ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday said that Pakistan has unfortunately deviated from the vision of the father of the nation as bad governance and injustices have plagued the society.
He said, however, this can be reversed and the vision of the Quaid can be achieved if the rule of law, transparency and accountability prevail in the country.
The chief justice, while addressing on the occasion of the new judicial year 2018, said when first envisioned by Allama Iqbal, Pakistan was an unachievable goal, which was translated into reality by the tireless efforts and countless sacrifices of our ancestors under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
But unfortunately, he said Pakistan has deviated from Quaid’s vision as bad governance and injustices have plagued the society.
“This can be reversed and the vision of Quaid can be achieved by ensuring that rule of law, transparency and accountability prevail in the country,” the chief justice said, adding, “We tried, as the guardians of the Constitution, to play our part by involving ourselves in various constitutional and human rights matters either through the court or the Human Rights Cell.”
The chief justice referred to some matters of public importance included undisclosed foreign accounts of Pakistani nationals, dual nationality of government officials and judges, non-payment of salaries to media employees, killing of members of the minority Hazara community in Quetta, inadequate medical services at various hospitals, depletion of the water table at the Katas Raj Temple and the extraction of ground water for commercial usage without payment of charges, revamping of medical, dental and law colleges, and practical implementation of overseas Pakistanis’ right to vote via internet voting.
The chief justice, however, said that in his view, one of the biggest feats of the Supreme Court of Pakistan was the direction to the government of Pakistan to immediately begin construction of the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams in order to address the issue of water scarcity and security that Pakistan currently faces.
“We were overwhelmed by the nation’s response in the form of generous donations for this national cause and the confidence the nation placed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan”, the CJP said
The chief justice said that at the start of previous judicial year, a total of approximately 37,000 cases were pending adjudication in this court out of which near to 19,000 cases were decided.
“While this year the rate of disposal was higher than the last five years, the number of pending cases nevertheless increased slightly," the CJP said adding that a major contributing factor to the backlog of cases is frivolous litigation.
Furthermore, the CJP said that unnecessary adjournments and customary delay tactics severely hamper the process of clearing the backlog of cases. These menaces, he said, should be seen as nothing less than poison, and should be treated as such: removing it from the body of the Bar and Bench is vital for survival of the justice system.
The chief justice said that the support of the bar for the judiciary has been exemplary in the past year as they extended their cooperation to curb such menaces and their continued support is required. “We must remain hopeful and aim high, resolving that the courts of the country will become symbols of unfettered justice to all our citizens and our lawyer community will become a beacon of hope for them,” the CJP said adding that the common man must not suffer at the hands of the justice system – the very institution from which he seeks justice.
Speaking on the occasion, Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan said that the pendency in various courts is a serious issue, if not resolved it may become impossible to resolve the issue of pendency and would be a cause of severe delays in disposal.
Similarly, he said that the state of Pakistan is faced with burden of incurring financial losses amounting to billions of dollars due to hastily conceived, populist judicial decisions of the past disregarding international laws and norms.
The AG said while discussing the question of delayed justice another question that arises concerns the obsolete police system in place and its complete inability to respond to crimes involving factors such as tribal and feudal pressures and oppression of the socially and economically weaker sections of the society.
He said that the government is cognizant of the poor investigation by the police and will try to better this by training within and by taking help externally. Kamran Murtaza, Vice Chairman Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), and Pir Syed Kalim Ahmad Khurshid, President, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) also spoke on the occasion.