The question of a new Chief Justice of Pakistan is referred to a special commission with representatives from judiciary, legislative, and Executive branches
By Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA
An article in today’s Dawn provides glimpse of points of view by PPP and PML-N on the restoration of deposed judges as they try to win the American support. The newspaper claims that these arguments are being made by the representatives of the two political parties in meetings with various US officials. It seems that PPP‘s main point is that independence of judiciary in Pakistan can be achieved without meeting exactly what every lawyer or political leader wants. However, the PML-N’s point of view appears to be that restoration of Chaudhry Iftikhar’s reinstatement as the chief justice is a mandatory requirement for independent judiciary.
In my view, a reasonable compromise could be that all justices including Justice Chaudhry are reinstated as justices/judges of their respective courts and the question of a new Chief Justice of Pakistan is referred to a special commission with representatives from judiciary, legislative, and Executive branches. The commission should recommend two names, which should be voted by the National Assembly and all four provincial assemblies. I believe that for a strong democracy to flourish in Pakistan, we have move away from focusing on specific individuals be it Justice Chaudhry, Mr. Nawaz Sharif, or Mr. Zardari. By the same token, no one should impose Mr. Zardari to become the President of Pakistan. He would be acceptable only if elected in a fair election as per the current Elections law.