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A homeopathic APC

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19.09.2020

As a precursor to the opposition parties’ APC (All Parties Conference) being held today, the country’s lawyers held their own APC on Thursday, sponsored by the PBC (Pakistan Bar Council). The resolutions adopted at the meeting were highly critical of government policies in relation to freedom of expression and media, the one-sided accountability process and the military’s increasing role in governance.

Unsurprisingly, the lawyers moot came out hard on the issue of the independence superior judiciary demanding repeal of the 19th amendment to the constitution. The amendment gives the superior judiciary leading role in the appointment of judges of the higher judiciary. This is implicitly a vote of no confidence on the impartiality and independence of the superior judiciary.

This is a far cry from the 2007 Lawyers’ successful movement for a free judiciary spearheaded by the then CJP justice Iftikhar Choudhry and different lawyers’ bodies. That rare form unity resulted in the ouster of dictator Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

But soon the revolution started souring. In the past two years a zero-tolerance policy towards dissent has been streamlined by design. Resultantly, barring a few exceptions, space for independent discourse has vastly shrunk.

It is a conundrum for Khan. If he blocks Sharif it will provide grist to the opposition’s propaganda mills exposing the PTI’s already badly tarnished democratic........

© Pakistan Today


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