The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that the rule of law has a substantial impact on economic development, thus making a strong constitutional and legal framework necessary. He made these remarks while delivering the keynote address at the 17th Commonwealth Law Conference, in India. Chief Justice Chaudhry thus answered one of the main arguments used to justify martial laws in Pakistan, that martial laws lead to greater economic progress. In his address, Mr Justice Chaudhry discussed how the rule of law both prevented martial law from occurring, and promoted economic development. He also quoted from the Ahadith of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to show that Islam also promotes the rule of law, which he described as the 'hallmark of Islamic thought and philosophy. Though Chief Justice Chaudhry was not delivering a verdict, but only addressing a gathering of members of the legal fraternity drawn from the common legal tradition of the Commonwealth, his observation about the rule of law being necessary for economic development means that martial law ultimately, because it actually means the subordination of the rule of law to military rules continuation, means a halt to economic development. Also, as military rule means absence of rule of law, there is no guarantee of the rights of the citizen. As the rights of the citizen include a number of economic rights, Chief Justice Chaudhrys exclusion of reasons of state, so beloved by military rulers, is very strong and persuasive. There is the underlying implication that the judiciary, which has previously cooperated with military rulers by legalising their takeovers, and by administering whatever law they hand down, will not be cooperative in future. Chief Justice Chaudhry also described the separation of powers, under which the rule of law, and thus the atmosphere for economic development, was established. By implication, the separation of powers is essential to the rule of law, which might explain why where the rule of law was established, but the powers were not separated, the Executive Branch was able to overpower both the Legislature and the Judiciary. Though the government has so far not even shown respect for the verdicts of the Supreme Court, by refusing to implement them, it should pay attention to the speech made by the Chief Justice, because it shows not just the direction in which the Court is going, but also that in which the judiciary is moving. While it may not connive at impositions of military rule, it will also work for the imposition of the rule of law. Political control of the state will therefore not mean untrammeled power, but power under the shackles imposed by the rule of law. That necessarily implies that those elected to power will find themselves bound by the law, not above it, as at present.