Take the beam out of your eyes! By Bishop T Nasir

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On 26th May 2007, during a Seminar in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, highly derogatory remarks were made against the Pakistan Army, by the Lawyers, in support of the Chief Justice of Pakistan. This Seminar was said to be a usual “Bar Council Meeting or Seminar” that was held in the Conference Hall of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The Seminar on the “Roll of Judiciary” was absolutely a political meeting chaired by the Chief Justice Iftkhar Muhammad Choudhry. It is expected from such an elite group of society to hold their meetings and seminars in a respectable manner. The “Double Graduate” audience are also expected to maintain the sanctity of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. In modern age nothing is hidden from the eye of the Media Camera and the audio system. What I saw on 26th May 2007 that was dreadful picture of immature and rowdy crowd wearing “Black Coats”. If Mr. Iftkhar Muhammad Choudhry still maintains the position and office of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, I am sorry to say he failed to maintain “Order” in the seminar which was his first and foremost duty. First of all he covered a distance of five minutes in two hours in his new adopted style of traveling since 13th March 2007. I must remind him that a judge does not come late on such occasions. There was lot of shouting in the Conference Hall of the Supreme Court. It was more of a political gathering rather than gathering of educated people. I would not be wrong if I say that Mr. Iftkhar Muhammad Choudry allowed to turn the Auditorium of Supreme Court into “Fish Market”. The speeches made by the elite class of Lawyers did not suit their elite status. One of the speaker said, “We shall not only take off the Uniform of Army we shall Peal off their skin”. The focus of entire “Seminar” was degrade, insult and damage the image of Pakistan Army. This “Seminar” by no was a “Judicial Seminar”, it was meant for abusing the Pakistan Army. This attitude of the custodians of Law in my view as a soldier was highly objectionable, deplorable and disgusting for all ranks of Pakistan Army serving or retired.

The highly skilled and experienced lawyer community must remember that Mr. Iftkhar Muhammad Choudry, took “Oath” under PCO in year 2000. The Judges who did not want to serve the Judiciary while a man in Military Uniform was ruling the country did not take “Oath” under PCO. Then is was to the advantage of Mr. Iftkhar Muhammad Choudhry. He took “Oath” as Chief Justice of Pakistan, while the country was still being ruled by the same General and the President having two portfolios. Now as he protesting against the President and has given an affidavit against the President, he has gone back on his “Oath”. Therefore he has lost his status as a Judge. The best way out for him is to resign, leave the “Bench” and go back to “Bar”.

I don’t hesitate to state any thing which according to my knowledge and experience is true. But while we are talking of the “Bench and Bar” it is not my experience and observation alone. This is an undeniable fact that our Judiciary is known to be the most corrupt department from very “bottom to top”. In lower courts a client who pays heavy Fee to his lawyers and their assistants, the typist, the peon or the office runner for every single move that these people make. Every one who has ever been to the court experiences that same treatment by his lawyer. After verbal or written examination of the “Plaint” the Lawyer tells his fee, that has to be paid immediately. Then the “plaintiff” has to pay the “Munshi” or the clerk of the Lawyer, He has to pay for each page of stationary and may have to buy writing material for the lawyer. Then he has to pay for the services of a “typist” who makes so many mistakes and the client has to pay for each correction. Once the case is filed, in first few months nothing is done. The court issues notices to the other party that takes lot of time. When the actual hearing starts, the Client has to be present in the court yet there is no compulsion for the lawyer to be present in the court. Or when a client reaches the court the judge is absent or is on leave or he simply does not feel on that particular day to sit in the court, or he has some visitors during court timings. Around 10 AM the Judges have a break for Tea. No one knows how long this break will last. Suddenly the “Reader” of the Court calls the plaintiff and gives him another date. The client of the Plaintiff or Defendant loses a full day and he/she is not sure if there would be a hearing on the next date. This is the common practice of our lower courts. They keep on giving date after date after date and yet they don’t get the Justice. The “Custodians of Law” and the “Advocates of Freedom of Judiciary” must free the Judiciary from all practices that becomes a constant pain and agony for those who pay the Fee and yet their cases are not heard or the lawyers are busy in agitation on one issue or another.

The newly born “Electronic Media” is still in its “Cradle”. They start crying over every thing. They have to oppose every positive move that any one makes. Their “Talk Shows” are nothing but “Mud Throwing” on the people who do not agree with these newly born scholars. Ever since the “Geo T. V” started their channel, it is giving one sided view on every issue. So are the other private television cannels. Every “Host” thinks he/she is Mr./Ms know all. They don’t talk what people did during so called “Democratic Regimes”. They have forgotten that democracy failed to give a “Constitution” to the nation for long Nine years (from 11th August 1947 to 1956) They don’t remember how Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and his party refused to accept the Electoral results of 1970 general elections. They have forgotten three portfolios of Mr. Bhutto from 20th December 1971 to 14th August 1973. Let me remind that he was Chief Martial Law Administrator in civil uniform, the President of Pakistan and the Defense Minister of “left over” Pakistan. His six years Authoritative Rule is still a night mare for Pakistan. He had his own army the “Federal Security Force” that was used against his opponents. He destroyed every institution of Pakistan. He would have destroyed the Armed Forces of Pakistan, had not General Tika Khan warned him after 23rd March 1973. Does our print or electronic media know how many people were killed because they opposed Mr. Bhutto. (Do they know Khawaja Rafiq who was shot and killed on Mall road Lahore) How many people of his own party were found in “Dalai Camp”. Do they remember or know that Khan Abdul Wali Khan and Mr. Sherbaz Mazari were found in Hyderabad jail? Mrs. Naseem Wali Khan discarded her black dress after Mr. Bhutto’s regime was overthrown by General Zia-Ul-Haq in July 1977? What did Mr. Bhutto say in his last press conference on 4th of July 1977 that lasted for two hours? Have our elite journalists forgotten the fate of Mr. Hanif Rammay and Ghulam Mustfa Khar? What happened from November 1988 to October 1999? What was the level of corruption during democratic regimes of democratic government of Ms. Benazir Bhutto and Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif? What happened to “Print Media” during these regimes, I hope the Daily Jang can throw more light on the issue. I would suggest that the “Electronic Media” which would not hesitate to give live coverage of a newly wedded couple! It a shame that we see every day on “Private Television Channels”.

Coming back to 26th May “Judicial Seminar”, the “Custodians of Law” must not forget that people in military uniform are not sitting ducks. It is the discipline that stops them from responding such abusive remarks, the discipline that the “Custodians of Law” has never practiced or I would say never learnt. To my surprise the Chief Justice Mr. Iftkhar Muhammad Choudhry sat happily while his lawyers were giving such threats to the Pakistan army. The entire world knows that head of state of Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a serving General. What that has to do with serving officers, the Junior Commissioned Officers and common soldier of Pakistan Army? Pakistan army is either engaged in counter insurgency operations in tribal areas of Pakistan, or it is manning the International Borders for the safety of the people of Pakistan or it is in the “Barracks” busy in its routine work of training. Pakistan army as such is not seen on every corner of the roads in Pakistan. We are the people who have no time to right the wrongs of the civil society or heal the self inflicted wounds of our elite, and aggressive civil society. I know what we can do if we want to do. Only one Battalion is enough to take all of them down. Yet the army has always restrained from such activity. We are selfless bunch of people with sole aim of protecting our country from external and internal threats. We only come out of our bunkers and barracks in case of external and internal threat to the solidarity of our country. We come out of our Barracks in case of natural calamities. Or we have to come out when “Democratic Government” fails to collect “Utility Bills” and during “Census” though it is not our job. And we are called to maintain law and order during general elections.

On 12th October 1999 the then Prime Minister of Pakistan in his ego to become absolute master of Pakistan, made a big mistake. If on that day army had kept silent, at least two hundred and forty passengers and crew would have perished. The negative and irresponsible act of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif left no choice for army to react and save the live of hundreds of people along with their own Chief. Please imagine the state of mind of the innocent passengers and crew of the flight from Colombo to Karachi when their air craft was circling over Karachi. Please imagine the state of mind and agony of the relatives and friends of those passengers who were not being allowed to land and the Karachi Air Port. To kill one man the then Prime Minister of Pakistan put the life of so many people at stake?

The president of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf is not so ill informed that he did not know what Mr. Justice Iftkhar Muhammad Choudhry was doing? If Justice Iftkhar Muhammad Choudhry‘s hands were clean, then why he opted to muster support of the lawyer community in a way that does not suit him as Chief Justice of the apex court of Pakistan? The President General Perez Mashrraf has openly admitted that there was some mishandling of the case against the Chief Justice, has Mr. Itchier Muhammad Choudhry some courage to admit his “mishandling” of the whole issue. Yesterday he gave an Affidavit in the court of the events that took place on 9th March 2007, yet he failed to admit that he had done many things wrong himself before and after 9th of March 2007? Now he is trying to be an angel? I hold Mr. Iftkhar Muhammad Choudhry responsible for killing in Karachi on 12th May 2007. Had he given heed to the request of the government of Sindh, no life would have been lost.

Now the Lawyers, with full consent of Mr. Iftkhar Muhammad Choudhry are threatening and challenging Pakistan Army of “Pealing off their skin”. Has the Lawyer community loyal to Mr. Choudhry stopped pealing the skin of their legal clients? Or has pealed off the skin of their clients to an extent that their clients have no skin left to be pealed off by the Lawyers. What do the lawyers do to their clients, is not hidden from any one. Rupees two hundred for this copy, Rupees four hundred for that copy, Rupees five hundred for the typist. They go an extent that after receiving full fee from their clients, they still expect and demand “Eid Cake” and money every now and then. I am sorry to state that some Lawyers behave like beggars and Mafia people. Yet these people talk of “Freedom of Judiciary” who has enslaved the whole judicial system in Pakistan. Name any person who does not know the dirt in lower courts?

I am an old soldier. I am not in uniform any more, before they take off the uniform of a General of Pakistan army and peal off his skin, I challenge them to try to peal off my skin. May I suggest that the Lawyers and Journalists take the beam out of their own eye, they would be in better position to take the straw out of the eyes of Pakistan. I hope Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan and company will take the beam out of their eyes first.

Major Timotheus Nasir (Retired)

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