RAWALPINDI: Deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that Pakistan could not make progress if there was no rule of law and a hand-picked judiciary would give decisions according to the will of individuals.
He said any country having compliant judges, who decide what they are asked to decide by the rulers, could not achieve development. He said only those countries achieved progress, which had rule of law, an independent judiciary and all the institutions of the country including the executive, legislature and judiciary worked within their respective jurisdictions.
He was addressing a lawyers’ convention in Multan early on Wednesday. The function was organised by the legal fraternity in recognition of the Freedom Award conferred on Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry by the New York Bar Association for his relentless struggle for the rule of law and an independent judiciary in the country.
He said that struggle for the rule of law and progress of the country would culminate in success soon. The deposed chief justice dedicated the award to the lawyers and civil society members, particularly the lawyers of Karachi and Sahiwal, who laid down their lives while taking forward the movement for independence of judiciary and supremacy of the constitution since March 9, 2007.
He said the awards were a mark of recognition that the people of Pakistan were principled, they stood for rule of law and abhorred terrorism. The deposed chief justice said the lawyers of New York while wearing black gowns staged a march on the roads to express solidarity with the legal fraternity of Pakistan. They took envy that the Pakistani nation stood taller by launching a peaceful movement for the rule of law and supremacy of the constitution.
He said copies of the awards conferred on him and leading lawyers of the country for their peaceful struggle for rule of law would be sent to all the bars of the country to be displayed as a mark of recognition of the peaceful struggle carried forward for over two years by the lawyers, the media, civil society members, students, doctors and political workers.
Justice Iftikhar said no country could progress without rule of law and urged the lawyers and civil society to reject the rule of man. He said socio-economic problems of the people, law and order, unrest in the NWFP and Balochistan could only be resolved when there would be rule of law and independent judiciary.
Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry asked the audience to renew the pledge for restoration of 1973 Constitution in its original shape, enforce rule of law and enable the country to join the club of those countries, which coined a respectable place for themselves.
He said a number of countries that achieved independence later than Pakistan today stood in the forefront as they upheld rule of law and their institutions worked free of interference from one another.
He said the struggle for rule of law had entered its difficult phase as the goal had come nearer. He said difficulties abounded in as the goal came nearer. He said 170 million people of the country wanted rule of law and not rule of man in the country and were ready to offer every sacrifice for a just struggle hoping that Pakistan would stand among the comity of the nations by enforcing rule of law and constitution to ensure social justice.