Monday, January 11, 2016

#BILAWALFORJUSTICE - Kal Bhi Bhutto Zinda Tha Aaj Bhi Bhutto Zinda Hai

Pakistan - Nawaz Govt reviving politics of revenge, violating CoD

 Nawaz government in centre has once again renewed the 1990’s politics of revenge and is grossly violating the spirit and the joint communiqué of the Charter of democracy, which was also signed by the incumbent Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. The PMLN is now throwing it in political isolation by commencing the politics of revenge. The framing a fake case against a very sane, respectable politician of Sindh and senior PPP leader Mir Munawwar Ali Talpur is not only based on ill-will but is also a manifest of completion of a secret agenda of some institutions, which is the continuation of bogus cases against Sindh Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr Asim Hussain.
PPP Karachi Division President Syed Najmi Alam, General Secretary Nadeem Bhutto, Izhar Ul Haq Hassanzai, Lateef Mughal and Syed Manzoor Abbas expressed these views in a joint statement issued from the PPP Media Cell Sindh Saturday.
While addressing Daniyal Aziz, a self-declared spokesman to his new leader the Prime Minister, they said that he should keep his logic and interpretation to him because the framing Mir Munawwar Ali Talpur in a fake case is only a continuation to the political victimisation.
They said the PPP is the party of the martyrs and dedicated workers (Jialas) that has always challenged the dictators while leader of Daniyal Aziz (Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif) had bowed his head to the dictator and tendered apology for sparing his life and left for Saudi Arabia where he lived his days of exile in palace.
They said contrary to Mian Nawaz Sharif, Shaheed Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto embraced martyrdom but refused to bow his head to the then dictator Zia and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto gave her life for the masses despite threats. Likewise, former President Asif Ali Zardari remained jailed for over a decade but did not shake hand with the authoritarian powers.
They said the PPP does not believe in politics of revenge but believes that the democracy is the best revenge.

#BILAWALFORJUSTICE - Bilawal Bhutto carrying forward the legacy

Judiciary is one of the pillars of the state that acts as an arm of the government. Especially for the trembling governments, it is imperative for the judiciary to be independent and powerful to help the political systems even out. Unfortunately, despite more than sixty years to the creation, the judiciary of Pakistan has been destabilized by the anti-democratic elements ever and anon. But in the fight for the independent judiciary, one party that has been on the forefront to enforce the supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law is Pakistan Peoples Party. This party never hesitated in struggling for the independent judiciary while its rivals sometimes worked against it or sometimes supported the cause having their own ill intentions behind that were pretty much evident during the last governmental tenure when a single individual, mainstream political parties had fought for, almost turned into a vigilante and worked tirelessly with the support of opposition to oust the democratic government which came into existence after an elongated martial law.
PPP is the only political party to have worked as per its manifesto to safeguard the law. In this regard, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto endeavored with the lawyers to ensure strong and impartial judiciary. But exploring the judicial history of Pakistan, one court that holds the major significance in shaping political dynamics of the country is the Lahore High Court. Pakistan Peoples Party stands as the biggest victim that fell prey to the unchallenged atrocities committed in hallowed halls of this court since it awarded death sentence to the populist leader ZA Bhutto. This court being one of the oldest courts in the country has been so powerful that its verdict was upheld by the Supreme Court resulting in the execution of the first democratically elected prime Minister of Pakistan. In the same Lahore High Court, many times political revenge was sought by judiciary on behest of ruling authorities from Benazir Bhutto as well as Asif Ali Zardari through abuse of judicial process. However, connected to this court is its bar association, the professional body of Lahore High Court Lawyers, that has its own glorious chronicles of shielding the democratic values defined in the constitution throughout dictatorial regimes. LHCBA had not only recorded protests against the judicial murder of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto but also hailed his daughter being the most prominent flag-bearer of democracy, officially declaring 2007 as “Year of Struggle of Benazir for Democracy”.
Today at the time when Pakistan is in urgent need of implementation of actual democratic principles in accordance with the law, the youngest politician Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, during his brief trip to Lahore, chooses to address the Lahore High Court Bar Association that has played great role in the administration of justice. This effort to strengthen ties between the judicial power and national politics by the young vibrant leadership of the PPP is of noteworthiness and manifests his vision. Although the corridors of Lahore High Court are not new for the family that has paid several visits fighting the baseless cases, but following in the footsteps of the mother and the father, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has shunned any grievances and is taking a step ahead.
It takes strong political will to enhance support for the judiciary that made his family suffer the most, and he has proved to be having the prudence and insight that can steer institutions out of madness and ensure real supremacy of the constitution. The future leader taking interest in the judiciary is a good omen especially when the country is at war against the menace of terrorism as heavy responsibility lies both on the judiciary as well as the political parties. More cooperation between both the pillars would result in effective outcomes.
Moreover, addressing the Lahore High Court Bar Association at the outset of his political career is very substantive especially on the account of its historical worth as ‘The Thinker of Pakistan’ Allama Iqbal had also been its member. The same high court has also had the honor to be braced by the appearance of the founder of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah on an occasion. Hope other political leaders will follow the suit as such rendezvous with the judicial institutions will be fruitful for the democracy in Pakistan.


In a wide ranging address to the Lahore High Court Bar Association covering issues in democracy, constitutionalism and rule of law the Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari today called for revisiting the procedure for the appointment of judges, the setting up of a Constitution Court, regulating the use of suo moto powers, provision of speedy and inexpensive justice, legislation to prevent misuse of blasphemy law and ending the culture of sacred cows in fighting corruption. He also addressed issues in the National Action Plan describing it as “Noon League action plan” that had failed in stopping banned outfits from resurrecting under other names.
“I urge you to give a thought whether the independence of judiciary is guaranteed by vesting the power to appoint judges by the judges alone or is it best served when the power to appoint judges is diffused between the Parliament, the President, the Prime Minister and the Bar Council?”, he asked the galaxy of lawyers present at the bar address Monday morning.
He said the restoration of judiciary in March 2009 as a result of public demonstrations created some sort of euphoria that led some to believe that a new era of independent judiciary had dawned but some people thought otherwise, he said.
He said that during 2010-13 the Judicial Commission (JC) made 126 nominations of judges in the Supreme Court and the five high courts while the Parliamentary Committee (PC) disagreed with only 8 appointments. However, the Court overturned all the decisions of the Parliamentary Committee.
He recalled that President Asif Ali Zardari then filed a Constitutional Reference seeking opinion on the roles of the JC, the PC and the President in the appointment of the judges and quoted from the verdict that the role of the President and the Prime Minister was no more than mere post offices.
Chief Justice alone initiating nominations, the JC making its own rules and conducting business in secrecy while neither President nor Prime Minister nor elected representatives had any role in the judges’ appointments.
Judges alone selecting judges was not conducive for the promotion of a bench with judges of divergent world views on issues in jurisprudence. It is not the question of integrity or competence of judges but an issue of diversity of judicial minds that must adorn the bench, he said.
He said that our failures were collective. “The politicians made mistakes, the establishment has made mistakes and the judiciary also has made huge mistakes”, he said recalling past judicial doctrines of “necessity”, or ‘a successful revolution creates its own justification’, the judicial murder of an elected Prime Minister and opposing judicial verdicts in cases involving a prime minister from Larkana and a prime minister from Lahore.
But let us not dwell too much into the past and move on, he said.
About the role of the Parliament he said that the Constitution has clearly laid down the scheme of powers in which lawmaking is the responsibility of the Parliament, the judiciary interprets the laws and the Executive implements the laws and quoted Articles from the Constitution that laid special emphasis on the role of the Parliament in constitution and law making.
It was therefore surprising when it was said that Honorable Chief Justice be consulted in the process of selection of Chairman NAB or in the appointment of Chairman and Members of the Federal Service Tribunal even when the laws made by the elected representatives of the people do not provide for this.
Bilawal Bhutto Zaradri also called for the setting up of Constitution Court with equal representation of all federating unites to decide constitutional issues saying that it was unfinished agenda of the Charter of Democracy signed in May 2006 between his mother Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and MianMuhammad Nawaz Sharif on behalf of their parties.
Bilawal said that the Court’s power to decide alone Constitutional issues was an “awesome power”. If this awesome power if not exercised with great care and humility it can undermine the democratic process itself and easily become what many call a judicial tyranny, he said.
About the use of suo moto powers he said it would be worthwhile to make a comparative study of how many suo moto notices were taken in PPP government and how many after the PPP was no longer in power..
Quoting from the report of the International Commission of Jurists which visited Pakistan in 2011 which said that the use of suo moto led to a corrosion of the rule of law and a blurring of the constitutional separation of powers Bilawal asked the lawyers to give a thought to whether there was need to regulate the suomoto powers. He said that he was happy that the Senate Committee of the Whole has also made some similar recommendations.
Stressing the need for access to speedy and inexpensive justice Bilawal called for a poor-friendly judicial system and vowed that the PPP will provide it to the people.
Those who cannot secure their rights easily through recourse to law are actually oppressed by the law, he said.
In our system of courts, the broadest interface of the citizens with the law occurs in the subordinate courts, he said.
Bilawal said that scant or no attention is paid to the improvement of the process of the civil courts and magisterial forums where these mills grind slow and inflict maximum pain. It will be the ppp mission to introduce reform, transparency, efficiency, expedition and integrity to the legal processes in the subordinate courts of Pakistan, he said.
About corruption he said that it was a serious issue and needed to be tackled but cautioned against using it as a brush to paint black only one section of society. We must challenge the double standard in pursuing corruption cases adding also “we cannot win the fight against corruption unless we do away with sacred cows syndrome”.
It is wrong to have one set of laws for one section of society and another law for another section of the society. The Fight against corruption must be across the board and above the board, he said.
Bilawal also called for addressing issues in intellectual corruption and constitutional subversion. Those who upheld the constitutional deviations, validated military take over and dismantled the democratic structures have also to answer many questions about honesty he said and asked whether we should not pursue those who have subverted the Constitution or validated constitutional subversion through PCOs and court verdicts.
He said that the PPP was deeply concerned and condemned the growing misuse of blasphemy law for silencing dissent and for oppressing minorities and welcomed the recent Supreme Court verdict and its call for looking into this issue.
He expressed the hope that the Parliament will take note of the Supreme Court verdict and make appropriate legislation to prevent the misuse of the blasphemy law.
He questioned whether the government was sincere in implementing the National Action Pan to fight militancy and extremism. He said that the APS martyrs had united the nation which was in disarray as many asked whether the war against militancy was our war or not, the Punjab Chief Minister even asked Taliban to spare his province because he shared their world view and some demanded that Talban be allowed to open offices in Peshawar.
He said ever since the moratorium on death penalty was lifted more than three hundred executions have been carried out and asked how many of those executed were black jet terrorists and how many other ordinary criminals and asked as to why some juveniles and even mentally challenged people were hanged?
He said that the National Action Plan was in fact Noon League Action Plan as it followed the agenda of Noon League and not the national agenda. Banned organizations continue to function under other names he said and quoted from replies given to questions asked in the Parliament to prove his point.
He said that according to the replies in the parliament 61 militant organizations have been banned in the country but it did not know how many of them were working under new names nor whether any action has been taken against the resurrected organizations.
In March 2013 during the PPP government a law was passed under which a banned organization was not allowed to reappear under a different name but the present government is not even aware of it.
He said he called it Noon League Action Plan because no action has been taken against extremist militant organizations in the Punjab.
The National Action Plan called for reforming FATA but no reforms have been introduced in the tribal areas and the Prime Minister has not even acknowledged a personal letter from the former President urging him to expeditiously adopt the Bill passed by the Senate giving them the right to approach superior judiciary for the enforcement of their rights.
He said that the interior minister says that he did not want to coordinate the activities under NAP and accepted to do it unwillingly because the Prime Minister had said so.
Under the law the NACTA Board of Governors is headed by the Prime Minister and it must meet once in three months but had not met for the past one year even once.
He called upon the government to abandon the policy of running with the hare and hunting with the hound in dealing with militants and militant organizations.
After Soviet withdrawal the west disowned militant outfits but we owned them as “assets”. Later we coined words “good” and “bad” Taliban to justify state patronage of some militant outfits. He said that the Defence Minister recently said that the government will talk to Afghan Taliban for security of TAPI gas pipeline and asked whether it was state policy to out-source security of strategic economic projects to non-state militants.
Is this still the state policy?
It seems we have still not abandoned that policy and are still running with the hare and hunting with the hound and asked whether we could expect Afghanistan to believe in our pious protestations?
The survival of our country depends upon democracy he said adding it is the duty of every individual and every institution to play its part in strengthening democracy. The ethos of our people is democratic and that was why dictatorship has not been able to take root in the country, he said and paid tributes to the heroes of democracy for bearing the scars of torture on their bodies.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari paid glowing tributes to the LHBA, the lawyers, the media and the people for the democratic struggle and ended his speech with a quote from the speech of his mother “I believe and the Pakistan Peoples’ Party believes with me that that greatness lies within our grasp and a dream lies within our grasp, a dream that can best be nurtured in freedom, in law, in respect and in dignity”.


PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addresses... by arynews