Those who bowed to Musharraf will be punished: Iftikhar
* Ex-CJP blames rupee depreciation on lack of confidence in judiciary, Constitution
ISLAMABAD: The officials who bowed to President Pervez Musharraf’s declaration of emergency rule and ouster of judges last year will be “punished”, sacked chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said on Sunday.
He was addressing a convention in Faisalabad, where thousands of lawyers and other activists gathered to whip up support for a new round of protests aimed at pressuring the coalition government into restoring the sacked judiciary.
Chaudhry told lawyers in Faisalabad that the Supreme Court had passed an order aimed at countering the president’s actions on November 3, the same day the emergency was declared. Chaudhry promised that anyone who violated the order “will be punished no matter how big he is and whatever position he is attaining”.
The state-run APP news agency quoted him as saying that the judges who had taken oath under Musharraf’s Provisional Constitution Order had violated the Constitution and would be held accountable. He did not specify what he meant by ‘punishment’.
He said dictators were relics of the past who had abused the judiciary to legitimise their illegal decisions. But the judiciary and the civil society had now rejected the dictatorship, he added. “In future, no one will dare violate the Constitution,” the sacked chief justice said.
Rupee: He said that the lack of people’s confidence in the judicial system and Constitution was the root cause of the depreciation in the value of the rupee. “The nations that compromise on illegal action cannot progress.”
He denied allegations that the judiciary was interfering with the executive when he was the chief justice. “It is not true. The judiciary was exercising its powers as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan,” he said.
Supreme Court Bar Association President Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan said lawyers would not accept any “Minus One” formula. He was referring to a proposal reported in the media that all the sacked judges except Chaudhry be reinstated.
He said that the lawyers were leading an unprecedented struggle to save Pakistan, which would continue until the restoration of rule of law, justice, and Constitution.
About the proposed constitutional reforms package put together by the Pakistan People’s Party, he said it was only a draft and he expected many changes to it. agencies