Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial was on Monday named among the 100 Most Influential People of 2022 by Time magazine.
CJP Bandial’s profile for the list, penned by senior lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan and placed in the leaders’ category, noted that he “is widely respected for his personal integrity, as he, the Columbia- and Cambridge-educated jurist, bears the heavy mantle of not just delivering justice but also being seen to do so”.
The seasoned lawyer described the persona of Pakistan’s top judge in the context of the recent political turmoil that saw the ouster of prime minister Imran Khan through a no-trust vote as well as subsequent developments involving the crucial role of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Bandial himself, in containing the constitutional and political crisis.
“Pakistan, a nation of more than 220 million, is too big to fail yet too unpredictable to ignore. With a fragile economy in a hostile neighbourhood, the country was already walking a tightrope before the ouster of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government by a unified opposition backed by the army,” explains Ahsan about the top judge.
He elucidated that CJP Bandial, “the polite and understated chief justice of Pakistan and antidote to the rising temperatures”, entered the scene when another crisis was impending with the world markets already wreaking havoc on the national economy and civil-military relations again under strain.
“In early April, the Supreme Court of Pakistan, led by Bandial, overturned Prime Minister Khan’s move to dissolve Parliament, declaring it unconstitutional. “As other institutions lock horns in a battle for advantage ahead of impending elections, the court turned up as the final arbiter, says the politician in acknowledgment of the CJP’s decisions.”
The complete list of *Time’s 100 most influential people of 2022 can be viewed here*