Judiciary no more a rubber stamp: Kurd
By Rana Fawad
WASHINGTON: By saying no to generals Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry elevated Pakistan’s judiciary from being a rubber stamp to an independent institution for the first time in the nation’s history.
These views were expressed by President Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association, Ali Ahmad Kurd, at an event organized in his honor by the Washington Policy Analysis Group at a Pakistani restaurant in Springfield on Wednesday. Dr. Manzur Ejaz conducted the proceedings.
Addressing the select gathering, Ali Ahmad Kurd said Iftikhar Chaudhry did what the judiciary should have done from the day one of Pakistan’s independence. He added that the lawyers’ movement and restoration of the judiciary put Pakistan on a course leading to rule of law.
He paid rich tributes to Pakistani media, civil society, and common people for providing support to the lawyers’ movement and remarked that success was not possible without their help.
Kurd told the gathering that many lawyers’ faced difficult times during the two-year movement but continued to lead the nation with honesty and devotion.
He mentioned that the lawyers brought Justice Wajih (retired) in to contest presidential election so that General Musharraf’s candidacy could be challenged in the court.
Responding to a question, Kurd remarked that the entire corruption is at the lower court level. He added that the lower court judges act like pharaohs. However, he demanded significant raise in the salaries of lower court judges as well as judicial staff so that the menace of corruption could be harnessed.
Replying to another question, he regretted that a journalist was beaten up by a few lawyers in Lahore and explained that the lawyers owe media a lot as far as the restoration of the judiciary is concerned. He requested that it should be viewed as an attempt to drive a wedge into the relationship of lawyers and journalists.
When asked about the alleged intervention of General Kiyani in judiciary’s restoration, Kurd said he was the leader of the movement at that time and he never spoke with the army chief. He added that the judiciary was restored because an overwhelming majority of the people were ready to participate in that long march. Kurd refused to answer political questions.