Deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Monday held three persons responsible for the imposition of what he called martial law on November 3, 2007 in the country and removal of 60 superior court judges, including him.
“There are three main characters of the sordid drama, including former president Pervez Musharraf, former prime minister Shaukat Aziz and a third person,” he said but did not disclose the third name leaving it to an appropriate time.
Iftikhar Chaudhry said he could not disclose classified information on the occasion but share some unclassified things with the audiences.Addressing a huge gathering of lawyers, civil society members, and leaders and workers of political parties here at the District Courts, he said, “I am confidentthat the present assembly will not endorse this martial law.”
Lawyers in Rawalpindi/Islamabad observed Black Day on the first anniversary of the imposition of emergency rule by former president Pervez Musharraf on November 3, 2007 as elsewhere in the country.
He said that attorney general Malik Muhammad Qayyum tried again and again to meet him as the special spokesman of Musharraf, but he never obliged him. He said the martial law of November 3, 2007 was totally different from previous martial laws in the country.
He said the government, the opposition, lawyers, politicians and other sections of the society wanted rule of law, supremacy of the Constitution and independence of the judiciary in the country.
A dictator wanted to crush the judiciary and the media through this action, which was termed ‘emergency’ or ‘emergency plus’ whereas it was martial law, pure and simple. All previous martial laws were validated by the relevant parliaments but the November 3, 2007 martial law has not been validated by parliament, and the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to validate such an action as well.
The deposed chief justice said that the hostility of Pervez Musharraf towards him increased when he decided the case of exiled former prime minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz against the government. After that former prime minister Shaukat Aziz delivered a message to him that Musharraf was not happy with his judgment in favour of Nawaz Sharif.
The deposed CJ said that the case of Pakistan Steel Mills in which the Supreme Court passed judgment against the government further antagonised the president against him.Holding of dual office case of Pervez Musharraf was the third reason while the fourth and a very potent reason was the order passed by the Supreme Court to include 30 million voters in the electoral list within one month. He said that all these things led to the imposition of ‘martial law’ on November 3, 2007 that resulted in deposition of more than 60 judges of the superior judiciary, including him. He said that the whole nation wanted his reinstatement but the dictator was averse to the idea.
“I hope the elected parliament would take decision in the best interest of the country according to the wishes of 160 million people to reinstate the judiciary to November 2, 2007, position,” he said.
He said that November 3 would be remembered as a black day in the history of Pakistan forever when a dictator deposed more than 60 judges with one stroke of the pen. He said that he was struggling for the reinstatement of free and fair judiciary because without a free judiciary the country could not progress in any field.
Supreme Court Bar Association President Ali Ahmed Kurd said that they would not give the government another year for the reinstatement of the deposed judges, including deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. They wanted a decision very soon otherwise lawyers would again take to roads for long marches and for ‘dharnas’ in the country, he warned.
Kurd said the present government has shattered all hopes of the nation related to the judiciary. There was complete unity and solidarity among the lawyers in spite of the fact that efforts were being made to sabotage their struggle. Such ignoble attempts would miserably fail, Kurd declared.
Speaking on the occasion, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan said that all crises in the country could be confronted with the reinstatement of all deposed judges including chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on the November 2 position.
He added that the lawyers would continue their struggle till the reinstatement of the deposed judges. He urged the elected representatives of parliament to work for the removal of unemployment, poverty, hunger, inflation and terrorism from the country. He said that they should strive for the reinstatement of the judiciary to the pre-Nov 3, 2007 position and it would pave the way for solution of all these problems. He said all these issues were related to a free and independent judiciary. He declared that only Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry would sit in the chair of Chief Justice of Pakistan.
Aitzaz also rendered a poem: ‘Democracy was not without Justice’. Earlier, when Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan came on the stage, all lawyers raised slogans of “Go Zardari Go” and the slogans continued for almost twenty minutes. Aitzaz requested the lawyers to listen to him but it was in vain and the lawyers continued raising slogans.
Some other lawyer leaders, including High Court Bar Association President Sardar Asmat Ullah Khan and District Bar Association President Sardar Tariq Masood Khan, also spoke on the occasion and thanked the deposed chief justice for paying a visit to the Bar Association.
Earlier, lawyers, civil society members, leaders and supporters of various political parties welcomed Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on his arrival in the District Courts Rawalpindi on the occasion of Black Day. They raised slogans for him enthusiastically, danced and clapped their hands and showered rose petals on him as he entered the courts premises.
Lawyers also raised the slogans of ‘Go Zardari Go’ and ‘Chief Zindabad’ on the occasion. Before the function started the participants prayed for the earthquake victims of Balochistan. Before the start of the speech of the chief justice all participants stood to hear the national anthem on the occasion.
A heavy contingent of police and security officials was present in every nook and corner of the courts. They allowed only lawyers and journalists to enter the premises after thorough checking.
Thousands of lawyers and civil society members including Supreme Court Bar Association President Ali Ahmed Kurd, Aitzaz Ahsan, Munir A Malik, Hamid Khan, Justice (R) Tariq Mehmood, Athar Minallah and elected members of different political parties including PML-N’s Raja Zafarul Haq, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Syed Ghous Ali Shah, Hanif Abbasi, Haji Pervez Khan, Malik Ibrar, Khawaja Asif, Shireen Khan and some others were present on the occasion.