News Analysis |
Today is going to be yet another great day in the political history of Pakistan. Today the Supreme Court of Pakistan is to announce its verdict on a petition seeking the disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan and Secretary-general Jahangir Tareen. The court reserved its decision on November 14th.
Nobody knows as to what the court is going to say. Nor should any speculation be made until the court itself reads out the verdict. But there are some important points to be considered with greater care in order to ensure the continuity of political process in Pakistan.
The verdict, however, in all respects should be welcomed by all the parties; and if any party feels uncomfortable with what the court decides they can again approach the court without abusing or blaming the superior court and its honorable judges.
First, whether the decision is for or against the PTI chief, the decision should be accepted and must be respected by the followers of the party. The courts are expected to decide things on merit, not on the basis of popular beliefs. Politicians adhere to popular support; judges don’t. Democracies respect their courts and their verdicts, and citizens are trained to respect what their courts decide on the basis of available evidence. Courts and Judges are neither abused nor their personal lives made difficult in civilized societies.
Second, if the court gives any verdict against the expectations of the ruling party which is trying to equate the case of Imran Khan with that of Nawaz Sharif the decision deserves respect and graceful admission. The PML-N leadership has already unnecessarily verbally attacked the court and honorable judges. When a ruling party ‘accuses’ the country’s highest court of being biased, or being touted by a ‘third umpire’, it actually undermines the court’s credibility in the eyes of the masses. PML-N should learn from the past experience and must show respect and confidence in the civil institutions of the country.
Third, the people of Pakistan need to be professed a new thing about the present-day courts in Pakistan. Pakistani apex courts are no longer ‘puppets’ in the hands of Pakistan’s all-powerful military establishment rather now they have become empowered, independent and conscious of their role. Therefore, any decision in the disqualification case needs to be respected even if it is not adequately reasoned or reflects any other technical (in an academic sense) inadequacy.
Institutions need time to evolve, and to act properly. Courts in Pakistan need respect to gain more confidence in order to make decisions without being influenced by any political party or any other institution.
Institutions need time to evolve, and to act properly. Courts in Pakistan need respect to gain more confidence in order to make decisions without being influenced by any political party or any other institution. The government, the opposition, and the people of Pakistan must show respect for the court and its decision with an expected democratic grace.
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This is, however, not to say that the decisions of the courts should not be debated or criticized for being technically compromised and constitutionally questionable. Nothing in a democracy, unlike a theocracy, is unquestionable. Constructive criticism in a well-intended manner contributes positively in political and constitutional development of any country. But the criticism needs to be made within a democratic framework, which simply implies; question the judgement, not the judge.
It is hoped the court will decide on merit and justice will get to prevail. The verdict, however, in all respects should be welcomed by all the parties; and if any party feels uncomfortable with what the court decides they can again approach the court without abusing or blaming the superior court and its honorable judges.