Thursday, January 28, 2010

What A Strategy?

Prime Minister Gilani reiterated his commitment to implement the detailed judgment of the Supreme Court on the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) except for the part pertaining to the reopening of the Swiss cases owing to constitutional immunity enjoyed by the president.

It seems as if there is a new game plan of the PPP strategists to counter the problems posed subsequent to the repeal of the said illegitimate ordinance.
As expected, President Zardari returned CJ’s proposal for Supreme Court Slot--back to Mr. Justice Chaudhry requesting to recommend Justice Khawaja instead. It appears that the PPP government wants to remove Justice Khawaja from LHC, so that his recommended names are replaced favouring the PPP jialaas under Justice Saqib Nisar.
Many weeks ago, Chief Justice Punjab Khawaja Muhammad Sharif recommended 26 names to fill the vacancies of Lahore High Court, but Governor Taseer never took any appropriate action as required under the Constitution.

Former CJP Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui, Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmad, Akram Sheikh Advocate and even the petitioner of the Al Jihad Trust case Wahabul Khairi Advocate, are of the opinion that it is the “CJP’s discretion” to promote any judge of the high court. They say that it is not necessary to appoint the senior-most judge of a high court as a Supreme Court judge. They have agreed that the CJP’s recommendations are in line with the Constitution.

Most importantly, Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif enjoys excellent working and personal relations with Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Justice Chaudhry respects Khawaja Sharif a lot for his courage and he is very much satisfied with his performance also. He thinks that Justice Khawaja is running the LHC affairs very well despite the shortage of 40 judges and that is why he wants Justice Khawaja to continue as the LHC chief justice.
Now, does it make sense to replace such an efficient Justice Khawaja with  Justice Saqib Nisar who is retiring in less than three months time?

Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry specifically mentioned in his summary that he was recommending the name of Justice Saqib Nisar's elevation to SC with the consent of Justice Khawaja Sharif. The question is---If Justice Khawaja Sharif has no objection, who is Mr Zardari to object ?
In the recent past, Pres Zardari appointed five junior judges out of (sitting judges and retired judges) to the Supreme Court, because the CJP recommended them based on rule of fitness and suitability. Zardari and Gilani did not have any objection then.

Recently, a reference has been moved by Maulvi Iqbal Haider under Articles 63(2) and 41(3) of the Constitution requesting the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) to re-scrutinise the candidates of the presidential elections due to the fact that the NRO was “conditionally operational” at the time. Because at that time, the nomination papers had been accepted subject to final decision of the Supreme Court on petitions challenging the NRO.

Since Zardari's presidency and immunity are the by-products of NRO; hence no justification  for the President to continue any longer after the demise of  black law.

Thank God, Pakistan is lucky to have one last chance in the form of present Judicial System under the leadership of Justice Chaudhry. Therefore, anyone daring to disrupt/derail the overhauled system is likely to end up looking for an 'Exit-Strategy' --sooner the better --instead of facing the blind law.

It is rightly said, “No force on earth can destabilize a country where judicial system is intact.”

It is safely concluded rather strongly recommended that all disputed personalities including the accused President should be brave enough to step down immediately and face trials to let the legal process go smoothly, because that is in the best interest of Pakistan.

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