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Judges – suo moto power limits

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Discusson on Samaa TV program regarding latest Supreme Court decision on “carbon tax”/petrol price issues:

– Justice (R) Nasira Javed (wife of Javed Iqbal son of Allama Iqbal) – in favour
– Salman Akram Raja (lawyer) – in favour
– Khwaja Asif (PML-N) – in favour
– Babar Sattar (lawyer) – against

Those supporting the Supreme Court intervention on government policy matters seem to be arguing for a type of “Doctrine of Necessity” (without actually realizing what they are saying is very close to that). At other times many of these people have heaped great scorn on the “Doctrine of Necessity” as well (which is used to justify Army action when “democratic” governments fail).

The compere seems to understand this similarity and tries to draw parallels – for example the “usurpation” of democracy by Musharraf.

However the participants seem oblivious to what their comments are leading to, as they stick to their story blindly and unthinkingly.

Although Salman Akram Raja is going with the flow, he realizes that he may have to eat his words some months later, so he concedes begrudgingly that there are some “dangers” for sure.

Babar Sattar has reservations about the Supreme Court’s activism. However he evidently sees no wrong in the activism which brings back a Chief Justice against whom a reference has been filed by the President, whose faults outlined in the reference are not examined, and who winds up leading political processions funded by the PPP (to negotiate better terms of the NRO) or as the movement fizzles with achievement of NRO by the adoption by Nawaz Sharif (which winds up dominating and virtually swamping the “lawyers” portion of the movement, since the majority of the “jiyala” lawyers have left after PPP loses interest).

He probably also does not want to examine Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s real reputation among lawyer – where his own lawyers are known to concede that the guy is not ok, but they need him to get at Musharraf.

He is also not critical of the Supreme Court “layt gayay” (i.e. capitulated) in front of the Sharif brothers in all court judgements against them. Whether this was “payback” or if the court really finds them to be pristine politicians is another discussion.

The reservations by people like Babar Sattar may become more vocal if the Supreme Court starts commenting on the PML-N behaviour in the future.

The idiocy of the “analysts”

A lot of times we have people portrayed on TV as fair or neutral analysts, who are in fact affiliated with one party or other in the past. For example Shireen Mazari is currently affiliated with the Tehreek-e-Insaaf (Imran Khan’s party). And Geo routinely invites a former PPP Senator Shafqat Mehmood as an “analyst”. His former links with Benazir Bhutto make him unlikely to oppose her, although he maybe opposed to Zardari now.

And now a comment about Babar Sattar (who is representative of analysts who are anti-Taliban but then oppose Musharraf for badly planned action against Lal Masjid) who is now opposed to Supreme Court using it’s powers at will:

From the tone of his articles, Babar Sattar has been anti-Musharraf, and extremely pro-“lawyer’s movement”, pro-dharna in the past.

He has later chastized the PML-N for “not supporting” them anymore.

I guess he didn’t see what the game was all the time.

The lawyer’s movement was a politically driven movement – owing to the strong representation of the PPP in the “lawyer’s community”. A significant number of PPP “jiyalas” became lawyers when Benazir “came in from the cold” after the death of Zia.

The PPP used the lawyer’s movement to leverage better terms of NRO. After achieving that she retreated (never had an interest in Iftikhar Chaudhry). The “lawyer’s movement” languished with the absence of the PPP jiyala element among the lawyers.

It was not until Nawaz Sharif leveraged HIS workers that the “lawyer’s movement” (which still had some PPP lawyers at it’s helm) gained traction.

However it was never again a real “lawyer’s movement”, as it was dominated primarily by non-lawyer participants (as evidenced by the “Long March” from Lahore to Islamabad).

However it is “analysts” like Babar Sattar who are either naive, or are conveniently stupid when they should know better.

Do they allow their ethnic biases (Musharraf had a serious problem with being the Muhajir outsider in the Potohari Islamabad/Pindi area). It was not because there was ethnic bias ALONE. It was because if he was a local, or a Punjabi, people would KNOW how to reach him. Some mamay ka bhanja would know him. And they could “reach” him.

In the absence of such traditional linkages (which a majority of our “elite” depend on), there was great opposition among the native elements against the outsider.

The only people who were truly comfortable with him were people who went beyond those linkages. Or people who knew him from the Army, or the SSG.

Then there was the Muhajir segment, of which there is a sizable portion which maybe his supporters just for that reason. However it also can be because they feel COMFORTABLE with a person who is like an ordinary person – i.e. does not sound like a feudal, or talk like an idiot.

However many Punjabis will be surprised that even among Muhajir elements in Karachi there were a sizable group who forever remained skeptical of him. Many of these were people who opposed him because they themselves had pro-Taliban sentiment (some of it raised by media personalities like Dr. Shahid Masood, Ansar Abbasi and Hamid Mir who even NOW are looking for excuses to “let the Taliban be”) and the newspaper journalists who write in the Urdu Jang (affiliate of Geo TV) who every day spew nonthinking “analysis” about the situation in Pakistan.

This group was the most vociferous against Musharraf, beacuse they failed to see his strategy.

Then there are the non-thinkers just do not “get” the strategizing of Musharraf, and they fail miserably in accusing him of things he is LESS culpable of than the political opponents.

Then there are the people who consider themselves smart or are self-styled analysts. This group winds up hating Musharaff because he makes them feel inadequate and stupid.

A bulk of the journalistic community falls into this group. All the old “journalists” and “tajzia nigar” in the Urdu newspapers – who are fluid with the pen, but lack the ability to analyze widely and deeply.

Babar Sattar wonders “why” the Lal Masjid clerics are released by the same beloved judiciary. He is also forgetting the role Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry played in prolonging and damaging the state’s fight against Lal Masjid occupants:

http://thenews.jang.com.pk/print1.asp?id=181432
Transitional justice
Saturday, June 06, 2009

But these judges were responsible for feeble action against Lal Masjid and the male madressa in E-12 sector of Islamabad which contributed a number of participants in the Lal Masjid siege.

When analysts do not want to open their minds, and instead want to keep criticizing what is no longer criticizable, they will necessarily be confused later on.

Evidently he sees no “pattern” there. He does not see how well known corrupt leaders like Nawaz Sharif can get full exoneration from past convictions as well under the reinstated Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

Babar Sattar maybe the son of Abdul Sattar (former foreign minister), and may think he knows the workings in Islamabad, but he certainly does not show it.

Articles about him on the internet seem to throw about the “Harvard educated lawyer” thing a bit.

I wonder how instrumental he was in getting the Harvard Law School to focus it’s attention on Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

Did he really tell them that the “lawyers” in question can in many cases not even write a legal brief (i.e. would not qualify as “paralegals” in the U.S.). And that the legal profession has in the past been a dumping ground for all professionals who are unemployable in other fields, but who still seek a “desk job” ?

Did he tell them that a bulk of the “lawyers” in Islamabad are locals from the villages around Islamabad – some of whom used to run vegetable shops until they became rich from real estate prices.

Did he tell them that those winning elections in the Bar Councils are famous for being “touts” for the police (when a police officer needs to be bribed to tamper with evidence), or paymaster for the judges ?

The reality of our “lawyer’s community” is SO vastly on another plane from the halls of Harvard, that it is a question which WILL eventually be raised there. That did we do wrong ?

Has Babar Sattar warned his alma mater (Harvard) that they are elevating a judge with questionable practices and who was not well regarded prior to his “redemption” just because he opposed Musharraf ?

Was opposing Musharraf such a huge yardstick for morality ?

Especially when the whole country is now united in agreeing on the SAME principles that Musharraf outlined ?

And the Jamaat-e-Islami and Imran Khan’s comments on the Taliban are rendering them irrelevant.

The only beneficiaries of this exercise have been those Potohari locals who just hated Musharraf’s guts (because he made them feel incompetent, jahil and uncouth).

And the beneficiaries have been ALL the corrupt politicians. Who have gotten their slates cleaned by the obliging judges. If it had not been for Benazir’s stupidity of getting out of the sun-roof of her car (reportedly someone within the PPP had the sun-roof carved out of the roof as customization) – a car she herself insisted be of the utmost quality – then even the PPP would have been riding the high horse.

Has Babar Sattar told the Harvard committees praising Iftikhar Chaudhry about his reputation among lawyers prior to the lawyer’s movement ?

Is Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry the first corrupt judge who has been feted by Harvard Law School or is he just part of a series of such celebrities ?

Links:
1/3 Judges – suo moto power limits – Samaa TV – July 12, 2009
2/3 Judges – suo moto power limits – Samaa TV – July 12, 2009
3/3 Judges – suo moto power limits – Samaa TV – July 12, 2009

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  1. […] lawyers are known to concede that the guy is not ok, but they need him to get at Musharraf. … Go to Source No tags for this […]

  2. […] lawyers are known to concede that the guy is not ok, but they need him to get at Musharraf. … Go to Source No tags for this […]


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