Supreme Court Compromised?

SC decision on dual offices delivered under pressure: Wajeeh
Staff Report: Daily Times, October 3, 2007

QUETTA: The presidential candidate of the lawyers’ community, Justice (r) Wajeehuddin Ahmed said on Tuesday that the Supreme Court (SC) verdict of September 28, which allowed President General Pervez Musharraf to contest the presidential polls in uniform, was delivered under pressure.

Speaking at the Balochistan High Court Bar Association as part of his presidential campaign, Justice Wajeeh said the establishment had used various tactics, including applying pressure, on the judges of the SC, to get a judgment in favour of General Musharraf. As long as the judges succumb to such pressure and the judiciary remains under the influence of the executive, Pakistan will witness many crises in the future, he said The present crisis in the country is the outcome of a weak judiciary, he said. If the judges can not dispense justice and ensure the sanctity of the Constitution, then it’s best for them to quit their jobs, he added.

“We are a people who live under illusion. At times, we believe a single SC judgment can change the whole history of the country,” he said, adding that it was wrong on the part of the people of Pakistan in general and lawyers in particular to presume that the judiciary in Pakistan had achieved complete freedom after the reinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

He said the judiciary had still not been able to come out of the clutches of the infamous ‘doctrine of necessity’.

Commenting on the upcoming presidential elections, Wajeeh said it was illegal and extra-constitutional for a parliament whose tenure is only five years, to elect a president for ten years.

“General Musharraf’s case needs further consideration given the fact that he is not an elected president. He is a self-appointed president who got himself forcefully elected in a sham referendum,” he said.

The presidential candidate criticised the government on its Balochistan policy, and said that if he was elected president, he would conduct an open trial of those who killed former chief minister and governor of Balochistan Nawab Akbar Bugti.

“Despite being a resource-rich province, Balochistan has been subjected to immense poverty and a sense of deprivation. On my success, I will devise a proper plan to redress the Baloch sense of alienation,” he said. Balochistan High Court Association President Hadi Shakil and Balochistan Bar Association President Baz Mohammad Kakar also spoke on the occasion. They said the lawyers’ protest had opened a new epoch of resistance against dictatorship in the country.

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