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Senate conscience Vs Supreme Courts Judgement

Mukhtar Ahmed Butt : The writer is a freelance journalist and defence Analyst.

Our Senators deserve appreciation in supporting military courts that has permanently acknowledged the role of establishment and finally accepted their incompetence in governing the state. This also tantamount to validating all military take overs that have taken place in Pakistan. Now it is very clear that their opposition to martial law was nothing but political gimmick. All democratic governments of past have been calling army in aid of civil power to control out of control law and order situation under Article 245 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The main reason for seeking help from armyhas been on account of total collapse of administrative machinery and over all poor governance and appointing cronies on key appointments mainly to serve their masters and not public. Political governments never tried to strengthen the institutions but used them as tool to make money and do all dirty things through their appointees who also availed the opportunity to make hay while the sun shined. This resulted in total collapse of all the institutions of the country, thus created a huge gap between people and government as a result to fill the vacuum the only disciplined force of the country the army came forward as savior and people welcomed them with open arms whenever they assumed the responsibilities of the state under law of necessity. The democratic governments were always dismissed on account of massive corruption loot plunder and poor governance. This also confirms that civil governments are not competent enough to run the state and need crutches of the army. The incompetence of our political governments is amply reflective in almost all the sphere of their activities. When the country was almost on default Gen AsimMunir entered in the field and extended help to government in controlling money laundering, smuggling and improve upon the deteriorating economic condition and helped government in pleading Pakistan case with friendly countries for more loans from IMF that otherwise has remained exclusive domain of civil governments.

 Notwithstanding who is ruling the country the SC always played its positive role. We have adopted a culture not to accept the defeat.We have seen how Supreme Court was attacked and CJ had to leave his office to ensure his safety. We have a chequred history of dirty politics. The interpretation of law is the sole authority of SC and nobody else. There is no provision in law to overrule the decision of Apex Court . Our past government set new tradition in making laws without debate to curtail powers of SC for personal benefits. However, this was checked in time. Now the Senate has passed a resolution and rejected SC ruling on trial of civilians in military courts. This was again passed in haste at short notice not being on agenda without quorum urging SC to review their verdict. Chairman Senate also became party to resolution when the house was in complete. How 12 Senators can adopt the resolution. The major difference between military and civil court is quick dispensation of justice. There are no adjournments, no excuses no medical leaves in military trials, whereas same case lingers on for years in civil courts. Although there is no difference as for as punishment is concerned it is the time factor that matters. The SC only said the people should not be tried in military court and has not objected on the trial of those cases registered in military courts keeping in view the constitutional provisions. SC in its decision has allowed setting up special courts for quick dispensation of justice. It looks deliberate attempt to create a situation of confrontation between the two institutions. It is very unfortunate that all suspected detainees alleged to be involved in attack on military installations so far have not been tried. It looks as if government plans to postpone elections that have already become controversial because government is not allowing level play ground to PTI, the most popular party. The nation is otherwise fed up from politicians and prefer establishment to run the affairs of the country. It is hoped that politician in future shall desist in criticizing establishment and improve upon their governance.

Lastly Senate sits over the Parliament and all senators represent the political elite that are politically robust and mature. Every parliament or senate in the world represents and protects the interest of the people because that is their job. This resolution by our Senate though not binding clearly states that the Pakistani senators misunderstand the nature of their job. Senator Raza Rabbani while speaking in Senate said he was ashamed for voting the bill in Jan 2015 on 21st amendment setting up military courts after attack on APS Peshawar in Dec 2014.In my humble view the entire political structure in Pakistan needs revamping. We will get nothing from these old horses of the Senate who are trying to solve the 21st Century’s political problems with 20th century mindsets. Regardless of the offense every civilian should only be tried in a civilian court. The due process of providing justice to the civilians is the job of the state and should not be denied to them. However, if any change is required an amendment may be made in the constitution as it was done in 2015 for specific period.