Independence of judiciary in AJK demanded

15 June 2008
The News International

Islamabad: The Parade Avenue, on the wee hours on Saturday, also echoed with the slogans of independence of judiciary in Azad Jummu and Kashmir (AJK) as well. While the mob of hundreds of thousands of people was demanding the restoration of the deposed judiciary sacked by General (R) Pervez Musharraf, Muhammad Ibrahim Zia the vice-chairman of AJK Bar Council on behalf of the legal fraternity of AJK addressed the charged mob and demanded from the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, to re-check the seniority of the judges of the superior court of AJK where the slot of chief justice was allegedly hijacked by a junior judge on the order of Pervez Musharraf. He said the prime minister of Pakistan was the chairman of AJK Council, the upper house of AJK legislature, and the whole AJK looks towards Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani to settle the seniority issue of AJK superior judiciary as PPP had also condemned the appointment of Justice Riaz Akhtar Chaudhry as chief justice. Ibrahim Zia mentioned that the judicial crisis in Pakistan was created by Pervez Musharraf and a similar crisis was also created in Azad Kashmir by him (Musharraf). The lawyers of AJK not only demand the restoration of judiciary in Pakistan but also want an independent judiciary in AJK as well, said the vice-chairman AJK Bar Council while addressing the participants of the long march adding, Pervez Musharraf has tried to hijack the superior judiciaries of both; Pakistan and AJK. He said that like the lawyers of Pakistan the legal fraternity also protested the controversial appointment of the AJK chief justice and also challenged the appointment in the High Court through a writ petition but the High Court was raided on the order of the chief justice and a judge of the Supreme Court, in connivance with the IGP, and the writ petition was confiscated. It was Justice Manzoor Hussain Gillanis right to become the chief justice and he would retire after two years but the incumbent chief justice is so powerful that the government in the AJK and the president of Pakistan are happy with him therefore he is chief justice of AJK, said the lawyer representing the AJK lawyer fraternity. Ibrahim said the judges of high court appointed on the recommendations of the incumbent chief justice of AJK could not write the judgments of the cases being heard by them and the chief justice Riaz Akhtar Chaudhry does not write the judgments for six months for no reason and then orders the attorneys that the case would be heard again.