Justice, Pakistan’s integrity and...
Let me begin with the supreme importance of Justice to the humblest citizen in any country and more so where the political rulers parade the word democracy as their shield to do whatever they want in their own interest. It was astonishing that no political big wig of the ruling party had any thing to say about the supremacy of Justice. They all spoke in unison that Parliament is supreme and all institutions are under it- or saying by innuendos that Supreme Court is under the Parliament- or its judgments are subordinate to the Parliament. However , this view is not entirely true. There are two types of political system- democratic and totalitarian. In totalitarian system, fascist, communist, systems “my party’s interest is supreme, my fuehrer your view will prevail “.
In democratic system Courts are not subordinate to political power. Supreme is the Constitution to the extent that when there is a controversy on whether a particular Act a Parliament had passed goes beyond the power given to the Parliament in the Constitution, or not , the matter is taken to the Supreme Court which rules whether the Parliament has exceeded the permissible limits in the Constitution. Here the Supreme Court sits on judgment on the Parliament. The limits of the Parliament and judiciary are provided by the Constitution, Constitution is supreme. Incidentally when I was a student at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Boston, at that time affiliated to the Harvard, the first lecture by Prof Leo Gross’s class was Do the Courts create Laws, and the discussion was that if the Courts decide whether a Parliament has or has not exceeded its authority under the Constitution in passing a law then they are creating law?
Briefly it is the Constitution which is above every institution, be it the Courts or the Parliament or Government. I now come to the place of Justice and of Courts in our social value system . These values linger on in our unconscious. I just mention this for whatever is its worth..
I now come to a different aspect of supreme place in our social system of Justice. Of course this would mean acts of any one in authority whether in the Government or in the Courts. Imam El-Ghzzali\s book ‘council to the King” written more than a thousand years ago.for the Seljuk Sultan, Mohammed bin Malik Shah has a chapter in it “ On which he counts Justice just after worship of Allah, and quotes Hazrat Ali (RAU) that a country can survive with Kufr but cannot survive with injustice. Another book lost during my transfers abroad, had stated that the seat of the Mufti Azam in Ottoman Sultans used to be next to the Sultan but a little higher than that of the Sultan to indicate that Justice is higher than the Sultan This is just to say that t Justice is not subordinate to political expediencies.
The Statement made by Dr Farooq Sattar on creation of new provinces in Pakistan as published in dailies is the one to which I will draw attention. Dr Sattar is a sober and balanced person and chooses his words normally with deliberation, irrespective of what one may have to say on the contents themselves.. Yet in this statement he has made he has suggested creation of Sraiki-istan and Qabil-istan . It is the addition of the word “istan” into these proposed provinces which I wonder whether it is not objectionable, My view s tat “istan” suggests a state for he particular ethnic group, like we have Uzbek-istan, Tjik istan, Turk-istan, like at one time was the demand for Pakhtunistan by Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Baluchistan was named long before Pakistan came into existence and one name can be treated as an exception but to have a proliferation of ”istans” is fraught with danger for the country’s unity. In Yugoslavia where I was Ambassador similarly the word “Republic was add to the names of federating units. This led to Yugoslavia’s disintegration. I would suggest elimination of word “istan” for such fancy schemes.
The point need to be answered who will pay for such proliferation of new provinces.?. Incidentally, in Pakistan ZAB had introduced the national pay scheme making grades which were to be the basis of pay scales in every federal and provincial service. Provincial pay scales were much lower. This increased the budgets of provinces much higher. In India there is no such National Pay Scheme. Provinces pays are still much lower than those of theCentarl Services. Now in Bahawalpur, the pays used to be much lower than in British India. The logic was that the provinces and princely states pay according to their income. In India there is no uniform pay scale .
Same was the case in Musharruf’s hyperbole on the so-called benefits of “recognizing” Israel. His statement reminded me of Enver Sadat’s pre-Camp David statements . Sadat also used to speak as if peace with Israel will make Egypt a land of milk and honey. I was Ambassador to Egypt at that time and saw the scene unfolding. On the other hand what happened to Sadat and its repercussions on popularity of Ikhwan el Muslimin and the subordination of Arab national aspirations in the Arab World led to what some called it “Arab Spring” Some of it is economic and corruption but some is reaction to the submissive policies of the rulers to the West.
Musharruf is exaggerating that that (a) Israel can be an interlocutor with India- (b) Pakistan needs Israel,’s help . Israel is a pigmy pumped up by American military support.
Support to Arab cause in Palestine since 1933 has been the national commitment of the Muslims of the Subcontinent. Each year All India Muslim League with Quaid in chair passed a Resolution in support of this cause. Quaid’s first diplomatic act as Governor General of Pakistan was to send a telegram to President Truman protesting on the creation of Israel and calling it an illegal act.
Similarly Liaquat turned down the American lobby’s offer to give Pakistan military equipment and all kinds of financial aid if Liaquat recognized Israel. Liaquat merely replied “ Gentleman my soul is not for sale”. Similarly when the British PM proposed grant of CW Membership to Isral at CW PMs Conference in 1949, Liaquat replied if Israel is made CW Member Pakistan will walk out. Similarly ,the proposal was made to Bogra who was very pro US Bogra repeated Liaquat’s reply . This is recorded in the printed Minutes of PMs Conferences I have read them myself. Similarly each year in CENTO Israel’s application was put up to join the Pat. The only veto on Israel’s request used to be Pakistan’s negative vote. Non recognition of Israel is our national policy. Arab Ambassadors went to Auyb to thank him for Pakistan’s support to Arabs in 1967. Ayub Said A day will come when Arabs would have recognized Israel, Pakistan would not.”
Perhaps Musharruf wishes to have Jewish lobby’s support of all kinds in his ambitions to return to power in Pakistan. So, we may be having Jewish money financing our elections . !!