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Pakistan doesn’t have democracy but ‘worst kind of dictatorship’ under CJP Nisar: Nawaz Sharif

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Three-time ousted former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, deems the judicial activism of Chief Justice Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar worse than dictatorship in the country. Speaking outside the Accountability Court in Islamabad, Nawaz claimed that there is no democracy in Pakistan rather; it is enduring the worst kind of dictatorship under the Saqib Nisar CJP regime.

Ousted former premier labeled the current tenure of CJP, [where he has taken more than sixty Suo Moto actions on different issues] as something which is not less than a ‘judicial martial law’. Nawaz returned to Pakistan late on Sunday from UK, after his application for exemption was denied by the court. He spent five days with his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz, who is fighting against cancer in a London hospital.

Continuing his anti-judiciary rants, Nawaz criticized the top court’s decisions and called them illogical. Nawaz still seems to be caught up in the past. Making reference to his ousting, he claimed that court has silenced the 220 million of Pakistan, which is not acceptable to him. “The restrictions seen under the current regime of [Saqib Nisar], was not even seen imposed during the martial laws”, he asserted.

In public rallies across the country, Nawaz has been pulling huge crowds in his anti-judiciary campaigns. Using media, he raises a new slogan every other day to seek attention and seeks the support of people to avenge his lifetime disqualification.

Nawaz also claimed that serious efforts are being made to convict him in accountability court references, in a bid to ensure that top judge of the apex court which unanimously decided against him become successful over their stance. He questioned apex court over its interference in executive matters, where it makes the government ministers and chief ministers stand in line and inquires about their performance.

He advised CJP that rather than visiting hospitals, he should be visiting the homes of those oppressed individuals whose cases are pending since the last 20 years. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also questioned CJ’s judicial activism and reminded him of 1.8 million pending cases in Pakistan, waiting to be solved.

Read more: Pakistan’s democracy: Jithay dee Khothee Uthaay Aan Khalothee!

Addressing CJ he asked, “If you [Saqib Nisar] want to do our job, do it but please do your own job as well. If you don’t do it, who will do it?”

Nawaz and Bhutto have are presenting rational concerns, because, according to the World Justice Project survey report released in 2017, Pakistan ranks at 106 among 113 countries in the category of the civil justice system. In a country with such justice credential and merits, only a fool would think of an impartial justice system in Pakistan.

Nawaz returned to Pakistan late on Sunday from UK, after his application for exemption was denied by the court. He spent five days with his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz, who is fighting against cancer in a London hospital.

The survey, which was conducted in collaboration with Gallup Pakistan depicts that criminal justice Pakistan is ranked 81 among the 113 countries. With due respect, the merit of judgments is highly questionable across the boards. The conviction rate in Pakistan is between 5 and 10 %.

This report highlighted the extremely bad status of Pakistan’s justice system. It is not possible for an ordinary person to go to court and get relief. In such untrustworthy and highly questionable system, how would one expect to witness the rule of law and justice on facts?

Read more: Democracy and education: The indivisible duo

CJ has initiated judicial reforms at lower courts in a quest to end the delay of justice in Pakistan. At the same time, the government has failed to fulfill the rudimentary requirements of people across the country.  Under such appalling state of affairs, CJ is primarily addressing basic welfare issues.

CJ is criticized in some political and civic circles for taking too many Suo Moto cases. Unfortunately, people are in distress over the fundamental needs-including provision of clean water, basic health services, and electricity. If CJ is seeking to counter the inactivity and failure of politicians to provide relief to millions of citizens in the country, it aims to benefit those who are underprivileged and have no avenues to go to.

Pakistan ranks at 106 among 113 countries in the category of the civil justice system. In a country with such justice credential and merits, only a fool would think of an impartial justice system in Pakistan.

Under judicial activism, which is being described as judicial martial law by Nawaz, CJ is raising concerns and highlighting the issues which expose the democratic government’s inability to tackle the issues. CJP has re-emphasized number of times that he does not intend to interfere in the work of the executive and provincial governments but is compelled to do so due to the appalling state of affairs in provinces.

Read more: Is Democracy merely rule of the majority?

Simultaneously, CJ is on a mission to reform the collapsed reputation of Pakistan’s justice system, but, unless, all the stakeholders don’t take part in it, and play their due role, CJ alone cannot solve the judicial issues.  As far as Nawaz is concerned, facing a daunting task to save himself [a jail term] and his reputation, after apparently failing to provide money trial in corruption references?

Nawaz opted to launch anti-judiciary rants under a pre-planned strategy to malign judiciary. In public rallies across the country, Nawaz has been pulling huge crowds in his anti-judiciary campaigns. Using media, he raises a new slogan every other day to seek attention and seeks the support of people to avenge his lifetime disqualification.


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