It doesn’t come as a surprise when the US viceroy to this colony slams Hafiz Saeed. It is no wonder if we watch our president standing obediently behind during the joint press conference by our Foreign(’s) Minister and his highness viceroy for the “Pakistan Colony” These scenes do heart us but not that much because these are expected.
The thing that we didn’t expect was the meeting between Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chudhry and Richard Holbrooke in the supreme court building on June 6, 2009 and that too just two days after Hafiz’s release. (Pls Note that Holbrooke is unofficially representing India also)
Why didn’t we expect that? The answer is simple. We believed that his NO to president Musharraf was his ‘own’ and he was restored through a long struggle by the civil society and some political parties like PTI and JI and PML N in the last stage. Not just a struggle but the one for which some precious lives were sacrificed. I still remember the day when we the members of civil society were left on road of Karachi to the terrorists and CJ along with Aitezaz was sitting safely in the Airport lounge.
What in the Meeting?
Although the meeting itself was unjustified, however, there arises a question that what was discussed in the meeting?
‘Matters relating to judicial reforms as per national judicial policy and the whole judicial structure of Pakistan were discussed,’ Dr Faqir Hussain, Registrar of the Supreme Court says. But why and in what capacity both the party meet. What an ungainly cover-up this is? The registrar shows to be a good PR manager but his word doesn’t work here.
The second development in this regard is that “Immediately after the meeting, the chief justice went to the presidency to attend the oath-taking ceremony of newly appointed Federal Shariat Court Chief Justice Agha Mohammad Rafique. There he had a one-to-one meeting with President Asif Zardari.”
Coincidence or planned?
Were these two meetings a coincidence or agenda of the both Meetings was same? If agenda and topics were the same then it was surely a planned one. However, the time and actions of CJ in future will answer this question.
Haroon Rashid in his ‘Pheslan’ in Daily Jang has had between the line comments about the issue. Dr Arif Alvi of Pakistan Tehrek Insaf is clearer and has two write-ups about this unwanted meeting, at least unwanted to us the member of civil society and worker of political parties. In his first Post “CJP Iftikhar meets Holbrooke?” Published on Teeth Maestro dated June 7, 2009, Dr Alvi has rightly highlighted the issue.
“We as members of the civil society have struggled long and hard for his restoration and we continue to respect the Supreme Court, but for matters of dignity and norms the Chief Justice should not have met a political official of the US Government, which has been responsible for kidnappings and ‘internments’ from Pakistan to say the least. A large number of cases were heard by the Chief Justice himself before and are still pending in which the US government has clearly been accused and implicated. Even the issue of encroachment of Pakistan’s sovereignty, and drone attacks in violation of the same and of our basic rights, can come up for hearing at the Supreme Court.”
Again on the June 11, 2009 he has penned “Dorab Patel on Judicial Aloofness – CJP’s meeting Richard Holbrooke” in this piece he has cited the attitude of past judged like Dorab Patel and Justice Wahiduddin Ahmed (father of Justice Wajeehuddin Ahmed) in this regard and told that how would they avoided meeting with the officials of all ranks including PMs.
Salman Mugsi in the Pakistan Spectator webblog has raised some good points. In his “Why Holbrooke Met With CJP Iftikhar Chaudhary?” he writes;
“Nation stands appalled. This is the same Holbrooke, who and his predecessors were ill at ease with even the mention of the restoration of the same chief justice and also this was the same chief justice who was hyper-active to the satisfaction of many Pakistanis about the missing people, who were sold to United States by the Pervez Musharraf. Now it would be an understatement to even say that this is painful to witness these sorts of meetings.”
Then raises some question;
“What is the office of Holbrooke with CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary? In order to cover things up, it is being said that CJP met with the Holbrooke on the advice of the foreign office. Since when the CJP has started accepting the advices of the FO?
Honorable chief justice we have been rejecting all conspiracy theories including the Other Side of the Picture. We still believe that this meeting is a share blunder to you also and will bring no changes in our expectations. Some of your colleagues, who also got restored as a result of judiciary restoration movement by the civil society, are reportedly unhappy with this meeting of yours with US viceroy. We expect that if our rulers are slave our judiciary is not. Our dream and expectations has to come true and see that we are waiting for the cases of Missing person and NRO, the later the biggest dacoit in the history of Pakistan.