By Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: Deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that the judicial movement that started on March 9, 2007 has turned into a civil rights revolution which, according to him, is bound to succeed with the grace of Almighty Allah.
Talking to The News on Thursday, Justice Iftikhar said: “Let me assure you that the people’s desire for attainment of their civil rights is irreversible. Inshaallah, the struggle of
the civil society, the legal fraternity and the media would bear fruit.”
He did not agree that the people’s struggle for upholding the Constitution, the rule of law and independence of the judiciary had subsided considerably after several deposed judges took fresh oath and accepted their reappointment.
Justice Iftikhar said: “It doesn’t matter in such great struggles as people do realise how important the independence of the judiciary for protection of their civil rights and the rule of law in this country is.”
“People have awaken to get their civil rights, whether you go to far-flung areas like Zhob in Balochistan, Rajanpur in Punjab, Shangla in Frontier or Omerkot in Sindh,” said the deposed chief justice, who offered Eid prayers in the Faisal Mosque here.
Interestingly, while President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani chose to offer Eid prayers at the respective mosques of their extraordinarily-protected official residences — the presidency and the Prime Minister House — Justice Iftikhar stood right behind the Imam of the Faisal Mosque to say his Eid prayers, the place which is traditionally allotted to the country’s head of state or head of government.
Justice Iftikhar, while referring to the great impact of his pre-March 9, 2007 suo muto actions in awakening the people for their civil rights, said after March 9 all and sundry had raised their voices for the independence of judiciary.
Referring to recent international surveys, which showed that more than 83 per cent of the people of Pakistan demand restoration of the judiciary, he said the people had realised that their civil rights could only be guaranteed by an independent judiciary.
He said the people now felt that they should not be discriminated against and be given their rights. “Such a feeling is irreversible,” he said, arguing the people did realise it was only an independent judiciary that would protect them from the accesses of Chaudhrys, Maliks, Nawabs and Waderas.
Paying rich tributes to the legal fraternity, the media and members of the civil society for their struggle and sacrifices, he said it was wrong to suggest that the judicial movement was failing. He declared that the future of Pakistan was bright, and resolved that the ongoing struggle for the supremacy of the Constitution, the rule of law and independence of the judiciary would succeed.
Showing his complete faith in God, he said no one had imagined what this country had experienced after March 9, 2007. He said those who were disappointed today did not know what situation Allah Almighty would unfold for them tomorrow.