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Judging Me – Don’t You Know Me?

By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –

A small elite of few thousands have made Pakistan a joke in all national and international matters. It is the duty of every security men and women to know them and their children and grandchildren because if some one stop them at a military check point or any other security post – they say, ‘Don’t You Know Me’. How on earth it is possible for a soldier and a police man to know all the Generals, Judges, ministers and V V V I Ps, Chiefs? Obviously they expect to show their identity cards issued by their departments.

In all security check points it clearly says ‘Show your Identity’ and that notice is for the persons who can read. But Pakistani elite still insist ‘Don’t you know Me’. It is like mind over matter – ‘if you don’t mind it does not matter’. But when it comes to the safety and security it does matter. I have personally seen many judges, generals, and ministers in the security queues and not a single one protested. So much so strip-search of many Pakistani politicians, lawyers and ministers at US airports is reported widely.

I have attended many G8 international conferences, G20 summits and presidential meetings attended by world leaders of super powers obviously that is only possible with security clearance and going through security checks each entry. It is courteous to be nice to the people who are deployed to do security checks for my own safety. A word of kindness and politeness may made someone’s day.

Few years ago BBC journalist Owen Benet Jones and I were coming to Islamabad from Peshawar via motor way. Police stopped our car as driver was caught speeding and obviously driver paid the fine and I personally appreciated the police officer and he was happy.

What made me say all the above is triggered by an incident took place few days ago in Pakistan.

As per documents and reported, “Peshawar High Court Justice Ikramullah Khan’s official vehicle along with the police squad was stopped from entering the Bannu Cantonment on Muslim Gate on the evening of May 27. The PHC Bannu Bench is located inside Bannu Military Cantonment.

According to the court notice, the army personnel posted at the gate stopped the vehicle of Justice Ikramullah Khan and put an “unjustified” demand for the judge’s official card. The guards resisted when the judge refused to show the card and the driver tried to enter the gate. This infuriated the judge who proceeded on foot, leaving the official vehicle at the gate”.

The Judge got obviously annoyd with the security check and the “PHC Bannu Bench additional registrar issued notices to the federal defence secretary, KP home & tribal affairs secretary, Bannu 325 Brigade Commandant Brigadier Attique Ahmad and Bannu deputy commissioner for personal appearance on 28 May, 2015.”

During the hearing, the Deupty Advocate General and Bannu Deupty Commissoner told the court that the KP government provided sufficient funds to the Pakistan Army to provide security to the people, however in the “garb” of those funds, instead of providing security to the people/citizens, “the army has started harassing civil servants and members of civil society, including high court judges and lawyers”.

According to documents it reflect that the court has also directed KP chief secretary, KP provincial police officer (PPO) and Bannu regional police officer (RPO) before the bench on Wednesday 3 June 2015.

“Under what authority the residential as well as the premises of high court are given under Pak Army 325 Brigade, Bannu, and also to show cause that under what authority the respondent (Brigade) have installed a check post in an area where the PHC Bannu bench works, civil society is residing and to show that under what law, they are disgracing people in the garb of security and also to show that who has given them authority to search the judges while entering and leaving the PHC, Bannu Bench,” the court order sought explanations.

While reading the above it sounds the ego of the judge was really hurt? At a time when terrorists are using military and police uniforms to attack targets attack Mastug most recently.

The tone of the court orders seems like as if military is an alien entity and so called civil society (corrupt candle mafia) is holding the country on their shoulders.

Some politicians and others do not understand the job description of a soldier and a security guard. A soldier signed his death warrants at the time of joining and knows he might lose his life in the line of duty also desertion is criminal offence, insurance company don’t insure them with low premium on the other hand a judge can resign any time and start his private practice. This is not a criticism but just a comparison.

When an army officer is selected he has to go through a rigorous screening of personality, competence and physical endurance and medical clearance. The idea behind this exercise is that he would be a General and a wrong choice will damage the country beyond imagination.

There is no such rigorous screening process is designed for the selection of judges? One wrong choice will damage the people beyond imagination. The situation in the lower courts and judiciary speaks millions about the corruption and failure in providing justice to people and it is almost impossible for a common man to get justice form high courts. For past two years I myself have been dealing with a additional session judge who is running a land mafia gang in Lahore.

On social media people are asking Justice Ikram Ullah episode:

Is he above the law?
Did he take notice of corruption in the lower judiciary?
How many times he asked his junior judges about long delays in cases?
Can some tell this judge that these low paid soldiers and police men are their to protect him and his salary is paid by the public?

Next time if some one asked you (men on check posts) Don’t You Know Me ? Take his photo and post on the Facebook so we all know him.

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