Justice Qazi Isa opposes direct criticism of institutions

Says we talk about the ‘roles of institutions’ but as a matter of fact we should talk about the ‘roles within the institutions’: Says Pakistan constitution was attacked four times: Condemns all those who endorsed these attacks: Says will put General Ayub, General Zia and General Musharraf on his black list: Opines we can criticize a particular judge or general but we should not criticize armed forces, judiciary, executive or any institution as a whole: Believes country will fall apart if we keep condemning institutions: Says Pakistan needs democracy and it needs to be led by elected representatives: Criticizes court decision which disqualified ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif on flimsy grounds

By: News Desk
Published: 01:23 PM, 22 Oct, 2022
Justice Qazi Isa opposes direct criticism of institutions
Caption: TV grab.
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Supreme Court judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa has declared that Pakistan needs democracy but unfortunately the democratic process was derailed thrice in the country, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Addressing the 4th annual Asma Jahangir Conference at a local hotel in Lahore on Saturday, Justice Isa opposed the direct criticism of the institutions.

He said, “We judge and people judge us. To judge us I will only request don’t judge us as an institute. Because there has been good in the institution and there has also been bad in the institution. Judge us as judges. Condemn me as a judge and do not condemn the Supreme Court.”

While elaborating his point, Justice Isa went on to say: “Condemn the general with name who violates the constitution but do not condemn the military or armed forces of Pakistan. Condemn a bureaucrat by name but do not condemn the executive of Pakistan ... We talk about the roles of the institutions but as a matter of fact we should talk about the roles within the institutions.” 

He was of the view that a country fell apart if it condemned the institutions. “Pakistan needs judiciary, executive, military, and more importantly Pakistan needs to be led by the elected representatives and the country needs democracy. If you remove democracy from Pakistan, you will stab it in the back and you will be enemy of the state and that is what Article 6 says,” the jurist said adding that there was good and bad everywhere and we should separate the good from the bad. 

He said he himself welcomed criticism and was open to every kind of criticism against him. 

While paying tribute to late champion of human rights and renowned lawyer Asma Jehangir, Justice Isa said that he was deeply honoured and truly humbled in the name of a great lady who was passionate. He said he would love the word ‘resistance’ for Asma Jehangir. 

He mentioned the first case confronting Asma in which he was a member of the bench and in which the matter of military courts came under discussion. 

Justice Isa said there is clear distribution of power in the constitution and the judiciary is also one of such institution. He said ‘the legislature makes law while the executive implements it and the judiciary ensures that everyone gets justice’.

He said that Pakistan was achieved democratically and the first attack which was made against it was when its constitution was set aside by a bureaucrat, Ghulam Muhammad and the first assembly was dissolved when Maulvi Tameez-ud-Din (then speaker of Pakistan's Constituent Assembly from 1948 to 1954) was removed. The speaker, however, challenged the dissolution of the assembly and the Sindh High Court had declared the dissolution order null and void. But the federal court later had upheld the dissolution decision.  

Justice Isa further said that the second attack on the constitution (which was formed quite recently) was launched in 1956 by General Sikandar Mirza and later by General Ayub but the case presided over by Justice Muhammad Munir had endorsed General Ayub’s rule.

The judge went on to say that the third attack on democracy was launched by General Ziaul Haq who tore apart the Constitution of 1973 and declared any petition against the act non-maintainable. The general arrested Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who was tried by the civilian court (unfortunately) and was hung with a razor-thin majority.

The fourth attack on the constitution was made by General Pervez Musharraf who violated it. He lamented that the Supreme Court had authorized a salaried government employee Musharraf to make amendments to the constitution. Nevertheless, judges themselves were salaried employees of the state who authorized another salaried employee of the state to amend the constitution. 

Justice Isa said ‘judges should be censured for such decisions but do not condemn the Supreme Court’. 

He said that everyone (general or judge) was bound to law under Article 5. He said that the state gives them salaries from public money and even the public representatives are given their stipend from the same public exchequer. 

“If people of Pakistan wish, they can make us stand in the dock for accountability,” he added. 

Criticizing a court decision, Justice Isa said that a former prime minister (Nawaz Sharif) was declared disqualified because he did not take a salary from his son. He said he did not want to dig into the details of the verdict but it was written in the court judgement that the former premier did not tell the truth so he no longer remained a ‘good Muslim” as he did not reveal the income which he did not accept from his son. 

Talking about the FATF, he asked whether any international body could impose on us to do things according to them as FATF did and upon compliance, we are included on the white list from the grey list.

He also said that he would put General Ayub, General Zia and General Musharraf on the black list and two white English men general Sir Frank Walter and General Douglas on the white list for their roles and conduct.

Categories : Pakistan