Pakistan’s Judicial History and Acting Chief Justice Rana Bhagwandas

Posted on March 24, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, History, Law & Justice, Minorities, People
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Adil Najam

The swearing in of Justice Rana Bhagwandas as the Acting Chief Justice (ACJ) of Pakistan is not a ‘historical’ event in and of itself. However, Justice Bhagwandas now has a historical opportunity before him to influence the both the history of the institution he represents (the Judiciary) as well as the history of the country.


First some points of context:

Indeed, it is a little disconcerting that his taking over this office – which was the procedurally appropriate thing to be done – is raising such attention. It is doing so, partly, on the assumption that the appointment of Justice Javed Iqbal as ACJ before him had some sinister purpose. Largely, it is because most Pakistanis have only just realized that Justice Bhagwandas is a practicing Hindu, and there are clearly those who want to make this an issue, even questioning his appropriateness for that reason. It is also, I think, that people’s faith in the judicial process is so low that they assume that he will soon, necessarily, assume the office of the Chief Justice. (It should be added that he is slated to retire at the age of 65, which happens this December; Justcie Iftikhar, on the other hand, does not retire till 2013).

Justice Rana Bhagwandas is – as, in fact, was Justice Javed Iqbal before him – considered to be a highly respected judge of high intellectual caliber and personal integrity. Born in 1942, Justce Bhagwandas became a lawyer like many other educated Sindhi Hindus and also has a post-graduate degree in Islamic studies and is considered an expert on constitutional law. He was a practising lawyer for about two years before being appointed to the bench in July 1967; he became a judge of the Sindh High Court in 1994; and of the Supreme Court in 2000. A challenge to his appointment to the higher judiciary on the grounds that he was a non-Muslim was dismissed by the Sindh High Court in 2002.

It is (a) because the prescribed procedure was followed here in his appointment, and (b) because he is a highly respected judge and a constitutional expert, that one should focus on this appointment. He is obviously aware of the historical decisions ahead of him. His first statement after taking his oath could be misconstrued as over-enthusiastic but one would like to believe that there is no hidden message in this statement and he is merely being diplomatic. According to The News:

Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan (ACJP), Rana Bhagwan Das has said that the presidential reference against Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry would be dealt with adequately. Talking to the media after taking oath as ACJP, Justice Bhagwan Das told that the Supreme Judicial Council would be taking a decision on the issue of holding the hearing of the reference in open or in camera. He said that the judiciary would not disappoint the people and the nation would soon hear the good news.

The history of the Pakistan Supreme Court and of Justices in this situation is a ‘busy’ one. Too busy, in my opinion. But it is not an even one. There have been shameful examples when the courts have allowed themselves to become tools in the hands of military and political leaders; but there have also been times when the Justices have made the nation proud by standing up to all pressures and deciding solely on the merit of the cases.

Judges, of course, love to hear about precedent. Here, the precedence lies in both direction. The question is, which precedent will Justice Rana Bhagwandas follow?

For anyone interested in the history of the Judiciary in such cases – both good and bad – do watch this very informative BBC report on the subject.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=_gE39xhnm0w

64 Comments on “Pakistan’s Judicial History and Acting Chief Justice Rana Bhagwandas”

  1. Jabir Khan says:
    March 24th, 2007 2:44 pm

    So far I have the impression that Justice Bhagwandas is a man of intergrity. Maybe that is the reason this Govt tried to bypass him. I sincerely wish that ACJP buries the cursed ‘Nazria e Zaroorat’ (theory of necessity) for good.

    I hope he does not dissapoint us this time around.

  2. Disciple says:
    March 24th, 2007 3:33 pm

    This is a tricky one. Apparently his taking oath even as ‘acting’ CJ is not constitutional/legal as CJ is present and able to do his service and only held from service through an illegally act from General Musharraf. I was hoping that Baghwan Das would not take the oath as it reflects on his credibility in terms of consideration for law and constitution.

    “the nation would soon hear the good newsâ€

  3. Roshan says:
    March 24th, 2007 3:44 pm

    ACJ Bhagwan Daas has a reputation of a man of honesty and integrity throughout his judicial career. He is considered a man of books who hardly attends social gatherings.
    But there is not a single bold judgment by him since he in the apex court. Rather he is one of the signatories of ‘Doctrine of Necessity’.
    I pray this time he will come up with a historical verdict which may bring him into the camp of good judges as shown in the BBC documentary.

  4. Samdani says:
    March 24th, 2007 5:10 pm

    Interesting development. I think if he had refused to take oath then things would have been worse and everyone would have said that the government pressured him to do so b/c they wanted Javed Iqbal to stay or under pressure from the MMA.

    By the way, on the pictures, what is the first one of. The second is Javed Iqbal taking oaath and third is Bhagwandas taking oath?

  5. BitterTruth says:
    March 24th, 2007 5:17 pm

    Justice Bhagwan Das and othere members of JC will be remembered in the history. It depends on them with whom.. Justice Munir, Justice Irshad Hasan or with Justice Durab Patel ,Justice Saeed uz Zaman Siddiqui.

    Its a chance for judiciary to dignify itself.

  6. Munaeem says:
    March 24th, 2007 6:42 pm

    Sirjee,

    Whatever you said about the acting chief justice is true. Tell me. Will he be able to bear the pressure?

    Mr. Musharraf has full state machinery at his disposal. Who will will save him if someone threatens to kill him ?

    An individual cannot fight with the state machinery.

  7. Daktar says:
    March 24th, 2007 6:52 pm

    Isn’t the whole point of this and the video that there have been Justices who have resisted teh pressures and if he decides to, he can?

  8. Disciple says:
    March 24th, 2007 7:03 pm

    I have a feeling this is face saving by the general. By getting the reference dealt by an “independent” judge and acquitting Justice Iftikhar the general can claim he was merely following the law. Of course this is plan B, plan A was to oust Justice Ifitkhar altogether, as we all know, but which did not go very well.

  9. zakoota says:
    March 24th, 2007 7:20 pm

    Pray what ever happens next should be in the interest and benefit of Pakistan and may this CJ make decisions which are to strengthen our beloved Pakistan. Ameen

  10. March 24th, 2007 9:43 pm

    This picture, from today’s Daily Times, taken immediately after Justice Bhagwandas’s oath-taking shows the level of interest and expectation that is generating.

  11. March 24th, 2007 9:51 pm

    This news story from Ansar Abassi in The News also seems to be of relevance here. Some excerpts:

    ISLAMABAD: Non-functional chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has complete faith in the newly appointed Acting Chief Justice Rana Baghwandas and is confident of staging an honourable comeback. Sources close to the chief justice, who is currently facing a presidential reference, said Justice Chaudhry is of the view that the reference has no grounds to stand. “I have some trump cards close to my chest,â€

  12. mystic says:
    March 25th, 2007 12:47 am

    I think, Game is already over. Compromise has been made. Rana Bhagwandas will announce the verdict (the said result of compromise) with some face saving for both sides(CJ will probably get restored as govt. already decide to back-off).

    Us ke baad sub mil ker hasi khusi raj karain ge aur awam angoohte pe nishan ka itizaar kare gi.

    BTW: BB and NS lost another golden ooprtunity to return to stag. They appear more pathetic. BB should have taken plane and landed in Karachi. Probably she is still working on back door deal.

  13. Daktar says:
    March 25th, 2007 12:50 am

    Mystic, if what you say were to happen, then I think it would be a good outcome. A step ahead. A good precedent. Something to build upon.

  14. Sohail says:
    March 28th, 2007 2:12 pm

    Jabir, not sure if I follow your logic.

    Yes, the priviliged corrupt class is breaking laws. Does that mean that it is OK to let these madrassa wallas take teh law into tehir own hands and apply these Taliban like tactics.

    Since this site has been writing so many things against the priviliged class breaking the laws (all these stories about the CJ crisis, about the Ministers car accident, about Wasi Zafar, about the Nirala thing) isn’t it hypocritical not to write about the hooliganism and breaking the laws by the madrassa people? Why doesn’t this site also write about their bad behavior if it writes about the bad behavior of ministers? Who are they trying to protect these religious fanatics?

    If you are against breaking laws should’nt you be against breaking the law by anyone!

  15. Lahori says:
    March 25th, 2007 10:55 pm

    I think the CJ story is on its way to being killed. Already the story is about Bhagwandas and not about the CJ. Soon, Iftikhar Chaudhry will be forgotten and we get back to where we were.

  16. babbi says:
    March 26th, 2007 5:59 am

    In our society of Muslims where mockery, dishonesty, lying etc are norms, we should thank God that a non-muslim is incharge of SJC and holds a certain level of integrity.

    May Allah grant him the brains and courage to give a right decision.

  17. Jabir Khan says:
    March 26th, 2007 6:16 am

    Lahori sahab it is us who opt to forget things. Exactly as the other side wants us to. So this time around do not opt to forget. Simple. And if you look at other peoples behaviour in this regard, remember they are looking at yours as well.

    By the way here is another good news:

    Justice Javed Iqbal has remarked that no secret agency or organization is above the law and the constitution adding that the missing persons case would not be kept in cold.

    http://thenews.jang.com.pk/updates.asp#19990

    I wonder how the Govt and the minister of law in particular will deal with this ‘long arm’ of the law?

  18. Ghalib says:
    March 26th, 2007 9:32 am

    well the qoute of habib jalib is the best at the end of the video clip
    “yeh munsiff to khud qaidi hain insaff kya karien gay”

    martial law itself is illegal,CJ that took oath on PCO of Mushy are illegal themselves!it is “gangs of pakistan” just like the movie “gangs of newyork” lawlessness at its best!!!

  19. wasif says:
    March 26th, 2007 10:56 pm

    Please strike down the years of judicial hijacking of judiciary by Pakistani Military. Put an end to the interference that started early in the life of the country when the then president and martial law administrator required the judiciary to take a fresh oath of office swearing allegiance to the emergency provisions leading to the military takeover of the country in 1958.

    Justice Rana Bhagwandas Sahib, you can change the destiny of this nation by giving a rebuke to the military tin general. I hate to point out but it is a fact that you are not a Muslim and there are more chances of getting justice from you. Muslim judges are the most easily salable commodities and getting a fair verdict from them is not possible. Secondly any judge belonging to Punjab is for sale. The character of the Punjabi nation can be seen from the fact that 400 Punjab assembly members were up for sale turning loyalties over night when bouts errupted between Watoo and Shareef. The other fact is to just see the Punjabi Generals, all sold to Musharraf as long as they are getting free plots and prize jobs. It is a degenerated nation of Punjabi’s.

    You decision might put us on the right path like India. So the only chance this God forsaken nation has for a Hindu to put it on the right track.

  20. Saleem Qasmi says:
    March 28th, 2007 10:45 am

    I think the way to look at this is that whatever happens next it is a victory for people of Pakistan. The government backed down, even apologized and hopefully has learnt that they cannot push Pakistanis indefinately.

  21. Imtiaz says:
    March 27th, 2007 8:05 pm

    I think we should wait to see how he decides before decising whether he is hero or zero. We have had both type judges in Pakistan before.

  22. babbi says:
    March 27th, 2007 2:32 am

    [quote comment="39934"] Muslim judges are the most easily salable commodities and getting a fair verdict from them is not possible.

    You decision might put us on the right path like India. So the only chance this God forsaken nation has for a Hindu to put it on the right track.[/quote]

    Wasif sb you are absolutely right. See what Muslims did to this country in the last 60years: ABSOLUTE CHAOS.

  23. Aqil Sajjad says:
    March 27th, 2007 5:44 am

    I think the judiciary has a unique chance to establish its credibility and start the process of putting the military under some kind of check now.
    When the military took over in 1999, it was different, Musharraf simply sent all the non-compliant judges packing, and since the people were happy with the coup, there was no protest.
    This time, the SJC can rule in favour of the CJ, and the supreme court can also give a verdict against Musharraf’s re-election by the same assemblies and his further continuation in uniform when those issues are put before it.
    The question is whether Rana Bhagwandas and the other judges will rise to the ocasion.

  24. Sohail says:
    March 28th, 2007 12:36 pm

    The country seems to be going nuts. These madrassa students are now taking the law into their own hands and as vigalante holding people hostage … who teh hell do they think they are…. an I wonder what will happen if that case is ever brought before this chief justice our fundamentalists will then make his religion the issue… poor guy, he is in a tough spot here and things will certainly get hotter for him as these religious type will certainly drag his religion into things.

  25. wasif says:
    March 27th, 2007 12:32 pm

    Babbi, I hear you and you are absolutely right. Let me give you an example;

    I was in North America recently where I was dragged to a Pakistani Political Forum. There were about 20 chamchas holding a gathering in a basement of one of the chamcha’s house. They were supporting a Pakistani for an MP position in Toronto.

    The time set was for 6 PM on a week day. The speaker and would be MP arrived at 9 PM even tough it was a week day and everyone had to work the next day. This guy was ex-military officer from Pakistan who made money or probably brought enough from there.

    After the lecture and requesting for votes, I asked as to why did he want to stand for elections here. I said that everyone I meet here is happy, kids are going to free schools with great education, medical is free, people sleep with their doors open, etc.. There’s justice for all!! I told him. “have you not done enough in Pakistan – Why would you want to pollute a working system here and screw it to the ground??” Some people at the gathering were upset but I was traveling through the free world so got away by saying what I wanted.

  26. KAWA1 says:
    March 27th, 2007 3:53 pm

    Please use the below fax numbers to send your message across to these people. You may use outside commercial fax machines to avoid someone coming after you…After all we live in a “Banana Republic”

    * General Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan +9251-9221388
    * Mr Shaukat Aziz, Prime Minister of Pakistan +9251-9212866
    * Justice Rana Bhagwandas, Acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan
    +9251-9213452
    * Mr Mohammed Ali Durrani, Federal Minister for Information Development,
    Government of Pakistan +9251- 9203740

  27. KAWA1 says:
    March 27th, 2007 10:27 pm

    Imtiaz. I agree

  28. babbi says:
    March 28th, 2007 1:22 am

    Wasif so this means that these army people always want to come into politics.

    Guess what they would be doing in Army and Guess how would they be pressurizing Mr. Bhagwandas.

  29. Jabir Khan says:
    March 28th, 2007 1:56 pm

    Sohail, you are stretching things here. Pakistan was made for Pakistanis not a privileged corrupt class who has turned it into their hunting ground. What maddrassa wallas are doing is wrong, but at the same time what they are asking for is right. Don’t forget its Islamic Republic of Pakistan, not a western country whose capital is scattered with brothels.

    Once Late Nawabzada Nassrullah was asked, during an anti govt movement, that why is he backing off at a critical point when the genie of people is about to appear. He answered the genie will surely come out but who will put it back in the bottle?

    That genie is a result of inept, corrupt elite of Pakistan. Inner and outer forces have created the situation where it is a very real possibility that this genie might come out. That is why even opposition is playing it low.

    You are shouting that these madrassa are taking law in their hands through hostage crises. Right. But don’t forget the whole nation is hostage at the hand of a dictator. Don’t you find it illegal? Looting of national strategic assets (like steel mills) is not illegal? Hope you understand the situation.

  30. KAWA1 says:
    March 28th, 2007 2:32 pm

    Sohail, unfortunately a country ruled by dictators will always split into religious, ethnic and sectarian divide. Freedom of expression is a natural trait of every human being and cannot be choked. When people get tired, they look for other avenues, such as religion, race and baradiry for comforts. People who turned mullah’s were very much people like you and me.

    I agree that the maulvi’s will start dragging the current acting CJ on religious grounds. However have we not seen CNN or Fox to see how even the religious right in USA does the same thing in the greatest democracy. They constantly threaten judges who belong to different ethnic backgrounds and pressurize them to give verdicts that suit their hard core Christian belief’s. However the system works and protects the the judges. Dare not anyone ever gets close to the judges to harm them. They are protected as much as the President of United States. I think everyone in Pakistan should have an open right to bring forth their views, may it be as ridiculous. We as a nation should have the patience to listen to all opinions.

    Violence erupts when you try and cut off people by force and choke their opinions. I should respect your opinions (religious or not), you should respect mine (whether you agree to disagree or disagree to agree) and likewise we should respect the maulvi’s rights to their’s (and you and me will definitely disagree).

  31. Farrukh says:
    March 28th, 2007 2:43 pm

    KAWA1, I like and agree what you say about ” I think everyone in Pakistan should have an open right to bring forth their views, may it be as ridiculous. We as a nation should have the patience to listen to all opinions.”

    As long as we also agree that no mater who is in goevrnement NO ONE has the right to take other people hostages just because they do not like their morality. NO ONE. A dictatorial government is bad and we must all oppose it as we have again an again here, but it is no excuse for crimanal and inhuman behavior like what we are seeing in this ase of taking a woman hostage.

  32. Jabir Khan says:
    March 28th, 2007 2:56 pm

    Sohail, of course I am against breaking law. But the problem here is to distinguish between the scale of crime. A grain of sand and a mountain are not equal. When you consider the blunders carried out by the ruling elite (like the division Pakistan, the plundering of national resources, the criminal negligence regarding the welfare of ordinary citizens), and compare it to non-issues like the madrassa walas. Are these even comparable? You be the judge. All I am implying is the bigger crime must be punished before the smaller one…..isn’t it logical?

  33. Lahori says:
    March 28th, 2007 9:33 pm

    Can you please not use ALL CAPS. That is like shouting on internet. Thanks.

    Also, I am no fan of the military, but given that you have mis-stated and exaggerated what Wasi Zafar said (what he really said was bad enough anyhow), I am not sure that I am willing to believe the rest of your story either.

  34. KAWA1 says:
    March 28th, 2007 4:20 pm

    Thanks Farrukh. You make a good point.

  35. KAWA1 says:
    March 28th, 2007 4:50 pm

    Sohail YOU WROTE

    Jabir, not sure if I follow your logic.

    Yes, the priviliged corrupt class is breaking laws. Does that mean that it is OK to let these madrassa wallas take teh law into tehir own hands and apply these Taliban like tactics.
    __________________________________________________

    I DISAGREE WITH YOU. PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS FOLLOW THE LEADERS. LEADERS, GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONARIES,MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT, POLITICAL APPOINTEES HAVE TO SET EXAMPLES. THEY HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES.

    I’LL GIVE YOU A SMALL EXAMPLE;
    YEARS AGO WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, I WAS RIDING WITH A FRIEND WHO HAD TO DROP HIS AILING FATHER AT KARACHI AIRPORT. WE ALMOST HAD A FIGHT HEADING TO ARRIVAL TERMINAL WHEN THE FAUJI AT ENTRANCE BARRICADE STOPPED HIM FROM HEADING TO DROP OFF HIS OLD MAN AT THE TERMINAL (WHERE THE LAW HAD BANNED TRAFFIC BECAUSE OF SECURITY THREAT). HOWEVER WHILE HE WAS IN THE PROCESS OF REVERSING HIS CAR TO GO TOWARDS THE PARKING LOT, THEY ALLOWED A “ONE STAR” ARMY OFFICERS CAR WHICH WAS CARRYING A BRIG’S FAMILY MEMBERS. MY FRIEND’S FATHER WAS 65 YEARS OLD WHO WAS HEADING TO LAHORE AND THERE WAS A HEAVY RAIN POURING(LONG DEAD NOW). MY FRIEND WHO HAD NEVER DONE ANYTHING DRASTIC IN LIFE ALMOST RAN OVER THE FAUJI, HAD A VERBAL BOUT WITH HIM FOR ALLOWING THE FAUJI CAR WHICH WAS CARRYING CIVILIANS WHILE RESTRAINING HIM. THE GUARD BACKED AWAY FEARING THE OUTBURST AND LET US GO ON. MY FRIEND GREW UP TO BE A HEART SURGEON AND LIVES IN USA NOW. GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN LIFE..

    WOULD HE HAVE DONE SO IF THE GUARD HAD TURNED AWAY THE OTHER CAR??? I DOUBT IT.
    PEOPLE LIKE CHILDREN WILL FOLLOW THE EXAMPLES SET BY LEADERS AND PARENTS . YOU CANNOT EXPECT AN ABUSED CHILD TO GROW UP TO BE A MODEL CITIZEN. CHILDREN WITH PHYSICAL ABUSE WILL TAKE THE SAME TRAIT TO SCHOOL AND ABUSE OTHER CHILDREN. A NATION WILL ONLY EVOLVE WHEN LEADERS SET EXAMPLES.HOW CAN YOU COMPARE AND JUSTIFY A MAULVI IN MADRASSA TO THE ACTIONS OF A LAW MINISTER WHO HAD THE GUTS TO THREATEN PEOPLE WITH STATEMENTS LIKE “ARM UP YOURS….” AND THAT TOO ON NATIONAL TV.

    MAYBE I LOST YOU SOMEWHERE.

  36. KAWA1 says:
    March 28th, 2007 10:44 pm

    lahori, apologize for writing in caps. It was not meant to be offensive.

    I heard the law minister and that is what I got out of it. Nothing in my statement is incorrect and the episode listed is factual.

    However thank you for your response.

  37. KAWA1 says:
    March 28th, 2007 11:39 pm

    P.S.

    News from Pakistan link March 23;
    Wasi Zafar for the Chop?
    Islamabad: Federal Law Minister Wasi Zafar is set for the chop, according to reliable sources in Islamabad. The top candidate for the job is the former law minister Senator Dr Khalid Ranjha.

    Daily Times has reported that the President and the prime minister both have been deeply embarrassed by Zafar’s many gaffles that have made him an object of ridicule….
    ______________________________________________

    I wonder why they are planning to chop him if the law minister said nothing wrong ??

  38. Jabir Khan says:
    March 29th, 2007 6:51 am

    Lahori sahab, this is not the only blunder this minister has commited. Here are some examples:

    - He bashed a waiter in a five star hotel because the poor chap was a bit late.
    - He is notorious for his abusive tongue. No one likes to be around him. How the ministry is running under him is a big question.
    - His son attacked a person at the ariport who objected his crossing the lines.

    And he has earned many other medals as well. The recent being the ‘long arm’ on VOA.

    You will agree that Pakistan has been delibrately divided between ordinary and VIP classes. This setup is a big hurdle for the future of this country.

  39. KAWA1 says:
    March 29th, 2007 6:12 pm

    Jabir Khan

    Thanks for bringing forth the other incidences to the credit of our law minister. People of such character usually have a lot of skeletons to hide…

  40. babbi says:
    March 30th, 2007 4:38 am

    These Madrassah students are doing not in the name of democracy or against dictatorship or in the agony. They are doing it in the name of ISLAM and this is bad. Their acts will be considered by the west as Islamic but what dictators and politicians do is never considered Islamic or religious. This I believe is the major difference and this is why Madrassahs should be condemned at the loudest of our voices.

    Secondly about thier right of freedom of expression: Yes, they everybody has the right to condemn something bad but this does not constitute taking law in the hand.

    Yes, I agree this happens when the institutions fail but anything bad or Unislamic should not be tolerated in the name of Islam.

  41. Disciple says:
    March 30th, 2007 7:07 pm
  42. KAWA1 says:
    March 31st, 2007 4:12 pm

    Babbi, your comments about madrassa students are valid. Also your concern that we should condemn the madrassa’s at the loudest to pacify the West.

    I have been a strong critic of madrassa’s/mullaism all my life. To me religion is a personal thing and should not be exploited.As someone told me long time back “The last resort of a scoundrel is to exploit religion”

    However having said that, let me assure you that it does not matter to the West whether you have madrassa or mullaism and that is simply an excuse to suit the timings of creating an issue. Turkey and Malaysia have no madrassa’s. These are extremely modern countries and the question of Mullaism in these countries cannot be imagined, yet Turkey has fought to become a part of EC for last 20 years without success. Recently the pope on his visit to Turkey finally made a positive statement in favor of Turkey’s membership…that was however a lip service. With all the friendship between Turkey and USA, imagine if today Turkey tries to go nuclear!! You think the friendship will last? Yet Israel and India continue to develop nuclear arsenals.. These two countries have more radical religious fundamentalists.

    The real problem is not madrassa’s or maulvi’s but a greater Christian religious issue. The Christian right and Neocons really belief that ultimately the world will end and resurrection will only take place if the Muslims are defeated in the ultimate fight of religions and state of Isreal is preserved. That to them is the ultimate destiny of this world. I think there is a similar belief among radical Muslims {Mullah) that ultimately the world will be conquered by Muslims and Islam will be the only religion left. Call it madness if you like, I do!

    So you can give away the Madrassa’s, choke the maulvi’s or demolish the mosques, you cannot pacify the West because it is a greater threat than Communism ever was. If anyone has ever listened to Michael Savage with over 20 million audience in USA or Rush Limbaugh or Ann Colter, you would realize what I am referring to. These are powerful voices in the USA..

    However the West understands that Mulla’s can be controlled locally within their own countries and do not have a capacity to launch destructive warheads to West. The real concern is the nukes that Pakistan has and that too at the sole disposal of a military man without checks and controls. That is a dangerous situation and here’s my prediction for 2008;

    The greatest danger that Pakistan faces in 2008 or soon after the Taliban’s issue is settled;

    Pakistan will be declared a terrorist state (maybe right after 2008 when Democrats come in power). There will be pressure on Pakistan to revert back to Democracy, roll back the nuclear progress or be isolated with economic sanctions. The reason will not be madrassa’s or maulvi’s, the reason will be AQ Khan (who was made the escape goat)and our irresponsible actions of supplying nuclear tech to Libya and N Korea. This is presently a dormant issue because of the war on terror. The Pakistani military by their actions and greed has put the entire nation of Pakistan at risk (more so then even Osama, in the long run). It is a known fact and was elaborated in several newspapers in the West that the deal of transfer of nuclear technology to Libya was for a price of $160 million. This money never came in the coffers of State Bank of Pakistan but siphoned directly into foreign accounts of the Generals. The idea of AQ Khan using C 130 planes for shipment of centrifuges to Libya without the Army knowledge is unthinkable if not a joke.

    Frankly, I do not condemn the West. Apart from the religious reasons, I think they have every right to be weary about our state and the potential threat of having a failed state carry a nuclear warhead. To me the danger is not to the West but to Pakistanis themselves. I fear that one day a General will launch a nuclear warhead against one of our own provinces; maybe Sind or Baluchistan or Waziristan if ever there is an uprising and they fail to subdue the people by conventional force. I don’t think they will ever have the guts to use it on an outside force. See Musharraf’s book “In Line of Fire” where he writes that, “that we were told that the U.S. would bomb Pakistan “back to the Stone Age” if it did not cooperate with Washington in the war on terror following the Sept. 11 attacks”. This was Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage who later told Fox that the Army General of Pakistan’s Intelligence left that meeting shivering after he was told”.

    MSNBC host Joe Scarbourough in his nightly address could not stop laughing. He was amazed by the fact that Musharraf would insult himself by putting that in his book. He thought Musharraf ridiculed and humiliated himself by showing such weakness… even though he headed a nuclear power???

    Is this an Army that can dare use a nuke on anyone. Yes it is tough enough to drag a CJ by hair or beat or have beaten unarmed citizens to pulp..or murder Bughti by a precision missile (unheard of in modern times)

    The ultimately demise of Iraq was the result of irresponsible Military dictatorship and people are paying the price. The ultimate demise of Pakistan will be due to similar consequences and not because of madrases. The real madrases lie in the heart of Cantonments and the evolution of Defence Societies!

  43. Neena says:
    April 1st, 2007 5:55 pm

    I like to add he became a judge of the Sindh High Court in 1994 only when Benazir intervened personally as even some in PPP were against the appointment.

  44. KAWA1 says:
    April 1st, 2007 6:23 pm

    There was a good suggestion in letters to editor, Dawn to have Musharraf take an additional responsibility of Chief Justice of Pakistan. All it needs is a minor adjustment to Pakistan’s so called Constitution. I’m sure the Law Minister can extend his “long arm” to make it happen!!

  45. KAWA1 says:
    April 2nd, 2007 12:05 am

    Neena, so what are you trying to say…? You mean Benezir did wrong? or are you implying that he was a controversial judge since other PPP members had objected to his appointment in 1994?

    I don’t understand your comment.

    Remember the best judge is a person who is hated by political parties, police, military and bureaucracy. A person who will fight for the civil rights and liberties of the people of Pakistan will always be hated by the establishment.

  46. babbi says:
    April 2nd, 2007 7:10 am

    Thanks Kawa1 for your detailed evaluation of the situation.

    Yes, I do believe it is the west who will never get satisfied with whatever and whoever we condemn and they will continue to look towards Pakistan the way they had been.

    The greatest problem is that if it is a christian belief that says to preserve Israel and to defeat muslims in the ultimate fight, it will never be considered by the world as religious fanaticism but will be considered as Powerplay or Politics.

    But when these madrassahs or extremists do such kind of acts the west immediately screams that it is religious terrorism and then complimented by our politicians’ wrongdoings and stupidity, makes our lives miserable. Let it be our political stupidity and not religious fanaticism that turns on the west.

    Dr. Hoodbhoy while on the interview in America said that he got a round of applause while delivering the speech on Nuclear non proliferation but when he spoke about Palestine, Lebanon, Iran etc everybody there went silent. Even the newspaper quoted his speach about nuclear arms and ignored his comments on middle east situation.

    to sum up, I beleive that religious fanaticism and other such acts should not be tolerated at all in the name of Islam: Islam is not what the muslims are doing, neither christianity is what Christians do.

  47. KAWA1 says:
    April 2nd, 2007 6:11 pm

    Babbi, good point.. don’t know where we’re heading. I do agree this religious madness has to stop, if not only to pacify the West (because they will never get pacified…)but at least to bring stability in our country. It is crazy!

    I hope democracy is restored so that people get their minds involved with the politics rather then religion! It is much better when people shout “jey Bhutto or jey Nawaz Shareef or slogans of another party’ rather then “Kafir or non kafir, Shahadat or hell!!”

  48. Malik Arif Najiali says:
    May 2nd, 2007 7:13 am

    If this time judiciary does not protect itself, in my opinion they are not deserving to sit in their offices as “munsif” and public should throu them out! Even if Ch Iftikhar had committed any sin or mistake that is not countable, the matter is institution. AND the person (Gen. Musharraf) who ruined the institution and national image must be counted for. NO MERCY FOR HIM.

  49. Lawyer says:
    May 3rd, 2007 2:20 am

    Pakistan has a long and proud tradition of eminent jurists from minority communities. I am glad that Justice Bhgwandas is keeping thsi tradition alive and even more proud that as a nation we have turned a corner and are once again making this a Pakistan for all Pakistanis.

  50. KAWA1 says:
    May 5th, 2007 3:56 am

    When a elected Prime Minister sacks a General (Army Chief), the entire platoon of Corps Commander gang up to defy the legitimate order of an elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. They arrest the Prime Minister, overthrow an elected Government and reinstate the sacked General as the President of a Banana Republic.

    When the General takes a similar action against the head of another institution which is none other than the highest judicial authority in a country, he demands that lawyers should not side with the Chief Justice and the Chief Justice should wait for justice from a puppet judicial council as no one is above law and everyone should take their grievances to the courts.

    Why did the General not take his case to the courts when he got sacked? Why did he and his team of cronies pick up guns and invade the PM house? If his crony Generals supported him then why should the lawyers not support their leader?

    Maybe in the General’s book, only those who carry arms have the right of might!

    This is a test case of a turning point of a country’s destiny. Obviously a lot of people will try and sabotage this especially from Punjab. They are from the offshoots of the generation that sided with every master from the British times to serve and flourish. If it was for these people India would still be a colony of the British in order to get awarded titles such as “Sir” or Nawabzada”, etc

    I agree with Malik Arif Najiali that irrespective of any fault of the CJ, every Pakistani should support the CJ and resist a military dictator or self proclaimed CZAR from making the judiciary a rubber stamp or a foot map for his office. It surprises me that these 3rd divisioner’s FA pass illustrate Generals play with the destiny of a nation or have played for 60 years after dismembering half the country and after loosing three wars. PMA Kakool should be renamed as “Boot Camp for Loosers – BCL”

  51. KAWA1 says:
    May 5th, 2007 4:13 am

    P.S.

    If anyone needs to be far sighted and support the independence of judiciary, it is the Chaudry Brothers.

    You don’t need a crystal ball to see that the two of them will be lingering in jails for a very very long time somewhere in future.

  52. KAWA1 says:
    May 5th, 2007 2:21 pm

    IF SOMEONE MISSED READING THIS IN DAWN; “PAKISTAN UNDER THE RULE OF A COMMANDO GENERAL”

    ISLAMABAD, May 4: A middle-aged man missing since 2003 was produced in the Supreme Court on Friday in such a bad shape that the court ordered his immediate medical check-up.

    “This skeleton of a man has a reward of Rs3 million on his head in the Red Book of our Interior Ministry,â€

  53. shk says:
    May 5th, 2007 2:59 pm

    Totday Breaking news

    MQM blocked Aaj TV, two other pvt channels telecast in Sindh

    See the shameful act of MQM.

    Surprisingly no one covered the shameful event of city council in which an MQM member is beating a woman member with his belt…!! One can clearly see the women rights champion in action in Karachi city council session..photo appeared in Jang frontpage yesterday.

    http://img128.imageshack.us/img128/1627/citycouncilet5.gif

    MQM’s Nazim from baldia beating a woman with his belt while she ducks for cover….

  54. KAWA1 says:
    May 5th, 2007 7:13 pm

    Shk, thanks for bringing this to notice. Do they have any shame left… After all those speeches of Quaid “Altaf Hussain” about women’s rights!!!!!
    Amazing..

  55. MQ says:
    May 5th, 2007 9:12 pm

    The guy in the picture looks more like Dr. Amir Liaquat Hussain of the aalim online fame. That is, before he had the face-lift.

  56. KAWA1 says:
    May 6th, 2007 6:58 pm

    Democracy comes via balloting, not through rallies: Durrani

    PART OF THE TEXT:
    Quote;
    ISLAMABAD: Information minister Muhammad Ali political colour. On the other hand the opposition parties are playing politics over judicial issue.

    It is our belief dictatorial regime can not stay, he remarked. We will have to draw boundary lines to save the institutions from the politics, he urged. We will have to keep all the institutions including judiciary away from the politics.
    Unquote

    DOES THE INFORMATION MINISTER REALIZE THAT PAKISTAN ARMY IS ALSO AN INSTITUTION? HE TALKS ABOUT KEEPING ALL INSTITUTIONS INCLUDING JUDICIARY AWAY FROM POLITICS. WHAT ABOUT ARMY??? OR DOES HE CONSIDER PAK ARMY A POLITICAL INSTITUTION NOW!

  57. Saad says:
    May 7th, 2007 12:55 am

    ISLAMABAD: The Lahore rally, dominated by certain anti-government elements, lacked public support and negated basic democratic norms, Information Minister Muhammad Ali Durrani said on Sunday.

    Talking to various private TV channels, Durrani said the government had not created any hurdle in the way of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry from Islamabad to Lahore. “We recognise people’s right to the freedom of expression, considering it an integral part of real democracy.â€

  58. NJ says:
    May 11th, 2007 11:49 pm

    Controversial but True:

    Out of the 19 Generals promoted by Musharraf, 9 were Urdu speaking from Karachi and 4 were Punjabi’s. There were no promotions from Baluchistan or Sind or NWFP.

    It is hard to understand the mentality of people who migrated from India and currently call themselves “Muhajir’s”. They tend to work with clan mentality and have a desire to rule the entire country with a 13% population representation. Unfortunately the Pak Army Generals supported Musharraf without looking at his origin but the very same person getting an opportunity acts like a true “Altaf Bhai”!

    If Musharraf does not change his tactics, very soon there will be a military dissant that can lead to a hostile take over by another General. That will be the first time in Pakistan’s Army and the consequences will be disastrous. There are rumours that this issue is already becoming a topic within the military establishment!!

  59. KAWA1 says:
    May 27th, 2007 12:51 am

    An interesting article by Eric Margolis of Toronto Sun.
    Enjoy:

    The Chief Justice was brought to the office of the Army (illegal) chief and pressure was put on him to resign.

    Today Mir Zafarullah Jamali was brought in to the same office to pressure him not to resign.

    A reference was brought against the Chief Justice for using a government helicopter.

    On May 12th. in Karachi government officials tried their level best to forcibly put him in to a helicopter.

    In Karachi the Chief Minster Arbab Rahim says ‘We will not allow any one to disturb the peace’ We will do it our selves!

  60. KAWA1 says:
    June 3rd, 2007 1:55 am

    For all those who have praised Allah and Musharraf for the last 7 years; see the video below to see that only Allah is worthy of praise and the other one is simply a rat in uniform;

    http://www.ibnlive.com/videos/36186/pak-channel-defies-mush-gets-police-treatment.html

  61. July 14th, 2007 12:17 pm

    UPDATE
    From the Dawn today:

    The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the Constitution did not bar a non-Muslim judge from becoming the country’s chief justice. The ruling was made after a petition filed by Shahid Orakzai, challenging the appointment of Justice Rana Bhagwandas as acting Chief Justice of Pakistan for being a non-Muslim, was rejected.

    A three-member bench, comprising Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, Justice Mohammad Nawaz Abbasi and Justice Chaudhry Ijaz Ahmad, also dismissed a petition filed by Moulvi Iqbal Haider who defended the appointment of a non-Muslim as chief justice or acting chief justice. The court termed the petition infructuous.

    Deputy Attorney-General Tariq Khokhar said that there was no constitutional provision that barred a non-Muslim judge from being elevated to the post of the CJ.

    During the hearing, the bench called the police to send Shahid Orakzai out of the court when he insisted to address the court and speak in favour of his petition.

  62. Ayesha says:
    November 10th, 2007 4:05 am

    Happy Diwali to Mr.Rana Bhagwan Das and your family.Thank you for being neutral and fair.Best wishes for you and your family.Take Care.

  63. Watan Aziz says:
    February 20th, 2010 1:19 pm

    Honarable Bhagwandas, Sadar Salam.

    Know that those who love Pakistan, honor you.

    Know that you are recognized for your dedication to justice and equity.

    Know that there was the time not too long ago, when there was a price. In the balance was your dedication to your honored profession as well as the love of your land.

    Know that you refused the price and earned the honor.

    Know that it was your skilled patience, your sense of morality and your decency that guided your soul and your mind at that hour.

    Know that when the history of march to justice and equity will be written, your name will rank above the many who settled for a price, sold their soul, their nation.

    Know that we have miles to go for justice and equity before we sleep.

    Know that we are grateful. Appreciative.

    The honored son of Pakistan, Bhagwandas, Sadar Salam.

  64. maryam says:
    January 5th, 2011 4:31 pm

    now m really hapy 2 c tha pak judiciary …………i think this is the tym when judiciary should take some serious steps……….4 da betterment of country

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