Justice Qazi Faez Isa of Supreme Court of Pakistan thinks that the country is being destroyed in a systematic manner. Justice Qazi Faez Isa remarked during a Supreme Court hearing on local government elections on Thursday. The apex court judge said local body elections are a constitutional requirement.
Yet, when it comes to holding local body polls, the provinces start counting off their problems instead of fulfilling their constitutional duty, the senior judge remarked.
He went so far as to say that Punjab had “killed” democracy by dissolving the local government before the expiry of its term. Justice Isa inquired why that was done.
“Local governments were dissolved in the martial law era, but it is unheard of in a democracy,” the judge said. He asked if Punjab was in the mood to abolish the LG system altogether. To this, the Punjab additional advocate-general said a new law had been made for local governments in the province.
By dissolving the local government, the Punjab government has clearly violated the Constitution, Justice Isad said, adding that, like this, Punjab can continue dissolving local governments till a government of its choice comes along.
If democracy is lost, half the country will be gone, he warned.
“ECP says there will be huge cost of Rs18 billion on local bodies elections,” Justice Isa remarked. “Yet huge development funds are being released for politicians.”
A day earlier, the top court’s public relations office had said in a statement that Justice Isa’s cell phone had been hacked. In the statement, the office said: “It is intimated to all and sundry that the cell phone of Hon’ble Justice Qazi Faez Isa has been hacked.”
— Pakistan Standard (@PakStandard) February 3, 2021
The statement said that there is “suspicion” that “misguiding communication” could be relayed via the judge’s mobile phone. “There is suspicion that misguiding communication can be made from his lordship’s number to anyone with ulterior motives, therefore, the communication purportedly made from his lordship’s cell phone, which his lordship had not sent may be treated as fake and false,” the statement added.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the Supreme Court of Pakistan took oath as a judge of the apex court in 2014. He is viewed by many to be “an uncompromising bastion of justice in the country.” He has always held the principle that “no one is above the law,” something which has been reflected in his work over the years.
Justice Isa facing consequences for his uprightness?
Justice Isa is said to be facing ‘consequences’ after he delivered a strong-worded verdict in the Faizabad sit-in case. The judgment authored by Justice Isa drew some broad and important conclusions. For example, the court has directed the federal and provincial governments to monitor and prosecute those advocating hate, extremism, and terrorism. It also ordered the government ─ through the defense ministry and respective chiefs of the armed forces ─ to initiate action against armed forces’ personnel found to have violated their oath.
The judgment further states that any person who issues an edict or fatwa that “harms another or puts another in harm’s way must be criminally prosecuted under the Pakistan Penal Code, the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, and/or the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016.”
Finally, the judgment states that Inter-Services Intelligence, the Intelligence Bureau, Military Intelligence and the Inter-Services Public Relations “must not exceed their respective mandates”. It also reinforced the idea of freedom of speech which, the court said, is also subject to the law. However, the top court found that no such connection existed.