Government Judiciary Row-II, Reopening of Bhutto Case, a Test For Independent Judiciary; Presidential Reference May Become a Source of Political Re-alignments
By Aijaz Ahmed
The president’s move to submit a reference for reopening of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto case at Supreme Court under Article 186 of the Constitution of Pakistan has sparked a new debate and certain questions have been raised including a million dollar question that where will Punjab stand? Undoubtedly, the move is a clever one, and will serve the government and the Peoples Party in many ways. One aspect of the reference is seen as an effort to mend fences with the higher judiciary as in the reference, president has shown his full confidence in the Supreme Court. Secondly it will on one hand give the higher court an opportunity to correct a historic mistake and on the other hand it will force the judiciary to admit blunders committed by judiciary itself exposing the nature and extent of injustice even at the highest judicial level. The favorable decision will also help in bringing the pro dictatorship elements in the establishment under scrutiny that have been in connivance with judiciary and civil bureaucracy against democratic leadership.
In case the present judiciary fails to correct a historic injustice to Bhutto family and the PPP, the onus will be shifted to the judiciary and the anti judiciary elements in smaller provinces particularly in Sindh will justify their sentiments, said a PPP insider, adding that: ‘we always remain victim of the establishment-judiciary nexus and this is the time for both to taste some hot waters. If the historic mistake was not corrected now, the reputation of the present independent judiciary will wither away and that will be more dangerous to the already fragile federation’. …
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