ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Ali Ahmed Kurd Saturday expressed the determination that judges who declined to take oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) would be restored before March 9.
Talking to The News he said the legal fraternity would achieve its ultimate goal of restoration of deposed judges of the apex court including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry before March 9, 2009.
He said although they have planned a vigorous campaign for the upcoming mega long march on March 9 for restoration of November 2, 2007 judiciary by staging a sit-in on the Constitution Avenue, however they believe that their ultimate goal would be achieved before March 9.
He claimed that under the pressure being exerted by the legal fraternity for the independence of judiciary and supremacy of the constitution, the government would have to give serious thought to accepting the unanimous demands of the lawyers’ community across the country.
The SCBA president was very much optimistic and termed the long march of landmark importance in nature and said that the government was in dire need of advice in the given circumstances.
He said that he has convened a meeting of steering committee of lawyers on February 6 in Lahore to evolve comprehensive strategy and plan for the long march.
It is pertinent to mention that at a time when both the legal fraternity as well as PML-N Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif have highlighted the issue and demanded of the government to restore the judges of the superior judiciary including Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhamamd Chaudhry to the November 2, 2007 position, the government appears to be rigid and inflexible regarding the judges issue.
Significant is the statement first given (but later denied) by President Asif Ali Zardari that he would deal with the legal fraternity aptly. Then there is the statement of Law Minister Farooq H Naek that the government has neither reinstated any judge in 2008 nor is there going to be restoration of any judge in 2009.
“It is very strange to note that Zadri regime has very strange history of making and breaking statements,” said Muhammad Ikram Chaudhry, senior advocate of the Supreme Court and active figure of the lawyers’ movement.
He recalled that Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani made public statement at Karachi and later on he denied on other occasions when present government made categorical statement regarding the reinstatement of judges.
He said that the statements were also made by the law minister himself and many others as well adding that similar offer were made to Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and others who had not taken oath under PCO on 3rd of November 2007 on the orders of then Chief of the Army Staff Pervez Musharraf.
Ikram Chaudhry further said that there was statement of seniority of the judges who had been administered oaths and on which our stand was that these were fresh appointments as constitution did not envisage reinstatement of a judge
He said that Article 209 of the Constitution only provided mechanism for removal of judges and of course the chapter on judicature provided for appointment in Supreme Court and High Court.
The statement made by the law minister on 30th of January 2009 that no reinstatement has been made in 2008 is 180 degree turn in the government position taken earlier”, Ikram Chaudhry said.
He said the law minister and the government after completely discarding the agreement of 9 March 2008 and 7th of August 2008 has once again proved that they do not believe in honouring their commitments.
He demanded on behalf of legal fraternity and the people of Pakistan, the revival of judiciary of 2nd November 2007 and the constitution to save the federation.