By Farman Nawaz
The appearance of the Prime Minister Gillani in the Supreme Court has uprooted this perception that government does not respect the judiciary. Though some segments also dub this as an artifice of the government to waste the time of the judiciary but judiciary itself seems satisfied. However the lawyers’ protest against Atizaz Ahsan has raised many questions in the independent and neutral circles.
From the very beginning the overall behavior of the lawyers’ movement is controversial. Still people remember the day when lawyers beat Sher Afgan Niazi and Atizaz (the leader of the movement and lawyer of the Iftekhar Muhammad Chowdry) was beseeching, standing on the roof of a vehicle, them to calm down. That event was the clear manifestation of the extremist behavior of the lawyers’ movement and after witnessing few such instances media invented a term “Wokla Gardhi”.
Now the recent demonstration by the lawyers at the occasion when PM Gillani along with Atizaz Ahsan and other leaders come to the Supreme Court, in my opinion is a clear contempt of the honorable judges and the court. These lawyers never protest when some lawyers defend terrorists, killers and gang rapers in the courts. Why the lawyer of Raymond Davis was not insulted who represented a coldblooded killer? But now when their own fellow and a trusted leader, Atizaz is representing the honorable PM in the court, these impatient lawyers’ protest is the symbol of hatred for self-defense and freedom of opinion. Atizaz was not allowed to speak properly with media and even he was blocked when he left the press conference and tried to re-enter the Supreme Court. This only proves that these lawyers, pretending to be admirers and protectors of the honorable Chief Justice, are only fulfilling some political agenda.
The lawyers were shouting “Chief Justice! Step forward we are with you”. It is a fact that Chief Justice is a brave man; he faced Army Generals all alone. He does not need demonstrations and slogans to decide the fate of NRO and Memogate. In my opinion this protest was a kind of contempt of his office and designation because these slogans of lawyers manifest a gesture of cowardice on behalf of the Chief Justice. It’s my humble request to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take action against such protests. Prime Minister is a political person and the gathering of his supporters at this occasion is a political activity that encourages the leader to express his opinion boldly. In the past we have observed that when Nawaz Sharif was deprived of this kind of genuine political support he could not even speak in the court room. Media reported at that time that he was just murmuring in the court room.
But Chief Justice does not need this kind of political encouragement. He is having the support of law and in case of disobedience of his orders he can call different institutions for his help. Any attempt of political parties or lawyers to safeguard a sitting Chief Justice will create a perception that judiciary is allowing to create a kind of pressure group or gang to implement controversial judicial decisions. This trend can also create a wave among various political and nonpolitical circles to come closer to judiciary for their vested interests. It is also possible that some segments can build up groups among lawyers to safeguard their vested interests. Nawaz League and People’s Party have practically done this in the past few years. Now it’s the responsibility of the honorable Chief Justice to discourage and condemn such events which took place last days. Such events do not create a healthy judicial environment.