Politicizing The Justice

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Pakistan’s political landscape has witnessed a recent surge in tensions, with a certain political party that is launching scathing attacks on the transparent system of higher judiciary. Their criticism, however, appears to be politically motivated rather than being a genuine concern for the judicial reforms.

The party, while being fully aware of the sensitive nature of the judiciary, seems hellbent on sensationalizing the issue for petty political gains. This strategy becomes particularly dubious considering the party’s past history of benefiting from the court rulings. For instance, in 2018, the party ‘s leader enjoyed a favorable verdict in the Bani Gala case, which was widely praised by his supporters as a triumph of justice. The same leader used to be known as the “Ladla” (favourite) of judiciary, back in the days when the verdicts always favoured him. However, when faced with rulings that go against his interests, the narrative shifts, portraying the judiciary as the biggest obstacle to justice.

This targeted campaign of misinformation aims to mislead the public and create a climate of distrust towards the state institution of judiciary.

This targeted campaign of misinformation aims to mislead the public and create a climate of distrust towards the state institution of judiciary. This political party’s primary objective appears to be discrediting the entire system, particularly maligning the current Chief Justice of Pakistan. Party employs tactics like social media campaigns with pronouncements by party leaders to sow discord and undermine public confidence in the judiciary.

The ascent to the controversy this time is manipulated against proposed amendments to the process of appointing judges. It is worth mentioning however that Federal Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar, while acknowledging the existence of proposals for extending the Chief Justice’s tenure or raising the retirement age, made it crystal clear that those were just suggestions and no formal decisions had been made.

Despite this clarification, the dissident political party launched a vitriol on both the Government and the Chief Justice of Pakistan. It accused the Government of attempting to undermine institutions and the Chief Justice of compromising the Constitution. Such accusations, devoid of evidence, serve only to further inflame the tensions.

The party’s selective outrage against the judiciary is particularly noteworthy. When any rulings count favor the party, its leaders and the workers, the judiciary is praised as a bastion of justice. We can see historical examples of such selective behavior. However, when decisions go against party’s interests, the narrative flips, with accusations of a broken system. This inconsistency exposes the party’s true motive: a judiciary that serves their political agenda rather than upholds the principles of law and fairness, is only acceptable to them and their opportunist leader.

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The party’s critique also conveniently overlooks its own role in weakening institutions during its term in office in the past. The accusations ring hollow, when juxtaposed against the documented instances of undermining the Constitution and the law during their tenure.

The use of “foul language” reflects a blatant disregard towards the high office besides setting a dangerous precedent.

The level of disrespect shown towards the Chief Justice of Pakistan in the party’s response is particularly alarming. The use of “foul language” reflects a blatant disregard towards the high office besides setting a dangerous precedent. This behavior exemplifies the party’s authoritarian tendencies, in which the leadership prioritizes political gains over respect for democratic institutions.

Pakistan’s judiciary requires a robust system, which safeguards its transparency and merit-based appointments. The proposed amendments, if carefully considered and implemented through open discussions with legal experts, civil society groups, and the judiciary itself, can herald a positive step towards achieving this goal. A transparent and independent judiciary remains fundamental to ensuring the speedy delivery of justice and upholding the rule of law.

The recent attacks on Pakistan’s judiciary appear to be sinister and politically orchestrated rather than genuine concern for reforms. The party’s selective outrage and disregard for democratic institutions raise serious concerns about its commitment towards the rule of law. Moving forward, it becomes crucial to prioritize open dialogue, strengthen the judiciary’s independence, and educate the public on the importance of a fair and impartial justice system. Holding political parties accountable for their actions and promoting transparency in political discourse are also its vital steps towards ensuring a stable and just Pakistan.

The opinions shared in this article reflect the author’s personal views and do not necessarily align with the institution’s official stance.

Laiba Khan

Laiba Khan is a graduate of Masters Political Science from Punjab University, She is associated with international think tanks and development sector as a writer and consultant.

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