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Justice Iftikhar played like Afridi, not Tendulkar: Aitzaz

12 December, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Senior leader of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Aitzaz Ahsan has said that Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry played his innings like Shahid Afridi, not like Sachin Tendulkar.

Talking to a private TV channel on Wednesday, he said, "Iftikhar Chaudhry did politics and he wants to be a politician," he added. He said that the chief justice might not have been expecting such a reaction over permitting only one private TV channel to cover the full court reference. "Discrimination was just a no ball from the Supreme Court's side," Aitzaz Ahsan said. He maintained that the CJP committed a fatal mistake in the end and he did not leave as Tendulkar, "he just played like Afridi".

Meanwhile, Supreme Court Bar Association's (SCBA) former president Ali Ahmad Kurd has said that the common man campaigned for two years to restore judiciary, but Iftikhar Chaudhry did not look back upon them after his reinstatement. Talking to a private TV channel, Kurd said that history will not remember Iftikhar Chaudhry as a successful judge. "Restoration of Iftikhar Chaudhry was a God-gifted thing and it was presented to him in a gold plate, but he kept that reward aside."

Kurd added that if the chief justice had issued directives for coverage of full court's reference to only one channel then it was a blunder. "The chief justice was restored due to media and if media had not take a stand he could not have been restored," he added. Another former president of SCBA, Asma Jahangir said that the legal fraternity wants a "constitutional and legal chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) rather than a political one".

She told a private TV channel on Wednesday that the CJP should "stop the role of a dramatist now" and it would be the biggest challenge for him in future. "If he fails to entertain media, the media would feel cheated and if he does it he would be inviting the wrath of bar associations," she added. The former SCBA president said that it is a testing time for the coming judges so they should maintain a jirga system. "If judges said, 'we are law' it would be more terrible," she warned. Asma also appealed to media to come forward by forgetting all unpleasant memories of the past.

Ahmad Raza Qasuri, legal counsel of Pervez Musharraf, has said that Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry would be remembered as a controversial personality. He said that Iftikhar Chaudhry established the tradition of speaking rather than issuing verdicts, while it has always been said that judges do not speak their decisions, he added. Qasuri disclosed that many controversial verdicts had been issued during his term and particular people have been promoted.

In 2007, Justice Chaudhry rose to prominence when he increasingly questioned attempts by then-president, Pervez Musharraf, to cling to power. The military ruler asked the judge to step down. Chaudhry refused. Musharraf later fired him and hundreds of other judges by imposing a state of emergency.


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