Politicians and Judges should be wary of red lines
The confrontation between the government and the Supreme Court which has taken a nasty turn must not be prolonged. The government needs to cooperate with the JIT in compliance with the court’s orders while the court should wait for the report of the investigation team and issue a judgment on its basis meanwhile avoiding as far as possible any comments.
The government has been unhappy about the selection of two JIT members accusing one of being a relative of a PTI man and the other of being close to Pervez Musharraf. The court however ruled out debarring any JIT member on the basis of suspicion and in the absence of concrete evidence. Despite the directive PML-N leaders including Maryam Aurangzeb, Daniyal Aziz, and Asif Kirmani kept up the offensive against the members of the investigation team. The speech delivered by Sen. Nihal Hashmi, however, crossed all limits. The highly charged and equally irrational diatribe was not against the appointment of specific persons but against the very enquiry being conducted with dire physical threats to those ordering or conducting the probe. The speech which was altogether unacceptable. What is more it was highly provocative.
The best way for the members of the SC bench was to remain calm and not be provoked. One also expected that the trend among judges to pass remarks during court proceedings which had become common during CJ (rtd) Iftikhar Chaudhry’s tenure had come to an end. This however does not seem to have happened. Had one of the judges restricted himself to the observation that only terrorists and mafia indulge in the killing of the children of their opponents there would have been no controversy. But when going a step further he congratulated the Attorney General for being part of a government which had seemingly joined the Sicilian mafia questions were bound to be asked. The remarks elicited a rebuttal from the government which also took things too far.
It is common for the executive and judiciary to differ. The first must not campaigns against judicial decisions while the judiciary should avoid snide remarks.