An Unwise Action - By: Munir M Hasan, PhD

It is a good news that Dharna by some Islamic parties at Faizabad Interchange, Islamabad and in many other cities has ended. However, there are a few observations which need deliberations. In the last peaceful days of Dharna, an unwise decision of the government in the name of operation against them resulted in an ugly situation. The agitation from one corner of the twin cities widely spread to many other cities of the country. Some people were killed and a large number of them were injured.

Firstly, a long settled issue was opened by the government secretly to change its contents. Public was kept in dark until the last moments. This action of the government amounts to deceiving the citizens of Pakistan and shattering their confidence in the government, for which not only the Federal Minister of Law but all those who are involved in this conspiracy are directly responsible.

Secondly, when on public demand an inquiry was ordered, and the ruling party appointed a senior member of the ruling party itself as an inquiry officer, then this report should have been honoured and made public, and the responsible persons should have been punished. However, it was not done. Hiding the inquiry report from public clearly shows that the government itself was behind this dodging and is responsible for this treacherous act.

Thirdly, when Dharna started for not releasing the inquiry report and not punishing the persons responsible for it, government took no notice of it and took it lightly as if it was not an issue. All these actions show that the government was not working with the democratic norms and it did not want to take any action against their cronies responsible for it.

Later, the honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan and the High Court of Islamabad took notices of this situation and ordered the government to solve this issue peacefully. On the basis of this order of the Courts the government functionaries tried to end this Dharna by force which resulted in spreading the agitation throughout the country. Now the spokesmen of the government say that they had taken this action in pursuance of the orders of the courts. The irony of these statements is that the Party which has been abusing the Honourable Supreme Court in public, is trying to take refuge of the same Courts for their follies.

In this scenario, although the Federal and the Provincial governments are fully responsible for this unwise act of using force, I think even the honourable Courts are also partially responsible for it who took a step which was not wise. The hounourable judges of the Courts are human beings and they are also prone to make mistakes, as they have been doing on many occasions in the past. This ugly situation could have been avoided in another way. In my opinion, the High Court of Islamabad or the Supreme Court should have called the leaders of Dharna and the representatives of the Ministry of Interior, and after brief hearing, should have issued the orders to open the inquiry report prepared by a senior member of the ruling party itself, with orders to take necessary action against the persons responsible for it. If this inquiry report was not considered satisfactory, then a new judicial inquiry or an inquiry by a non-political competent person should have been ordered. This inquiry report has been ordered now by the Islamabad High Court but only after the loss of some precious lives. To take action against the responsible persons is necessary because if this time they are spared, they might attempt similar forgeries secretly in future as well.

It is always seen that whenever an inquiry is ordered, the government only opens those inquiry reports which are in favour of their actions, and hides all those reports which show its negligence. This choice should not be left to the governments. To know the facts in matters relating to the interest of general public is a fundamental right of the people. The inquiry reports in which the interests of the general public are involved, should always be made public. This is the only way the confidence of the people can be gained which is the basic requirement of the real democracy. I request that the honourable judges of the superior courts should consider this and pass suitable orders in this respect.

My feelings remain incomplete if I donít mention anything about the remarks of an honourable judge of the Islamabad High Court. Many remarks have been passed by him and many questions have been asked which in my opinion were not befitting for a judge of the Superior judiciary. I will avoid mentioning any of them. Honourable Judges are the custodians of the law and if a judge is of the opinion that somebody has violated any article of the constitution or of any law, then he should simply charge the violator of this act, start court proceedings and give punishment to him according to the law. Simply passing remarks and asking questions without a relevant formal court proceeding is like the statements of the politicians, which should always be avoided.

Posted on Nov 28, 17 | 11:28 pm