Pakistan’s Besieged and Corrupt Judiciary

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By Dr Shahid Qureshi: –

A well-functioning justice system is crucial to address corruption effectively, which in turn is important for development. But judicial institutions are themselves corruptible. Illegitimate political influence on judges take different forms, some are clearly illegal (bribes, blackmail, threats, violence/murder), while other forms of undue influence stem from the ways in which relations between the judiciary and other arms of government are organized, or reflect a legal culture where judges are expected to defer to political authorities.

About a year ago I told the Columbian ambassador HE. Néstor Osorio Londoño in a meeting at Westminster in London: “Columbian mafia is controlling economy, security and politics via banks and you are deliberately or may be unwittingly supporting the mafias. I asked him why you need a high denomination currency notes. Well it serves the mafia’s purpose to hide their corruption smartly.” Columbian Government raised Special Forces Unit with help from the USA to protect judges, journalists and other critics of mafia groups. Sometimes judges use to come in masks to hide their identity. To deal with this kind of situation one need special measure for special ground realities and circumstances.

In Pakistan’s neighbouring Afghanistan majority of the area is under the control of Taliban commanders who are actually running daily business. I was reading in the media that a case was presented to Taliban where aggrieved victim came to them for justice as it was impossible for him to get justice. Complainant’s brother was murdered by a mafia lord and his land was also taken away. Lawyer in Kabul was asking for half million US$ for his legal fees. Judges were reportedly receiving bribes in cash and kind and even a cow was taken by someone. In this situation Taliban was the only hope left for the victim of this mafia. Taliban took Rs. 1000 as legal fees and ordered both parties to be present at Friday afternoon. After listening to both parties Taliban judge decided the case:

“He gave choice to the victim if he would like to have blood money or death sentence of the murderer.

The judge ordered mafia leader to immediately release land and property of the victim. He was also ordered to pay a fine. The victim accepted blood money for the widow and orphans of his brother.

Case dismissed in couple of hours and both parties were satisfied with the decision”.

On the other hand, Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard educated run Kabul could not provide justice to the weak victim. Kabul is a punching bag of the big US corporations after all they are making US Government spend US$ 7 billion every month to search 150 terror suspect of Al-Qaida now perhaps re branded ISIL or Daesh.

Now coming to Pakistan I have personally experienced Pakistani judicial system and treatment of the lawyers both treated me like ‘shit’. The problem was I paid the Pakistani lawyers to be treated like shit. A sitting judge was running a land mafia gang in Johar Town with the full support of local PML-N politician and police off course. The judge and mafia refused to vacate my house for 18 months which in the end forced me to employ ‘special measures’ and within few days judge himself vacated the house and apologised. He said: “I am sorry for the damage caused please consider as if you have given charity for your kids”. The judge was so mean that they took the bulbs and fans from the house. That shows what kind of people we have sitting in judiciary but then there are always exceptions.

Sadly, I am not alone in this treatment by the lawyers and judiciary every inch of the judicial system is full of cancerous corruption.  Lawyers conduct themselves in the most undignified manner, at the drop of hat they go on strike and behave like hooligans on rampage. They beat up police officers in uniform, damage court premises and manhandle the judges losing sight of all decorum and respectability. They are the most educated people in the country yet they behave like uneducated savages. One more thing disgustingly my own paid lawyer was bought or coerced by the ‘mafia’ and was insidiously siding with the accused party. I knew it all along yet I felt helpless. The misconduct of lawyers, police and judges is in fact mockery of justice system

As justice Kazim Ali Malik said: “cases could be decided in days or few hearings but if we do that all lawyers will die of hunger”.

Since Pakistan is being run by Mafias with full support of likes of Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif so all the enforcement institutions like police. FIA, National Accountability Bureau, prosecution and judiciary are part of the syndicate.

In the current situation judges of the superior courts are found to have received bribes from the mafia dons in cash and kind. Please don’t come to ask me for the evidence as in this case it is the concerned judges who have to provide evidence of their assets and income.

It was reported that chief justice Sind High Court had to face a very discomfiting situation when he was asked to accept Rs 500 million by Zardari Mafia for his cooperation to let:
1) Dr Asim off the hook legally so that he could join the Don Supremo in Dubai
2) and do all he can to let Ayaan Ali go abroad to serve her master in Dubai. Clearly non-compliance was not an option. If the honourable judge failed to deliver he shall face dreadful reprisals.

According to sources everything was fine but an important turn came when a premier intelligence agency got the wind of these sickly endeavours and they played their hand very adroitly. Chief Justice was now faced with the choice of the devil and the deep blue sea and he showed extra ordinary courage even at peril of his life and decided not to cooperate with the ‘Don Supremo’. When this happened his son was kidnapped with perfect ease and as the source said with complete connivance and material support of the Sind government of Qaim Ali Shah. But the Sind government and the ‘Don Supremo’ did not realise that they were being outwitted by the Agency who managed to track and trace the kidnappers. All leads pointed towards the Sind government and right to the doorsteps of the ‘Don Supremo’ Asif Zardari. As we later learnt that the main character in this kidnapping was Asad Kharl. Now released on bail of Rs.50000?

At one stage there was great deal of embarrassment for the Agency when the police sided with the Dons henchmen to intimidate the personnel of the Agency, however, they recovered their poise rather quickly. When Zardari mafias released that beans had been spilled, we now noticed a new twist in this drama when the son of the Chief Justice was apparently sold out to a jihadist outfit. Once gain the ‘Don Supremo’ was at his usual best. Let us not forget PPP terrorists had hijacked a PIA plane and killed an army officer at Kabul Airport so this is not the first time. Also Asif Zardari was prime suspect in the murder of Justice Nizam and his brother in law Murtaza Bhutto according to his daughter Fatima Bhutto who wrote an article in The News.

Now the current position is that both Chief Justice and his son are under protection of Special Forces in Karachi.

Under these circumstances it shall be a quixotically fancy to expect Gen Raheel Sharif to clean the stables. These stables have no thoroughbred horses but hordes of stinking pigs with lots of bullshit. He can only do so if he himself begins to thinks like a super don and use extraordinary ‘special measures’ like the Americans did during and after the revolution. But he won’t and perhaps he can’t because after all he is too much of a gentleman and on top of this he is overly concerned to be remembered as a gentleman.

The entire episode is a case study that would shows that the judges of higher judiciary are not safe and God knows how many are forced to work under threats bribery and intimidation by powerful political mafias. Establishment in a fire fighting mode can at least protect the higher judiciary or at least the Chief Justice of Pakistan and other chief justices of the provinces so that at least they can work freely and fairly. If they do not do so, then whither all hopes of future of our children and Quaid’s dreams of a great prosperous Pakistan. Whither any hopes of justice or rule of law.

(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), Turkish TV, LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Kazakhstan 2015. March 2016 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He studied at prestigious Government College Lahore. He did his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is a PhD in Political Psychology and also studied Law at a British University)

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