A rejoinder to critics

MINISTER of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb while talking to newsmen in Islamabad rightly pointed out that instead of praising Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for presenting himself and his family for accountability, opposition parties are making uncalled for demands for his resignation. The Minister has a point in advancing the argument that elected Prime Minister cannot simply be removed on wishes of a few people.
Her assertion assumes greater significance in the backdrop of queer ultimatum by Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) to the PM to resign within seven days or face a harsher movement like the one launched for reinstatement of sacked judges of the superior court. Lawyers are supposed to be defender of law and Constitution but the threat hurled by LHCBA is indicative of deep-rooted malaise in our society where issues are not debated on merit but exploited to suit vested interests. There is absolutely no similarity between 2007 agitation for restoration of judges and the Supreme Court verdict on Panama Papers. In 2007, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and judges of higher judiciary were removed illegally and unconstitutionally by the then President Gen Musharraf and opposition parties along with entire society had stood up against his action. But this time round, the situation is quite different as there is no threat to judiciary and instead all the five judges of the Panama Papers bench decided in favour of constitution of a Joint Investigation Team to probe the matter further. Bar being part and parcel of the Bench, lawyers’ community should have accepted the verdict in letter and in spirit and, in fact, majority of the community is respecting the judgement but LHCBA has decided to do party politics on the issue, which is regrettable. We endorse the viewpoint of Minister of State for Information that there should be an end to politics of pressurising institutions and spreading anarchy. Hopefully, saner voices within the legal community would render counselling to their colleagues that are misusing their platforms.

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