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What Has Kept CJ Out Of Office?


Each and every Pakistani has been haunted by the phantom of free, fair and transparent judiciary, especially for the last two years. The way lawyers, combined with civil and political forces rose, made it clear that for the last 60 years, either the judiciary was simply non-existent or in other case, it is full of flaws. Though since 1947, we may say that we desired a free judiciary in our dreams, but 9 March, 2007 and its backlash changed the entire scene. This I say because it brought entire institutions to a clash, never seen before.

            Before we move ant further, my view point on certain aspects should be clear. The first is that Pres Musharaff actions were totally illegitimate, in regards to CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry. Secondly, hats off to Iftikhar for challenging the might of a ruler like Musharaff and lastly, undoubtedly it was the lawyer movement which paved the way for the return of our exiled leadership, restoration of democracy and ofcourse the removal of the big man(though establishment may differ).

            But we are here to solve why has CJ not been restored until now. Even before Musharaff left his office and PM Gillani had assumed the office, he stopped well short of restoring Iftikhar. This initially proved 1 thing that the whole episode between Musharaff and Iftikhar was never a personality clash, but rather there is an overwhelming external factor attached to it. Today the lawyers are gearing up for the Long March, and from the recent trends one can predict that it will be the one, never seen before. But through the course of this struggle, now the culprit from their view has also changed. We don’t find Musharaff and his undemocratic rule at the centre of this episode, but today it is President Zardari and his N.R.O. But again I ask, Is this the core reason? Not at all.

            Let us take a view of the events, that lead to the whole episode. First of all, Musharaff was not the one, who was at odds with Iftikhar. The Steel Mill Case from where it started, was between PM Shaukat Aziz and CJ, though later it was Musharaff who replaced Aziz. The rest we very well know how Iftikhar was asked to resign, later his house arrest and all that followed. With time we have no Musharaff any more, and those who were propagating the return of CJ have themselves turned there back on CJ, by saying that he is now a “political entity”. Even if we take the case of N.R.O, this fails to give a clear explaination for the current establishment behaviour.  A political party will do its utmost to keep the public sentiments on its side, and how can they go to such an extent where there own foundations start rattling?, secondly in the past we also had the “doctorine of necessity” adopted by our judiciary, and politics is always based on compromise, so this fails to give a clear cut answer to this dilemma.

            This leaves us with only one option, the external one, and ofcourse which involves Uncle Sam and for your “Why”, I believe the answer is logical. W are talking about an era(2001-2008) where not hundreds, but thousands disappeared in the name of fighting terror. There is no trace, but we believe that most of them went to Afghanistan while others at Guantanamo. Don’t rule out the reports that many detention centres were secretly operated in many European and African countries. Places like Balouchistan, also lost many which may not have ant direct link with this war. Now Iftikhar was very vocal on this issue. His suo moto actions were really sending the regime( both inside and outside) packing. The case of Dr Aafia is a good example where the lady along with her 3 children disappeared. We know her because her family raised the voice, but what about other Aafia’s and no matter how many male victims that disappeared. This was at the centre of whole drama.

            But why did Americans feared? Well like us, the US law has no place for the evil deeds Mr Bush and his accomplice carried out, in there 8 years in power. The opening of camps like Guantanamo was never questioned by Pakistan or any other Arab state, for whose citizens it was made. It was US lawyer fraternity and Human Rights group that took Bush to task. Just imagine that Obama was in so much pressure that he had to announce a timetable for Guantamo closure, as soon as he assumed office, and it is Pakistan which holds the key to the entire “reign of terror” which US launched. It was Iftikhar who was on the path to reveal it all, which cannot be swallowed by those sitting 10,000 km away. One other factor worth mentioning is the link between the Pakistani and American judicial forces. We all remember the way Iftikhar was hailed in US during his trip, and the honours that he received.

            Bush is no more, I know but what about the whole US beurocracy that worked on this task. They are still there, and they will never allow this thing to get any further. If we take Obama, be clear that in US they don’t drag the previous regime for there evils. I never heard Bush blaming Clinton for 9/11, though I firmly believe that Clinton had the intelligence and the power to track Osama down. This makes CJ at a very unfavourable position of being restored. I mean imagine the boiling issue of the “predator strikes”, taking the centre stage this time with his return.

            But to all us who desire and struggle a CJ like Iftikhar, hopes are high and much is expected in the coming few days. I believe that this struggle has gone far from one man show, but rather it is an awakening in itself. You can stop it, but you can never crush it for ever.     



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