Qayyum says he will take Geo to deposed CJ
ISLAMABAD: In a major breakthrough, the Musharraf government for the first time in the last five months has agreed to give direct and personal access to selected media to interview the detained chief justice of Pakistan.
This unique distinction is being earned by the popular Geo News anchorperson Hamid Mir, who was given a firm commitment by the attorney-general of Pakistan during a live marathon debate between Justice Malik Qayyum and Aitzaz Ahsan, which was the first-ever live constitutional debate on a TV channel.
“He has promised to take me to the chief justice’s residence right after the debate to prove that Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is not detained and can meet anyone at his official residence,” Hamid Mir told this correspondent after the programme, adding “But, at the end of the programme, Malik Qayyum told me that he was ill and was not feeling well and told me that we would go to the chief justice’s official residence tomorrow.”
Hamid Mir added: “I will wait for his call or will call him tomorrow to meet the chief justice of Pakistan and to inform the nation about his situation in detention.” If this extraordinary promise is executed in letter and spirit, it might give a big chance to the deposed chief justice of Pakistan and his family to narrate their five-month-long ordeal since Nov 3 and make startling disclosures about many important developments that is not known to the people of Pakistan.
Malik Qayyum, during the debate with SCBA president Aitzaz Ahsan, said the deposed chief justice was not detained. His statement, however, was in direct contradiction to the admission of caretaker interior minister Hamid Nawaz that the deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan was detained for security reasons.
Qayyum, however, remained stuck to his guns and repeatedly declared that Justice Chaudhry was not detained and anyone could visit him. However, when approached by this correspondent on his phone, Malik Muhammad Qayyum, said, “Yes, I have promised to Hamid Mir to take him to the residence of Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, but first I will have to take permission from the authorities concerned.”
He added: “I am going to the presidency to attend the farewell dinner in the honour of the outgoing caretaker government by the president, and after taking permission following the dinner, I will let you know.”
Online adds: President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Aitzaz Ahsan has strongly berated the Nov 3 action of deposing the judges of the Supreme Court as highly unconstitutional having no legal standing or validity.
He said it was amazing according to European standards that a civil servant should confer powers to a senior servant.
He strongly criticised the notion of conflict between Presidency and House (NA) and reminded that according to the Constitution, President was subordinate to the PM, whose directives he (President) has to carry out.
He termed the deposing of judges as unconstitutional and invalid, while the forthcoming proposed resolution in the assembly was being tabled just as a formality and matter of principle, since it was not required for the reinstatement of deposed judges.
He also expressed his surprise that Attorney General Malik Qayyum supported a resolution for the notorious PCO, while today he was opposing it tooth and nail. He also cited previous examples where “Assemblies” validated dictatorial orders regarding such notorieties as the 17th and 18th amendments; but which were not validated by Supreme Court.
He also scoffed at Attorney General’s ignorance about the plight of arrested and deposed judges, and reminded that one person alone cannot legislate a constitution, since that requires 2/3rd majority, while the Supreme Court cannot validate such acts, since they do not fall under its preview and are rather subject to approvals of Assemblies.
He cited that constitutionally speaking, all the judges who have not taken oath under PCO were still valid judges, and all those judges who took oath under PCO would also be reinstated along with deposed judges.
He said that he was quite optimistic about the realization of the Murree Declaration and said that the president got himself nominated under the 17th constitutional amendment for the period of five years, which expired on 15th November 2007.
In the debate, Attorney General of Pakistan, Malik Abdul Qayyum maintained that the government has accepted the decision of 20th July and now there is no conflict between the president and Parliament.
He said the president enjoys discretionary powers and he would utilize it. While the president is bound to follow the directives issued by the prime minister on certain matters, both will work according to their own respective powers.
He opined that according to the constitution, Parliament may table a motion but any implementation is not binding, adding that the president has neither crossed his limits in past nor will do so in future.
He further said that 12 judges of the Supreme Court endorsed the Provisional Constitutional Order on October 12, 1999 while all these judges now want reinstatement, while he endorsed Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar for taking decisions on previous references.
Similarly, he said that the house arrest of the chief justice is not a written order and he is not under house arrest, but free. If “he thinks” himself as arrested then he must knock the doors of the Supreme Court.
He also expressed total ignorance over deployment of the police personnel outside the residence of Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and further said that issuance of stay is not possible before hearing of both the parties.
Malik Qayyum said that the judges who were deposed through the constitution were no more judges, while he also confessed that deposing of judges was unconstitutional.
While observing the supremacy of Parliament he said that now it is up to the Parliament to decide whether the amendment in the Constitution for reinstatement of the judges was necessary or not.
He further said that according to the article 270-AAA, PCO has become part of the constitution and judges can be reinstated through Parliament. “Increase in number of judges could create problems,” he said by adding, “According to the constitution, new prime minister cannot issue any executive order”.He said that President Pervez Musharraf is constitutional President of Pakistan and he has fulfilled all his promises.
Source: The News