PaK PM Warns Against Unrest Over CJ Row24 April 2010
Muzaffarabad: Prime Minister of Pakistan administered Kashmir, Raja Farooq Haider on Saturday made it clear that the recommendations of Supreme Judicial Council, calling for removal of the non-functional Chief Justice Reaz Akhtar Chaudhry, were binding on the chairman Azad Jammu Kashmir council (Prime Minister of Pakistan) which he should act upon immediately to avoid any unrest in PaK. “Some elements are conspiring to get the recommendations of SJC held in abeyance to create unrest in PaK and achieve political mileage out of it but I am hopeful that Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani will not let the nefarious designs of such elements succeed,” he said while talking to delegations of lawyers from Hattian Bala and Neelum valley. “Even if the SJC report is held in abeyance for one year ultimately the decision will have to be made on the basis of its recommendations,” Haider added, warning that any unconstitutional action could trigger strong reaction in PaK. He said he had made it clear to all concerned that constitutional issues could not be settled through a jirga (informal meeting of elders) but through the process laid down in the constitution. “Any jirga could have been held prior to the filing of reference to the SJC but once the recommendations have been submitted to the chairman AJK council he is left with no option but to implement the same,” he said. The prime minister reiterated that the reference was purely a constitutional matter and the points therein involved subversion and transgression of constitution by the non-functional CJ. The government did not touch any other issues in the reference in spite of information, he said. In a reference to the grievances of President Raja Zulqarnain Khan that his office was “misused,” Haider pointed out that the PaK constitution provided same powers to the acting president as were vested in the permanent president. AJK has a parliamentary form of government where president was bound to act upon the advice of the prime minister, he said. Commenting on media reports that the deposed CJ had filed some recommendations against Justice Manzoor Hussain Gilani and Justice Ghulam Mustafa Mughal to the chairman AJK council, Haider said it carried no legal sanctity. “There cannot be a parallel SJC. Neither the courts can be established in residences or markets. There is only one Supreme Court headed by Justice Gilani (acting) CJ, one High Court headed by Justice Mughal and one SJC. I hope media will not create any confusion in this regard,” he said. The prime minister vowed that he was ready to offer any sacrifice for the supremacy of constitution and law, including the power in Muzaffarabad, and would not compromise on the integrity and identity of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. “I have fulfilled my duty and now it is up to the lawyers and civil society to take this issue to its logical end,” he said. He appreciated the passage of 18th amendment in Pakistan and expressed the hope that much needed amendments in the PaK’s interim constitution will also be effected at the earliest.