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Showing posts from December, 2013

Of contempt and Justice (retd) Chaudhry

Pakistan’s most popular Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry retired last week. When the clock struck midnight, a friend tweeted: “For the record I state that I hold Justice (retired) Iftikhar Chaudhry in contempt, with retrospective effect.”

CJ Chaudhry lorded it over Courtroom 1 like no other. While he reigned supreme, most people eulogised him — many of them still do — but as his tenure came to an end, even some of his supporters became his detractors. I am no fan of opportunistic detraction but somehow felt vindicated at this turn of events.

The Lawyers’ Movement began as a populist movement but it ended up politicising the judiciary, especially Justice (retd) Chaudhry. The power that came with the Lawyers’ Movement led the restored judiciary to act in a manner that was beyond its ambit of power.

Justice (retd) Chaudhry exposed himself to criticism due to some of his judgements, including the way the apex court handled (read mishandled) his son’s alleged corruption case.

In the line of duty

When the news of an attack on the Express Media Group’s Karachi office was reported on social media and TV earlier this week, I was panic-stricken. I called up my friends working there to make sure everybody was alright. Three people were injured.

This was the second attack on the Express office in four months. It reminded us all of the fact that Pakistan is indeed one of the most dangerous countries for journalists in the world.

Attacks on journalists and media houses are not an unknown phenomenon in this country. Many Pakistani journalists have been killed over the years just for doing their job responsibly.

Several others have faced death threats, been kidnapped, tortured, harassed, etc. Despite threats from various quarters, the great courage and steadfastness being shown by some journalists in the conflict-ridden regions is commendable.

The role of those mainstream journalists/media houses who have taken great risks in exposing the wrongs in powerful institutions must also be lau…