Shameful. Distressing. Dangerous.

Posted on March 12, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Politics, Society
Total Views: 53991

Adil Najam

The way that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was removed was bad enough. But what has happened since then is even more disturbing.

The Chief Justice removed. Media being muzzled. Lawyers protesting beaten up.

One can debate whether Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry should have been removed or not, or even whether the way he was removed was appropriate or not. But there is no question that the way the government is dealing with this issue is shameful, distressing, and dangerous.

The shamefulness is obvious in these pictures; just as it was when a young man’s shalwar was taken off as he protested ‘disappearances’ some months ago. It is distressing because it demonstrates the sanctity of our most important institutions – the judiciary and the media – is under stress. It is dangerous because if one keeps slipping down this road then it is not merely the future of this government but that of the entire country that will be at stake.

Whether the lawyers here instigated the violence or not, I do not know. They very possibly did, and that is itself disturbing. But that is not the point. The question is how a society and a state deals with dissent and protest. Once again, the answer is: “Shamefully.

I do not know who is advising the government on all of this. I just pray that someone is. I hope there is someone who stands up and says:

“Don’t do this.
Please don’t do this.
This is not good for you.
This is not good for the country.
This cannot be good for anyone.
Please – for God’s sake – STOP!”

I wish I had something more profound to say right now. But as I stare at these pictures and this video clip, I hold my head in shame; I am distressed; and I ponder on the dangers before us.

All I can think of right now is: “Allah khair karey!”

Baton Charge by Punjab Police on Lawyers – Geo Tv Report

(Also see a BBC video report here. All pictures above from BBC website; video from GEO News). 

124 responses to “Shameful. Distressing. Dangerous.”

  1. Hamza says:

    Lahori: Thanks.

    I was trying to figure out the motivations of the lawyers representing the government in this deeply unpopular case.

    Even if they do “win” the case, most people will believe that the verdict was cooked and unfair.

    If they lose, they will be forever associated with the government’s ham-handed attempts to suppress the judiciary.

    As the above article reported, a couple of the govt lawyers have were beaten up outside the supreme court.

  2. Hamza says:

    I have a question for anyone on this blog.

    According to this article in The News, a certain Senator Wasim Sajjad is representing the government in the case against Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

    “Unless we are not provided security it would be difficult for us to plead the case in these circumstances,â€

  3. sahibzada fazal says:

    dear all

    in my opnion the non elected times of gen pervez mushraf were good as compared to this elected govt

    the politicains are not of the level to perform their jobs
    in a reponsable manner ,
    this attack on lawyers and other picture just shows miss managment on politicians front
    as president musharaf cannot be every where to clean up the mess.

  4. Lahori says:

    Yes, Wasim Sajjad is a leading lawyer of the country.  He was speaker of teh Senate at various points in history (including during Zia days and then also later. During these period he would become Acting President (bc he was Senate Chairman) when the Presidents were out of the country.

  5. Fareed says:

    I will be the devil’s advocate here. The lawyers and indeed the chief justice should first themselves learn to respect the law before talking about the independence of judiciary. These lawyers are the same ones who think that they are above the law and have only contempt for any any effort by anybody to ensure that they obey the tenents of law. Same goes for the ex chief justice. Just look at the way he tried to get his son in the Civil Service of Pakistan through back door

    All I can say is Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others.

    Also everyone should remember that he is not going to remain in power for ever.

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