Chief Justice Iftikhar was no saint, but he stands taller than pygmies with many skeletons, who today are criticizing him in a well orchestrated chorus. His singular act of standing up against a dictator in 2007, set into motion a chain of events which led to the ouster of an arrogant dictator. The rejoicing and jubilation by corrupt elite of this country on retirement of Chief Justice Iftikhar, is proof, if any was needed, that he had ruffled many a feather and had become a thorn in their scheme of things, where greed had no bounds.

For vocal minority that wanted status quo to be maintained, where abuse of power, plundering state assets, insider trading, repeated amnesty for tax evasion or smuggled cars, reducing state corporations to become avenues for appointing semi literate cronies, ignoring target killings and kidnapping of thousands under garb of politics of reconciliation, patronizing land mafia, forming cartels and institutionalized corruption, the judicial activism by SC headed by Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was an irritant, while for common citizens it was a welcome relief. It was an irresponsible, non transparent and incompetent executive that made judicial activism a welcome intervention.

The brutality of senseless murder of Shahzeb Khan in Karachi and shameless manner in which elected executive and paid law enforcement agencies of this country failed to prosecute murderers was shameful depiction of tyrannical role adopted by constitutional elected public office holders. For those who stood to benefit from cartels, LPG quotas, abuse of power and making laws subservient to whims of powerful individuals, Chaudhry Iftikhar was a thorn, and his departure a relief, but for common man he was a symbol of hope. Under his helm, superior judiciary has become an independent institution, so necessary for constitutional democratic rule to strengthen. One hopes that lower judiciary will be cleansed and reformed, whilst our legislators enact laws to enable prosecution more effectively and timely, with a more stronger system of checks and balances of state institutions and paid bureaucracy.


Lahore, December 13.