RAWALPINDI – Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that the incumbent Assembly hasn’t endorsed the illegal measures taken by former dictator Pervez Musharraf on November 3, 2007 and it is hoped that it wouldn’t do so.
The movement of lawyers and media has created awareness among the people about the freedom of judiciary and it has been realised that supremacy of law and Constitution is inevitable for the country, Chaudhry added.
The deposed Chief Justice Monday expressed these views while addressing the National Lawyers’ Convention here at District Courts.
The convention was organized by District Bar Association (DBA) Rawalpindi to mark the Black Day to protest against the imposition of emergency by former president Pervez Musharraf on the same date last year.
The deposed CJ said it was very unfortunate that out of 61 years of the country’s history, the span of democratic rule was limited to only 24 years. Unluckily all the martial laws enforced by different dictators in 1958, 1969 and 1977 were validated by the apex court due to certain reasons, he lamented.
“Musharraf imposed martial law second time on November 3, 2007 in the name of emergency just to save his skin but this unique kind of martial law was only against judiciary and media. The entire government, Parliament and Provincial Assemblies were allowed to function,” he added.
Chaudhry revealed that during the period of July 20, 2007 to November 3, 2007, consistent efforts were made by the President’s camp for revival of good working relationships between CJP and President as well as to pressurise the apex judiciary to get the desired decisions on important national issues but he (Iftikhar Chaudhry) refused to compromise on independence of judiciary.
He said the decision against government in the case of privatisation of Steel Mills became the bone of contention in 2006. He added that after that decision then prime minister Shaukat Aziz conveyed him a message that President Musharraf was much annoyed over the decision.
The deposed CJ said some people thought that by imposing November 3 emergency, the questions about the authenticity of general elections could also be raised but as a matter of fact, the imposition of emergency had no link with the national elections, as they were to be held in any case after completion of five years tenure.