Posted by Raza Rumi
We are grateful to Babar Mirza who has translated an interview given by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja to Sohail Waraich in June 2007 which is recorded in Waraich’s book ‘Adlia ke Arooj-o-Zawaal ki Kahani’. The interview is a must read for all those who are interested in Pakistan’s politics and institutions. A biographical note is also available for those who wish to know more about the life and times of J. Khawaja. The latter resigned when J. Iftikhar Chauhdry was illegally deposed by the Musharraf regime. Later, he was part of the lawyers and judges movement and he was re-inducted into the Supreme Court after J. Chauhdry was restored as the Chief Justice in 2009. The interview also explains why Justice Khawaja took oath unde the 2000 PCO during the Musharraf regime.
Just as in any other part of the world, Punjab too has its share of stigma. Leaders from other provinces and many historians allege that the people of Punjab are not brave or courageous. Only time will establish the truth or falsehood of this allegation, but, in the recent judicial crisis, only one judge in Pakistan resigned from his office and that judge was a Punjabi from the Lahore High Court, Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja. Perhaps this was why Sindhi nationalist Rasool Bux Paleejo had to admit that Punjab’s strong stance in the judicial crisis had compensated for her many misgivings in the past. The Punjabi judges who decided to reinstate Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry have further helped clear the judiciary of many an allegation and perhaps the mistakes made by Punjabi judges in the past would now be remedied. Bold and fearless though the role of judiciary has been, the first drop of rain was Justice Khawaja and that will always remain to his credit.
Justice Khawaja is a very private person. He shies away from the world of fame. Perhaps this is why he did not give any interview or try to gain prominence after his resignation. Had any other judge resigned in similar circumstances, he would have justifiably lead protests, presided over meetings or at least given interviews to newspapers and television channels. But the reclusive nature of Justice Khawaja kept him away from all that. He felt the reference against the chief justice to be a burden on his conscience and resigned to free himself from that burden. Continue reading
Nawaz Sharif has dropped a bombshell on the country’s expectations with his news conference yesterday. It was a most thoughtless and insensitive step by Pakistan’s “most popular” politician. His party had agreed to the method of judges’ appointment and it was said that he had agreed to the re-naming of Pakhtunkhwa as well. So this is a major surprise. One had hoped that as the leader from the biggest province and country’s ethnic majority, he would have been more mindful of his responsibility. Nawaz Sharif is protecting General Zia’s legacy when he should have taken a lead in undoing it and thereby atoning for his sins. In doing so, he would have also dealt a crushing blow to the number one issue around which Pushtun Nationalists have mobilized. But it was not to be. This is a rather bleak moment in our already patchy history. -YLH
PRESS GALLERY: Sharifs unveil ‘Punjab Card’ to prolong zero-sum game
By Saeed Minhas
ISLAMABAD: With the Sharifs unveiling their ‘Punjab Card’, Maulana Diesel trying to get even with the government, ‘Bhai logs’ of Karachi going into a pensive mood and nationalists getting a hint coupled with the success of the Kiyani-Qureshi-led strategic dialogues in the US, an under-siege government is likely to find more bumpy roads ahead. Continue reading
by Khaled Ahmed writing in the weekly Friday Times
The lawyers are passionate, the retired judges are angry, and those who absent themselves from the country’s biggest display of righteous anger in history keep their mouths shut. The political parties are divided over how to interpret the phenomenon but are clearly grinding their separate political axes, looking for the right purchase on what the lawyers are up to. The anger of the wukla and the enthusiasm of the sahafi combined have not been able to create a consensus in parliament. And it is not a divided parliament, it is a house where everyone is everyone else’s partner in one thing or another.
Is the penny going to drop finally this week? At the time of writing nothing looked final and there were only two days to go for the deadline of April 30 when the National Assembly had to pass a resolution demanding restoration of the 60-odd judges fired on November 3, 2007. As the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chief Mr Asif Ali Zardari rested in Dubai, the reports were that the two parties had agreed to restore the 60 judges and increase the strength of the Supreme Court bench to 27 from the old 17 to re-accommodate Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry & Co without getting rid of the post-November 3 ‘PCO judges’ that the lawyers have been boycotting. Continue reading
A brilliant photo from the Daily Times, Pakistan. A related story by DAWN’s Amir Wasim below:
Top leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-N ended their marathon talks in Dubai on Thursday with an announcement that they had agreed to reinstate the deposed judges through a parliamentary resolution in accordance with the Murree Declaration. Continue reading