MULTAN - Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqiba Nisar said on Saturday that the country has long been under the rule of corruption and he will wage jihad against this social evil.

Addressing a gathering of lawyers here, he asked them to make a commitment with him that they would not fall a prey to political chasms and never do anything that could jeopardise the national interest.

Declaring the attacks on schools in Diamir a conspiracy against his initiative for the construction of dams, the chief justice vowed to thwart all designs against this noble cause.

Justice Saqib said that unfortunately the country came under heavy influence of corruption after the departure of Quaid-e-Azam and Liaqat Ali Khan.

“The business of settlements and claims after independence gave birth to social termites like corruption which continue to afflict the society.” Corruption is a cancer and “we needed to wage jihad against it” to change the fate of the country and the nation, he added.

The CJP reminded the audience that Pakistan was achieved after tremendous sacrifices and efforts of “our forefathers”. He pointed out that many countries like China and Korea got liberation after Pakistan “but they went far ahead of us” in progress and national development.

Referring to his efforts for the construction of dams, he said that it was not any favour from him or the judiciary to the nation. He added that he took steps on different issues after seeing miseries and problems of the common man.

Justice Saqib said that the Supreme Court raised voice for the construction of dams but some quarters started opposing it. He claimed that the attacks on schools in Diamir district were part of a conspiracy against construction of dams.

“As soon as the Supreme Court started collecting funds for the construction of dams, terrorists attacked and ruined educational institutions in an area like Diamir where not even a single murder or theft case was reported since long,” he noted. “We needed to locate the culprits behind this conspiracy.”

Conspiracies against dams’ construction were not a new thing, he said, adding that this was being done for the last 40 years. He said that anti-Pakistan elements launched massive propaganda against Kalabagh Dam too and burnt 12 buildings in Balochistan. The demand for this mega dam was there for the last 40 years but no one cared about identifying the obstacles in its way.

The chief justice said that the dams were a guarantee to the existence of Pakistan and its progress. “The time has come to do what we failed to do until today,” he added.

He clarified that he had not rejected the idea of Kalabagh Dam construction rather he directed for constructing it with the consensus of all provinces. “But [giving the urgency involved in the water problem] the dams that are not controversial should be constructed immediately and then Kalabagh Dam may be built after developing consensus,” he added.

No compromise on people’s rights

Justice Saqib Nisar said he would not allow business in the name of health and education. “We are not giving education to the children but selling it out,” he remarked.

He said that giving free education to the children was responsibility of the state but some corrupt elements exploited weaknesses of the state.

The CJP pointed out that the fee at ordinary private schools stood at Rs30,000, and asked the government to discharge its responsibilities regarding provision of quality education to the children.

He said that multiple problems existed in health and education sectors but it was astonishing that the funds spent in these fields were too meagre. “But I will not sit calmly until I get such problems solved,” he vowed.

The chief justice pointed out that the water mafia had reached Islamabad after Karachi. He said that when he took action against water mafia in Karachi, he came to know that this mafia was also polluting the sea. He said that he was hearing cases on even Saturdays and Sundays for the sake of human rights.

Justice Saqib expressed dissatisfaction over the condition of Nishtar Hospital, Multan. “I have seen during my visit that neither necessary equipment is available nor standards are maintained at the hospital. If you are not spending funds on health and education then where the funds are going?” he questioned.



CJP assures lawyers of solving their problems

He said that he had come to know that the lawyers from entire southern Punjab had come to Multan to attend the ceremony, and he was thankful to them. He added that it was his duty to accept genuine demands of the lawyers.

The chief justice disclosed that an independent election tribunal would start working in Multan within three months. He declared that the issue of merger of Sahiwal and Lodhran bars into Multan would be resolved after consultation with the LHC chief justice.

The CJP said that the lawyers would not be forced to shift to the new judicial complex until they agreed to the move. He declared that he would take suo moto for the expansion of Kutchehry if needed. He added that he would play his role in resolution of all problems being faced by the lawyers including the lawyers’ colony.

Hearing of HR appeals

Earlier, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar held his court at LHC Multan Bench and heard over 45 applications. He directed Multan CPO to recover the seven year old daughter of a blind citizen, Muhammad Idrees.

On an application from journalists regarding hurdles in way of journalist colony, he directed the applicants to file an application in Lahore.

Strict security arrangements were made on this occasion and all courts as well as bar halls were checked with the help of sniffing dogs.

All hospitals and educational institutions remained in a state of emergency on arrival of the chief justice in Multan. A large number of citizens from across southern Punjab also gathered outside the High Court to meet him.