Pakistan: Legal czars urge CJ to steer country off cliff


LAHORE: The legal fraternity has strongly urged Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa to ensure the supremacy of law in order to bring the country back on the right track while bemoaning the prevailing scenario where it appeared that “powerful camps have decided against obeying court directives”.

Speaking at a seminar organised by the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) on Saturday under the theme “human rights, Pakistan Constitution and way forward,” lawyers, politicians, and columnists expressed concerns over the practice of repeatedly arresting political party leaders, despite court orders for their release.

They deemed the ongoing practice a “joke with the Constitution”. “The country has been trapped in the clamp of lawlessness; there is no law and no implementation of the Constitution,” lamented the lawyers present and called for a way for Pakistan to “inch towards progress”.

Moreover, the participants emphasised the importance of fair and transparent elections for political stability in the country and also highlighted the need for the protection of freedom of speech, a basic right enshrined in the Constitution.

Senior lawyer Hamid Khan pointed out that this fundamental right was not being allowed to be exercised.

Although he acknowledged the numerous challenges, Khan stressed that CJ Qazi Faez Isa must ensure the supremacy of law if the country is to be set back on the right path.

Shedding light on the judicial side, he called for improvements in the mechanism of appointments of the high court’s judges. “Appointments should be made on merit through amendments in the constitutional rules of the judicial commission,” he added.

Hamid highlighted the need for amendments in the Supreme Judicial Council “so that the judges found in any misconduct could be brought to book.

LHCBA Vice President Rabia Bajwa claimed that the “suspicious May 9 incident” was made a base to halt the political process. She said the powerful camp would break when “we poured out the streets with unity”.

Senior lawyer Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan said he had never seen “this mockery of the Constitution” throughout his life. If courts pass orders to release the politicians of a political party, they are again arrested in another case and if the country’s top court says holding the election on May 14, he said: “No one is ready to conduct the election.”

Aitzaz deduced: “It seems this time a decision has been made not to comply with the court’s directives.”

Jamat-e-Islami leader Liaquat Baloch said the constitution has no importance in the eye of the civil or military establishment. “There is political stability in fair and transparent elections,” he maintained.

However, he also emphasised forming a judicial commission upon the May 9 incident.

Apart from lawyers and politicians, columnists Ayaz Mir, Habib Akram, and Orya Jan Maqbool also addressed the