“Hum hue Tum hue keh Mir Hue
Uski Zulfo ke sub aaseer hua”
With a great pomp and flair the Chief Justice of Pakistan has announced the “New Judicial Policy”. Our civil society and the associated ISI backed right wing media have started its usual consent manufacturing routine. Article after article and talk show after talk show is repeating the same lines , how people of Pakistan have been deprived of justice and how every problem of Pakistan revolve around justice [On an empirical note one wonders, have they ever seen the statistics that what percentage of Pakistanis actually face courts?], to be precise “lack of it”
First this dilemma of deprivation of justice was to be solved by the “restoration of judiciary” through the “Black Revolution”. The black revolution took place, few thousand protestors on streets of Lahore, the split of state on linguistic/ethnic lines when Punjabi bureaucracy refused to obey the Sindhi president. The ruling security establishment of Pakistan, eternally suspicious of Pakistan Peoples Party intervened; General Shuja Pasha and General Kiyani took matters into their own hands and brought in their American friends on the pretext that if “restoration” was not done “things will get out of hand”.
A telephone call from secretary of state Hillary Clinton completed the black revolution and Chief Justice of Pakistan was restored. This was a striking blow to the concept of democracy, national sovereignty and Independence of judiciary. The later so because rightly or wrongly Mr Chief Justice was standing on a political divide. The scandalous haste with which the case of Sharif brothers was dealt with leaves a lot of question marks on nature of “Independent judiciary”
Now after the restoration and completion of black revolution, people of Pakistan are still as deprived of justice as they were, not a single indicator by which courts are monitored has changed. In the classical Popperian way, “ad-hoc” theories have been added to the original concept of “black revolution” to drag it further. This ad-hoc patch is the concept of “Trias Politica”, or doctrine of separation of powers. The theory goes like that “The fruits of black revolution are not reaching the public because judiciary is not separate from executive“. This is the soul of “new judicial policy”. Mr Chief Justice has recalled all judicial officers who were working in executive. Mr Chief Justiice has forbidden appointment of judges as “acting governors” etc. Mr Chief Justice has also informed the government that “judiciary will no longer help conduct the general election”. [Opening the door of yet another movement against election rigging by evil Zardari]. All these decrees have been widely celebrated in ex Stalinist, islamist and civil society circles. Alas concrete realities dont change. How many times have we seen and celebrated the “complete separation of judiciary from executive”? Many times this has been claimed and yet we again stand on the same road.
When Mr Chief Justice was busy separating powers his registrar was arranging his meeting with Ambassador Richard Holbrook who is effectively the viceroy of Pakistan. Mr Holbrook has been micro managing Pakistani politics, building alliances, setting up policy goals, etc etc. When Mr Chief Justice has taken an initiative to separate the powers, so that every organ of state remains in its own realm: Judiciary should not involve in executive matters so that it can maintain its independence, why than he has to meet Holbrook? Mr Chief Justice is not in foreign office? Neither do his constitutional role demands contacts with foreign powers? What kind of separation of powers is this? What was more tragic was the clumsy efforts by his registrar to hush up the matter. The statement issued by registrar office could have lead to resignation of the CJ in any civilized country. It said “Matters regarding national judicial policy, judicial reforms and overall judicial structure of Pakistan was discussed”. Why all these have to be reported to Mr Holbrook? He is a not a lawyer, never been in Law and Justice Department. Like our GHQ and president office our judiciary is taking lines from United States?
What kind of Independence is this? What kind of separation of powers is this? With this all the talk about separation of judiciary from executive has become a farce, it seems that this is being done only to further weaken the government.
The extensive lobbying done by Aitzaz Ahsan in United States on behalf of Chief Justice of Pakistan is paying off now. United States, Army and Nawaz Sharif , all three who played a role in restoration are getting partial treatment, at least that’s how it appears . Judiciary have to be very careful. Late Pakistani Marxist scholar Dr Hamza Alavi elaborated how Pakistani state is over developed due to the links of it with the metropolitan bourgeois [imperial power], this link makes them over developed as compared to national feudal and national bourgeois. It seems even the “black revolution” has not dented the nature of state– welcome back to reality my dear civil society