with the assistance of the Saudis and son of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Harriri.

Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz, the chief of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence service, and Saad Hariri, son of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, told a news conference in Rawalpindi on Sept. 8, 2007 that Sharif should abide by the 10-year agreement, whereby he agreed not to take part in politics.

If Supreme Court wants to do justice, it must summon the records of all the cases of loan write-offs as well as those of huge transfers of dollars that took place before the foreign currency deposits were frozen by Nawaz Sharif in 1998.

The documents show that on Dec 1, 2000, the state ‘remitted’ the sentences of imprisonment in response to a request from the former prime minister that the sentences ‘may be waived’ to enable him to proceed abroad for medical treatment.

The then president Rafiq Tarar granted him the remission under Article 45 of the Constitutionon the advice of Gen Pervez Musharraf, then the chief executive of Pakistan, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and chief of the army staff.

Issued on the letterhead of the chief executive’s secretariat in Islamabad with the subject ‘Grant of pardon,’ the document said: ‘In terms of Article 45 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the president is advised to: (a) Remit the sentence of imprisonment for life awarded to Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif by the High Court of Sindh in its judgment dated Oct 30, 2000, in Special AT (Anti-Terrorism) Appeal No.43 of 2000 under Section 402b of thePakistan Penal Code read with Section 7(ii) of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997: and (b) Remit the sentence of RI (rigorous imprisonment) for 14 years awarded to Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif by the Accountability Court, Attock Fort, in its judgment dated July 22, 2000, in reference No.1 of 2000 under Section 9(a)(v) of the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance 1999.’

The pardon was issued under the signatures of Gen Musharraf and approved by then president Tarar.

It is high time that this prejudiced, biased, politically motivated witch hunt in the name of the justice and independent judiciary is stopped. Most of the judges are the ‘baqiat’ of Zia or Musharraf and got there through the patronage of the intelligence agencies. While some people can be fooled, not every one is blind to see the real game.

But it is high time that the Punjabi members of the establishment realise that the pursuit of the interests of the the equally corrupt mafia from Punjab (including its politicians, generals, and  terrorists like Sipah-e-Sahaba) will ultimately cause a huge backlash in the minority provinces.

There would not have been any issue if real justice was being done and all corrupt inlcluding former generals and admirals faced accountibility but the selective accountability is nothing but a vicious, prejudiced, and a biased witch hunt with sinister motives.

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  • Extract from book “A JUDICIARY IN CRISES? The Trial of Zulifqar Ali Bhutto” by T.W. Rajaratnam [former Judge of the Appellate Court of Sri Lanka]

    Bhutto finally concluded his speech “I am certain you will uphold the Majesty of the law and never turn into matrons of Martial Law……”

    La’anat on Mawdudi, Jamat-e-Islami, Professor Ghafoor, Senator Khursheed who helped Zia in all this: Judicial Murder of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Judiciary & CJ [R] Nasim Hasan Shah. http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2010/02/judicial-murder-of-zulfikar-ali-bhutto.html

    Rascal Military also desecrated Bhutto’s Dead Body by checking his Private Parts to make sure that Bhutto was Muslim. Curse be upon Military. Pakistani Political Maulvis have always been Rascals of Highest Degree, now listen to Senator Prof Khursheed Ahmed of Jamat-e-Islami was in Zia Cabinet and watch his interview justifying the Judicial Murder of Bhutto. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iPFulZOplQ&feature=related

    Professor Ghafoor Ahmad of Jamat-e-Islami was a Federal Minister Production Industries in General Zia Martial Law Cabinet [1978-1979] [Reference Cabinet Division Pakistan] REFERENCE: High Treason Cases against Pakistani Military Dictators & Collaborators/Abettors http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/08/high-treason-cases-against-pakistani.html

  • Ordinary Pakistanis like me have always been skeptical of the judiciary in the case of the mainstream leaders from the smaller provinces. We think the Pakistani judiciary and establishment go hand in hand to victimise the people of the smaller provinces. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry took oath not once but twice under the first PCO of General Musharraf. First there was an attempt to sabotage the draft bill of the 18th Amendment by the non-democratic powerhouses to halt its presentation using Nawaz Sharif. Nawaz Sharif has a strong influence in the judiciary, same as the one he has at the GHQ. So, Nawaz Sharif will keep enjoying the postponement of cases against him and President Zardari, on the other hand, will keep standing in the line of fire. Now with the launch of the 18th Amendment draft bill in both houses, the sudden over-activism of the judiciary over President Zardari’s conviction in the ill-fabricated Swiss case is causing apprehension. Being a genuinely elected president and the co-chairman of the largest political party, he is mandated by 16 million people of Pakistan and conviction in fake cases is totally biased.

  • Nawaz Sharif will Demand Fresh Polls.

    Pakistan – No man’s land A constitutional settlement—or a prelude to more trouble? Apr 8th 2010 | LAHORE | From The Economist print edition
    http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15869410

    Zardari (right) may soon need help

    IT LOOKS like a truce, at least. For the past two years political conflict in Pakistan has pitted the judiciary and main opposition leader on the one hand against the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and President Asif Zardari on the other. Now, after last-minute hiccups, a constitutional amendment with 105 clauses, additions and deletions is poised for approval by a two-thirds majority of both houses of Parliament. Not since 1973, when Pakistan’s constitution was written, has political consensus been so much in the air.

    Some credit should go to the otherwise-discredited president. Mr Zardari has relinquished powers to appoint or sack prime ministers, service chiefs and judges. He has agreed to the abolition of limits restricting prime ministers to two terms, clearing the way for Nawaz Sharif, the opposition leader, to become prime minister yet again. And he has given the chief justice a veto over the appointment of fellow judges.

    But if Pakistanis and the international community think political stability and good government will follow, they could be disappointed. The chances are that Mr Sharif will now push for a mid-term election, while the Supreme Court tries to “get Mr Zardari”. So the hiccups are worth noting as portents.

    Mr Sharif delayed signing the amendment until the government agreed to give the chief justice veto powers over a proposed commission on appointing judges. Then, Mr Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, the chief minister of Punjab province, absented themselves from the parliamentary session at which the amendment was introduced. The governor of Sindh, Ishra-ul-Ibad Khan, also stayed away. He belongs to the MQM, a coalition partner of the PPP in the federal and Sindh governments. This could have consequences for the coalition. Last year, the MQM refused to back Mr Zardari’s attempt to get immunity for himself and other PPP bigwigs from corruption cases lodged a decade earlier, while last week the attorney-general, an erstwhile MQM supporter, resigned and left Mr Zardari in the lurch.

    The Supreme Court and the PPP also seem to be heading for a clash over a money-laundering case against Mr Zardari and his assassinated wife, Benazir Bhutto. The court is demanding the case be reopened. The PPP has vowed to stop what it calls an attempt “dig up the grave of its martyred leader, Benazir Bhutto”.

    Mr Sharif, meanwhile, is likely to focus attention on the country’s economic woes, such as 25% inflation, acute energy shortages and strikes. A budget is due in June and will need to meet the conditions of an IMF loan approved in 2008. It could trigger mass agitation for a change of government.