Civil Society Dialogue on Judicial Crisis

                                                     Declaration

We the members of civil society and concerned citizens of Sindh, political leadership, writers, intellectuals, professionals, academicians, human rights activists and members of the Bar, have gathered here today to have a dialogue on the Crisis of Judiciary in Pakistan and its consequences and effects on the democratic politics in general and constitutionalism and rule of law in particular.

Since its birth, the people of Pakistan have been made to suffer one crisis after another created by a greedy and corrupt ruling elite led by military bureaucracy that has only self interest at heart to the exclusion of the interests and well being of the people and the country.

The disastrous war with India in 1965, the breakup of the country in two parts in 1971 following a defeat and surrender at Paltan Maidan in Dhaka, the judicial murder of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the introduction of kalashnikof and heroin culture of Zia era, the constant meddling in the nascent democratic government of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, the foolhardy Kargil fiasco, the persistent military action against smaller nationalities, the creeping religious extremism threatening the country today and the wholly illegal and unnecessary crisis of judiciary now, are all gifts of military rule to the people of Pakistan.

As the situation stands today, regular bomb blasts in public gatherings, even in those of the interior minister, the state waging a war against its own people in Balochistan and Wana, the total break down of the writ of the government as shown by the Hafza Mosque episode, the total break down of state machinery despite a record cabinet of 64 and a horde of retired and serving military men heading each department of the government and corporations, increasing incidence of poverty and unemployment despite the tall claims of economic miracle and acute shortage of electric power, in the generation of which this government has not added even one MW despite its more than seven years of rule, has made the quality of life of average Pakistani touch rock bottom.

It stands evident that this country and the life of its people can never improve unless rule of law and constitutionalism is restored in place of the rule of Bonapartists, their crony political carpetbaggers, turncoats and terrorists.

We the members of civil society and the concerned citizenry of Sindh salute the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chuadry and all the members of the Bar and the bench who have become the vanguard of this fight for the supremacy of constitutionalism and rule of law and we pledged to firmly stand beside them through thick and thin. This step of valor and courage has gone long way in restoring the sagging prestige of the higher judiciary, which has forever accorded legitimacy to illegitimate and usurping forces.

At this critical juncture when the whole legal community and the civil society is arrayed against this illegal government, any attempt to forge a deal with Bonapartists, terrorists and their lackeys will be considered by the people of Pakistan as an effort to strengthen the non-democratic forces of the country and weakening of the struggle of the Bar, Bench and civil society for the primacy of constitutionalism and rule of law.

At the present time when the whole country is in the throes of an undeclared civil war, consequent to the continuous intervention of undemocratic forces in the country’s political, economic and social landscape, we demand that: –

  • The Reference against the Chief Justice of Pakistan should be withdrawn immediately and the Chief Justice restored to his position so that the sanctity of the institution of judiciary is re-established.

  • General Musharraf should quit the post of president, as his elevation to that post is illogical and contrary to civilized democratic norms and the constitution of Pakistan, in which a government servant cannot hold the position of the highest office of the state through the force of a gun. 

  • The army should go back to barracks for good and general Musharraf should also quit the post of CAOS, which he is holding for the last nine years.

  • The present government should be replaced with a national government comprising of all mainstream political parties.

  •  Elections should be held within 90 days under a neutral election commissioner nominated by the national government under strict monitoring of international agencies and election observers to ensure transparency and fairness.

 We appeal to the people of all segments of civil society in Pakistan that at this very defining moment in the history of the country, when Pakistan’s destiny can take a new and welcome turn of constitutionalism and rule of law in the country, the silent majority of the people of Pakistan must stand shoulder to shoulder with the Bench and the Bar in this historic struggle for the supremacy of judicial institutions, rule of law and ultimately the revival of democracy in the country.

 Civil Society Dialogue

Judicial Crisis In Pakistan: A Voice From Sindh

On Monday, April 30th, 2007@ Hotel Indus Hyderabad

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