Avoid confrontation

THE issue of Nehal Hashmi is not dying down and on Thursday it took a new turn when judges of the Supreme Court bench likened the government with Sicilian mafia sparking a rejoinder by government, which termed the remarks as highly deplorable. Hashmi has been served with contempt of court notice and asked to respond by Monday.
It has justifiably been apprehended by saner elements of the society that the situation is fast heading for confrontation and none of the parties seems to be exercising restraint and some of the vested interests are fully exploiting the situation to spread chaos, uncertainty and instability. This is least the country needs at this critical juncture when we ought to forge unity in our ranks to face a multitude of challenges thrown by enemies of Pakistan. The honourable judges are rightly offended as Hashmi hurled naked threats but it should also be appreciated that the Prime Minister took prompt and serious notice, served him show cause, suspended his party membership and sought resignation from his Senate seat. This should have satisfied the judges and if there was any other dimension to the episode then it can be probed. Judiciary is supposed to speak through its judgement and not through attention-catching remarks as has become routine. Remarks like ‘Sicilian mafia’ and that ‘such projects (orange line) can be built at Raiwind and not here’ convey partisan approach by those who are custodian of justice. JIT has been formed and the Prime Minister’s family is cooperating and therefore, there should be no impression of meting out discriminatory or contemptuous treatment to those appearing before the team by way of subjecting them to unnecessarily prolonged wait. We have been urging in these columns since long that political statements on under-trial cases must be curbed but the judiciary slept over the issue. In the past, some leaders made statements that should have seen them behind bars but the judiciary took no action. It is time to ban such statements and coverage left to the media alone and not through media-talk by the parties involved.

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