The judge that never was

The judge that never was

From time to time, Pakistan has been hit by floods,famine,earthquakes,failed monsoons,locust and human-made disasters like war,and sectarian militancy.Al-Qaeda and all varieties of terrorism that followed were a direct corollary of the Afghan jihad, solely set up and nursed by the US against the Soviet Union.ISIL isa blood cousin of Al-Qaeda;set up by the US and its allies to contain Iranian expansion into Syria and Iraq. TheUS stratagem momentarily succeeded inAfghanistan as the Soviets were defeated.But the honeymoon was short-lived as the US was soon pitched against Al-Qaeda supported Taliban regime to block Saudi Wahhabism from spreading outwards.Apparently, the US was at cross purposes opposing its own ally’s influence in Afghanistan while promoting the same in Iraq.We must understand the scarlet thread of the American grand strategy, which is dogged by the fear of the Russian surge and the challenge of Islamic fundamentalism.Fear breeds nerves and indecision.

It was American fickle mindedness, which bequeathed militancy to Pakistan in the first place and then helped perpetuate it. Now it is engaged in twisting our arms in league with India for the monster it let loose in our country.By no means, an attempt is being made to whitewash the greed and drastic lack of strategic vision among our corresponding leaderships, both military and civilian. The legacy of the US adventures in Afghanistan proved bitter and bloody for Pakistan too. We acted as the drawbridge for America’s repeated invasions of Afghanistan, earned nothing in return but twisted spurs and abandoned horseshoes. Thatlegacy comprises the lot of sectarian militants,their rotund Ulema,TTP terrorists,ISIL fighters and finally certain bands of Baloch sub-nationalists as the disusedhorseshoe.Blood stained hands of RAW and NDS are in addition.

Of our immediate concern, however, are the sharp shoots of this bamboo field which are stabbing through our judiciary, executive, bureaucracy, political parties, and businesses and to a lesser extent thearmed forces.

Out of the sack full of these deadly sharps,we will presently talk of a particular member of a High Court in the country who come from the killing fields of hard line sectarianism has foisted himself into a position of power and influence to the detriment of the state and the people.He was able to do this through his cunning connections and skilful manoeuvring.

It is believed that this particular fellow was a smalltime lawyer in Rawalpindi District Courts, occupying a makeshift cabin which doubled as his law office and a place for his equally nefarious sectarian scheming.His crustedDeobandi belief systemled him directly into the company of active sympathisers of sectarian militants like MumtazQadri and a possible shoulder rub with terrorists.Paradoxically, it endeared him to similar King Fishers inside the higher judiciary.Ex CJPIftikhar Chaudhry raised him to the coveted rank of a Justice of the High Court from a raucous President of a District Bar a couple of years ago.Meanwhile, it helped him sneak into the well-knownand widespread sectarian circuit of like-minded lawyers and judges,undeservedly winning him clients and cases both.

Should you happento pass by court premises anywhere in Pakistan, you will see a tight-knit cluster of these peculiar men and even women menacingly moving about the court corridors; brooding, volatile and trigger happy.Their mannerism before the judges is normally defiant not deferential, except for their look-alike mentors on the other side of the railing.

Legions of these grim men and women roaming the courts can be consideredtheir judicial constituency and coercive force in being which he has more or less galvanised to his advantage. These men are also in league with a large mass of similarly deep dyed footmen in the streets who are always ready to run riot at short notice.Theominous junction of sectarian coercion and self-serving motivation is where the real and imminent danger to the nation and the entire system lies.This devastating combination has the capacity to rip the country apart.

The judge in the question is,like his elder brother, an expert manipulator of popular sentiments, particularly the deadly religious ones and can quickly guess which way the wind blows.A short while ago on the social media, certain indiscreet bloggers, unfortunately, chose to cast aspersions on the Holy Prophet and his revered companions.A writ petition was submittedto the High Court, and it landed with the honourable judge.

Perfectly fine but not quite.A question arises why out of the five High Courts it had to be that particular High Court where the honourable judge holds court?How is it that out of all others the petition had to land with him in particular? Perhaps, there is a method to this madness.It so happens that there are close to three references against the Justice lying before the Supreme Judicial Council(SJC) and it is presumed that final show cause notice has been issued to him; which in other words means to quit or face trial.The cases had become mature for action by the SJC just when this blasphemy petition arrivedlike a God sent relief. Not surprisingly posters, newspaper advertisements and banners had appeared in the cityidolising the judge by you know whom.

It couldn’t be a coincidence.The judge in distress badly needed a life line.The High Court administration seems to have duly obliged.It is quite possible that taking advantage of the attempted blasphemy; the rest may have been put together for just such a purpose.A case like that can drag on as a number of other petitioners have submitted their complaints too.

Dividends for the brilliant judge have turned out to be enormous.In one master stroke, he had placed SJC on the back foot before a possiblehearing against his excesses and deftly recycled his past association with men like MumtazQadri into a pious mould where he seems to be emotionally very touched by the petition.Self-promotion,system jeopardy and fait accompli in a single package, it seems.

But his finesse had been to summon the Interior Minister in person and announce anintention to summon the PM if required. They would be bound for different reasons, not purely by legal considerations alone. That showed his ambition and nuisance both.Clearly, he plans to outdo his supreme mentor ex CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry in impaling the Executive and the State.His illustrious elder brother desperately wanted to emulate Mullah Omar.He couldn’t, but this one might.

The writer is a retired brigadier of the Pakistan Army and can be reached at