Undoubtedly now the battle ground is open for a full-throttle lawyers’ movement that has been thrust upon society by the Supreme Court (SC) – led by judges who have clearly exhibited their vulnerability to their “public image.” PTI has achieved this through schematic dimensions ranging from garnering advice from the ex-CJP Nisar to hiring a legal team (comprising of Mr. Khan’s nephew and many young lawyers). This divide in the legal fraternity is yet another example of PTI’s strategy of dividing the social fabric of Pakistan.
After PTI party members generated a constitutional crisis by dissolving the National Assembly (NA) to block a basic democratic process, SC stepped in to prevent PTI from abrogating the Constitution in the exact same manner as the civilian coup caused by the Governor-General Malik Ghulam Muhammad in 1954 – Pakistan’s first ever departure from democracy. There was little celebration over the burial of the “doctrine of necessity” because these celebrations were drowned by a vicious movement against the CJP Bandial that had been birthed by PTI on the night of April 10. Therefore, the distractions by PTI’s media strategy house caused the public and news channels to focus instead on why courts were open at midnight to ensure the prevalence of a democratic process in a potential emergency-like situation.
Like all segments of society, the educated segments stand divided. They shoulder the responsibility for generating awareness about the rich legal history of the SC’s decision of reinstating the NA and how faith in democracy was restored by the SC on the night of April 10. Instead, PTI’s divisive politics caused the educated segments of society to misconstrue the burial of the “doctrine of necessity” as a sign of “partiality towards chors.” From a prudent hardened stance of a unanimous decision against the generation of a constitutional crisis, the SC has reduced itself to an authority that is denying an existing democratic coalition government the full bench it easily deserves, especially in light of unending power showdown in Punjab.
PTI’s vindictive power-play in Punjab is ludicrous and exhibits the party’s extreme disrespect towards the Constitution. The party constitutional breaches are tantamount to treason and the SC must exhibit its partiality towards democracy rather than focusing on the tainting of their “public image” by vicious media campaigns run by PTI. Unfortunately, the denial of the full bench has put the SC into an existential crisis where all segments of society are puzzled by its selective behavior, and they now question its very role in the maintenance of democracy in Pakistan.
Certain legal experts, including Fawad Chaudhry, are openly spreading disarray through the promotion of yet another contradictory philosophy where “courts must display minimal interference in parliamentary affairs.” Even if that legal philosophy is to be followed, is the SC not responsible for maintaining and upholding its own sanctity? PTI’s core ideology is bent upon promoting an undemocratic presidential system and through its political actions, the party has brazenly and consistently violated the Constitution. Instead of graciously accepting the ousting Mr. Khan, PTI has displayed its vindictiveness in politics and embroiled society in a “doctrine of conspiracies.”
The very political choice of following a party that has shown such limited regard for the Constitution belies democratic norms. Following PTI’s legal team’s agenda is now equivalent to a shrouded contradiction to democracy. PTI’s political extremism has diluted the sanctity of the Constitution. It is clear that many citizens of Pakistan and certain unfortunate legal segments share no value for the sanctity of the Constitution. The very notion of democracy has been brought into question! SC’s reliance on its “public image” has been perceived by PTI’s legal team as a success. This is my call to the educated community, especially the lawyers, for only a lawyers’ movement can now re-establish the sanctity of the Constitution and rid the political system of undemocratic forces with indoctrinating media houses.
“Laazim hai ke hum bhi dekhen ge”