CJP’s serious observations

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CHIEF Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa has used the ceremony held to mark the New Judicial Year to point out serious flaws in the system that merits consideration by all stakeholders. He expressed deep concern over growing perception that accountability process being pursued in the country at present is lopsided and is a part of political engineering, describing it as dangerous and calling for urgent measures to ensure that the process does not lose credibility. He also highlighted another widely held perception about receding political space in governance of the state and said such concerns must not be ignored.
These candid and frank observations by the top judge of the country at the most relevant forum and occasion are reassuring in that these indicate there are people with authority who do care for what is going on and the need to take corrective steps to improve the dismal situation that is worrying majority of people of Pakistan. However, as pointed out by the worthy Chief Justice himself judiciary is an important and independent organ of state responsible for safeguarding the constitutional ethos of the country and therefore, mere narration of what is happening would not do. There is need for practical measures not just by the judiciary but also by other organs and institutions of the state for the sake of better future of the country and its people. There would be hardly a small percentage of the society that considers the on-going accountability process as fair while the majority has serious concerns the way the process is being carried forward. Apart from the opposition, which is facing the wrath of the accountability, there is also a feeling among other segments of the society that the process is far from fair and in many respects it has dealt serious blows to different aspects of governance and economy. Reservations have also been expressed repeatedly by neutral experts and analysts in this regard but no remedial measures have so far been taken and we still witness instances like arrest and alleged victimization of even people like former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi whose honesty and integrity is beyond any doubt and who took decisions in good faith and sincerity. As for squeezing political space in the governance, it can safely be said that politicians have to blame themselves for the unfortunate trend because of their follies and shallow approaches. Anyhow, now that the CJP has highlighted these issues, it is hoped that a thorough debate would be held across entire spectrum of the society to crystallize what has went wrong and how can the situation be improved.