CJP’s unusual remarks

CHIEF Justice of Pakistan Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, on Thursday, made somewhat unusual remarks while hearing the case against ‘Orange Line’, a development project in Lahore, the work on which stands suspended due to a ruling of the Lahore High Court. The CJP maintained that there was monarchy in the name of democracy and bad governance under the garb of good governance in the country.
The incumbent Chief Justice of Pakistan is considered to be a considerate, serene and non-intrusive personality unlike some of his predecessors and has been playing his role in forging harmony among pillars of the state. In this backdrop, his public remarks about executive branch of the state are rather surprising, especially when he asks people to stand against actions of the Government. In the present complex situation, when some political parties are trying to dislodge the elected Government through undemocratic and violent means, such remarks can cause confusion in the minds of the people. There are no two opinions that despite claims about democracy, the decision-making rests with only a few both at the Centre and in all the four Provinces; and elected Houses/Parliament as well as Cabinets are often kept out of loop. However, this doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with the democracy, rather this is attitudinal problem and would hopefully be rectified if the process of elections continues, which results into weeding out those who do not care about people, their aspirations or needs. We believe that all the three pillars of the State should strictly function within the parameters of the roles and responsibilities defined for them in the Constitution. Every pillar should try to go for good governance and streamline its own functioning besides making concerted efforts to promote coordination and harmony so that all of them deliver as per expectations of the people. We would beg to point out that things in judiciary too are not enviable as litigants do not get justice for decades and there is rampant corruption in some tiers of judiciary. Similarly, instead of focusing on high profile cases, it would be appropriate if leadership of the judiciary gets together to identify weaknesses and introduce reforms that could make their institution responsive to the expectations of the people.

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