Judiciary-executive relations

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Although role of judiciary and executive is well defined but over the years like civil military relations these two strong arms of the state appear also not to be on one page. But before dwelling on this important subject it is very important to understand the role of various pillars of state that continue to be in conflict in spite of clear cut red lines defined in the constitution of Pakistan. As the things are moving it appears that this will further widen the gap between various institutions of the state.

There have been two famous incidents in recent past when DPO of Pakpattan was removed by Chief Minister Punjab on political considerations for which sou motto was taken by Chief Justice of Pakistan. Now in second incident IG Islamabad was removed on verbal instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan as disclosed by Establishment Secretary while appearing in suo motto taken by Chief Justice in which Supreme Court suspended notification of Islamabad IG who was transferred not picking phone of Senator Azam Swati. If we had just cared to act on the advice given by our Quaid the founder of Pakistan such situations would have never arisen. In this context it is pertinent to quote what Quaid said about civil servants

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah made an address to civil officers in Peshawar in April 1948, in which he said “‘The reason why I am meeting you is that I wanted to say a few words to you who are occupying very important positions in the administration of this province. The first thing that I want to tell you is that you should never be influenced by any political pressure, by any political party or any individual politician. If you want to raise the prestige and greatness of Pakistan you must not fall victim to any pressure but do your duty as servants of the people and the state, fearlessly and honestly.

The services are the backbone of the state. Governments are formed. Governments are defeated. Prime Ministers come and go, ministers come and go, but you stay on. Therefore, there is a very great responsibility placed on your shoulders. You should have no hand in supporting this political party or that political party, this political leader or that political leader. This is not your business, Whichever government is formed according to the constitution, and who ever happens to be the prime minister or minister, coming into power in the ordinary course, your duty is only to serve that government loyally and morally but, at the same time, fearlessly, maintaining your high reputation, your prestige, your honor and the integrity of your service. If you start with that determination, you will make a great contribution to the building up of Pakistan of our conceptions and our dream-a glorious state and one of the greatest nations in the world.

The crux of this speech is that never bows down against the pressure and do your duty honestly and be able to stand by your actions by giving supportive evidence. But we have seen that anyone who tried to work on the principles set by our Quaid ultimately suffers in the shape of his transfer or made officer on special duty or loses his job. Although this address was made at Peshawar but it was equally applicable to all the officers of the other provinces. Putting pressure on service people is very common fault of politicians and those with influence in political parties, but you have to face such situations. Say no in humble and respectful manner in the bargain you may be put to trouble not because you are doing anything wrong but because you are doing right. Face it boldly and seek remedy from courts. The judiciary in any country is the custodian of constitution and guarantor of the fundamental rights of the people.

We have seen how the incumbent CJP Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took a large number of Sou Moto actions on a variety of issues ranging from the contaminated drinking water ‘ substandard, rape-cum-murder incidents of minor girls, illegal constructions, blockade of roads for VVIP movements, security barriers in public streets, Axact fake degree scam, laundered money of Pakistanis in foreign accounts, sale of substandard and expensive coronary stents, high fees charged by private medical colleges, media spending, and nonpayment of dues of media employees, ads for personal projection, lack of health facilities at public hospitals, police encounters in Punjab etc. In fact, the chief justice of Pakistan is on a mission which is widely in the interest of the common masses, the citizens of Pakistan. The matters which Chief Justice has attended are the exclusive domain of the executive but that was not being performed.

Because of these initiatives, a section of society is criticizing the honorable Chief Justice for interfering in the domain of executives that is not correct because the gap has to be filled by someone in this case it is the Chief Justice of Pakistan himself came to rescue of common man.. When Chief Justice can face such odds I am sure our bureaucracy can also handle politicians
Law of the land is supreme therefore all institutions must work in their own boundaries with full authority and no one should ever try to cross the red lines, everyone should follow rules and regulations and proper procedure. For using discretion it has to be within the limits of constitution. We are glad that our Supreme Court is acting as catalyst it has otherwise become essential in the absence of Article 58(2) (b).

The writer is a freelance
journalist and defence Analyst.