MULTAN: The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Mian Saqib Nisar, on Saturday said ‘corruption raj’ in the country would have to be dismantled if Pakistan is to make progress.
Addressing lawyers in Multan, he said corruption has damaged country the most. He said everyone would have to reform oneself first if progress and prosperity is needed. He also stressed the need to ‘crush’ conspiracies against dams, adding when he raised voice for construction of new dams, schools were torched in Diamer.
He also regretted making education a business, saying it’s the state's responsibility to provide free education to all up to 18 years of age. He said every department is found complaining about shortage of funds. Where are the funds being used if not being spent on people’s health and education, he asked. The chief justice said helping people to get fundamental rights is the main duty of the judiciary and not a favour to anyone.
Addressing lawyers and representatives of 27 bar associations of southern Punjab at Lahore High Court, Multan Bench Bar Association here, he said the construction of new dams is the lifeline for Pakistan, but conspirators are hatching conspiracies against the noble cause. He regretted that the conspirators damaged 12 schools in Diamer (Gilgit-Baltistan) when a voice was raised for the construction of a dam in the area. Who are those conspirators, he asked. Justice Saqib Nisar said the Supreme Court has taken a wise initiative about the construction of dams.
Justice Mian Saqib Nisar asked lawyers to play their role for the construction of dams. He said the first important thing is donation for the construction of these dams and then the lawyers’ support for the noble cause. He said the SC has not outrightly rejected the construction of Kalabagh dam but it would be built when all the four provinces reach consensus on it.
The CJP stressed the need for waging jihad against corruption. He said promotion of education as business would not be allowed in the country. He said the new government should formulate policies for promotion of free education in the public sector. He said the upcoming governments should devise policies for the promotion of public sector school education and to discourage commercialisation of education. Criticising the education mafia, he said they are not educating children but selling education. The public sector lacked quality education and parents are forced to pay Rs33,000 even for the kindergarten. He warned that promotion of education as business would not be allowed. The chief justice said no compromise would be made on fundamental rights and it is the responsibility of the judiciary to protect rights of the people.
The CJP said unfortunately corruption became rife after the death of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and first premier of Pakistan Liaquat Ali Khan. Now favouritism and nepotism are deeply rooted in the society, he remarked. Justice Saqib Nisar said the country is facing a great challenge of corruption and there is a dire need to launch jihad against it. The country could not make progress without elimination of the corrupt mafia. He underlined the need for self-improvement and promotion of Pakistani nationalism. “You will have to tell yourself always that first of all you are a Pakistani, and then anything else. After my Fajar prayers daily, I repeat it to myself that first of all, I’m a Pakistani.”
The CJP also regretted that health has not remained a priority of the successive governments. He said ‘tanker mafia’ in Karachi is selling a water tanker for Rs8,000 to Rs12,000 without any check. Unfortunately, this phenomenon had reached Islamabad also, he added. Earlier, addressing members of the district bar, he encouraged female lawyers to join the profession. He said one day they would harvest the crop of their hard work. The female lawyers present in his welcome ceremony were like his daughters and sisters, he added. About shifting of district courts to the newly constructed Judicial Complex, CJP Saqib Nisar said he intervened in the situation when uncertainty was prevailing among the whole legal fraternity. He said he did not do an extraordinary job but he played his part.
The CJP also visited Multan Nishtar Hospital and expressed his dissatisfaction over health facilities being provided to patients there. The Deputy Commissioner Multan Mudasir Riaz Malik accompanied the CJP during the surprise visit. The DC promised to improve the situation. The CJP thanked the lawyers for giving him a red-carpet welcome. He announced establishment of Income Tax Tribunal in Multan, which would be functional in the next three months. Multan High Court Bar Association President Khalid Mehmood Ashraf presented his welcome address and presented a bouquet to him.
Online adds: Meanwhile, Sindh High Court (SHC) Chief Justice Ahmad Ali M Sheikh has said the judges are holding crucial posts; therefore, they should not become dictators. Addressing a ceremony in Karachi on Saturday, the SHC CJ said someone among the sitting magistrates is son of a labourer and someone is son of a farmer. These boys have worked hard and got this status, he said.
He exhorted the judges to pledge that they would work very hard. He said no case is a high profile case for judges. There can be delay in our decisions, but there is no ill intent therein. Judge has no viewpoint of his own and they should keep in view their conscience while deciding all cases, he added.