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PAKISTANI CIVIL SOCIETY DISENCHANTED Sharif’s Conviction Exposes JudiciaryArmy Nexus; Slogans against ISI Chief
The civil society in Pakistan appears to be in a rebellious mood following the recent revelation of an audio tape exposing the dirty nexus between the Pakistani army and the higher judiciary against the three-time Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, and his daughter, Maryam. It has reaffirmed the traditional judicial endorsement of the misdeeds of the armed forces.
There were slogans against the army general, the ISI chief, Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, who was finally shifted as the core commander of Peshawar on November 19.
However, next day, at a two-day conference held in Lahore on November 20-21, where Chief Justice of Pakistan, Gulzar Ahmed was present, the slogans were raised against him.
It is alleged that Faiz Hameed had pressurised the judges, including the present chief justice to punish Nawaz Sharif.
He was the chief guest at the meeting held in the memory of Asma Jehangir. She is being remembered as the most effective voice against the successive repressive army regimes in the country.
The meeting was held following the recent release of a controversial tape by a journalist and activist, Ahmad Durrani. It details the exchanges between Mian Saqib Nisar, a former chief justice of Pakistan, with some unidentified person. He, however, has vehemently denied on November 22, saying that the voice in the leaked audio clip, purportedly of a conversation between him and an unidentified man regarding Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz’s trial, was not his. Interestingly, Nisar did not rule out that it could be his voice in an interview with BBC.
Meanwhile, Durrani has obtained a forensic check of the audio clip by a reputed American laboratory, Garret Discovery, which has confirmed that it is not manipulated. Interestingly, both Gulzar Ahmad and Saqib Nissar were in the bench, which punished the former prime minister.
The text of the tape are following:- Justice Nisar: There is an institution, which wants that Nawaz Sharif should be penalized, and they want us to bring down Mia Saheb , even his daughter (Maryam) should be punished. Second voice:
In my opinion, Maryam does not merit any sentence. Justice Nisar: You are right. I spoke to others, but they don’t agree So let it be.. ELECTIONS MANIPULATED Apart from ensuring conviction of Nawaz Sharif, the ISI also manipulated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s political outfit, Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf (PTI) victory in the polls.
Earlier, before the audio was made available, the issue had cropped up following the submission of an affidavit notarized in a London court and submitted in a Pakistani court by the erstwhile chief justice of the BaltistanGilgit, Rana M.
Shamim that Justice Nisar had overstepped by instructing a high court judge to ensure that Sharif and his daughter do not get bails before the polls.
An accountability court sentenced Sharif a prolonged 10- year imprisonment in the Avenfield Properties and seven-year jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills. An additional one-year jail was given for not cooperating with the court.
The Islamabad High Court had also declared him a proclaimed offender after he failed to appear before the court. In 2019, however, he was allowed to go to London for treatment in 2019 by the Lahore High Court.
DOES BAJWA WANT TO DUMP KHAN? Amidst the reports of political differences between Khan and his mentor, the army chief, Qamar Jawed Bajwa, Sharif ’s return to Pakistan is being predicted.
The issue of the appointment of the new ISI chief reportedly caused the differences.
It is a recorded history that how the armed forces used to manipulate political power and the muchtrumpeted democratic institutions, whether they are political parties or judiciary. It had happened in 1958, when the then army chief Ayub Khan had imposed martial law in the country.
The then Chief Justice Munir and his brother judges wrote a stunning judgement signing the death warrant for Pakistan’s democracy. The judges invoked a spurious constitutional rationale called the doctrine of necessity.
They resurrected the jurist Hans Kelsen who propounded that the legal system derived its validity from Grundnorm or new legal order. A successful coup d’etat or a revolution creates a new Grundnorm.
The judges issued a verdict stating that since a successful revolution took place under Iskandar Mirza.
The Order of 1958 was therefore legitimate law. However, it took 15 years for the Pakistan Supreme Court to reverse its ignominy when indefatigable Asma Jilani was detained without trial under the new Martial Law of 1971. She challenged her detention by the new usurper.
Chief Justice Hamoodur Rahman and his brother judges rejected doctrine of necessity; and they and they stated that it is untenable to give legitimacy to “every person who were successful in grabbing power”.
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL (-The writer is accredited as a Journalist of Long and distinguished service with the Press Information Bureau of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry).