Chief Justice at the crossroad
Dr Ghayur Ayub
Speaking in a new talk-show, 'Washington Beat', a well-known journalist spoke about a new scam equalling the mega scandals of recent months. The case refers to the son of the Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan. According to the investigative report, the son of CJP was persuaded to go into a multimillion business deal. He made a profit of around Rs 500 to 600 million from this business. The talk-show pointed to a prominent Pakistani businessman, who has strong links with top civilian and military high-ups, as being instrumental in facilitating this business deal. His intention was to entrap the son of CJP, and through him the Chief Justice, using the scam as a pressure tool.
The supposed scenario goes like this;
- The son of the CJP (who is not a known businessman) was 'helped' by a prominent businessman who involved him in a business deal worth millions of Pak Rupees. The son made a hefty Rs 500 to 600 millions profit in the deal.
- The 'business' soon spiralled up rapidly making his son a multimillionaire in a short span of time.
- Because of this flourishing business, his son and other family members travelled abroad where they lavishly stayed in top hotels and spent extravagantly on 'shopping' etc..
- All these events were secretly recorded in minute details.
- A few well known journalists and top PPP leadership knew about the 'business'
- According to the 'talk show' the 'case' is all complete and ready for publication. It was said that it would be published by a British journalist ,who has an interest in Pak politics, during the recent visit of the Chief Justice to London. But keeping the unpredictable personality of the CJP in mind ( they remember his response to Gen Musharaf's attack and the end result of that attack), they decided to wait for a while. That 'while' is not far off according to the participants of the talk show.
Two important and pertinent questions arise from this scam.
- Firstly, who are the people behind the scam?.
- According to the talk-show, the top leadership of PPP were at the forefront to entrap the CJP and pressurise him to become more lenient (Howlay Haat) in the ongoing cases against them.
- A few top businessmen (one of them , known as the 'king maker' of the country, is extremely close to the presidency and is known to have obliged 'all' the top civilian and military elites of the country)
- Secondly, at what stage did the Chief Justice of Pakistan know about the 'business'?
- Was he in picture when his son was approached for this 'lucrative' business knowing that his son had little acumen for business?
- Who were the family members who were sent abroad for the business deal?
According to the show;
- The CJP knows about the scam now
- He is very annoyed and upset about it
- His son is totally repentant about the business
- He (his son) is willing to be investigated and prepared to go to jail
The Chief Justice of Pakistan is known to have changed after March 13 2007 when he decided to walk to the Supreme Court and face allegations prepared by Gen Musharaf and his team. His maltreatment by the local police and the 'first walk' on that crucial day, led to a movement which is an important chapter of Pakistani history. Keeping his recent bold decisions in mind, which include suo moto actions, will he take an upright and principled decision against his own son and tell the world that he is not going to be bullied by 'Natu Lal Khans' of Pakistan who are trying their best to demean him and the highest judiciary.
Finally, one of the the most disturbing revelations was that the whole scenario could put the life of his son in real danger. It was suggested that he should be given proper protection until the case comes to a conclusive end and facts are revealed, which include the role of those businessmen (or businessman as the case may be) who 'invested' millions of Pak Rupees in the scam as a 'favour to help' him. The Chief Justice of Pakistan seems to be at a crossroad yet again, that can make him fly high with honour or bring him down into abeyance.
Dr Ghayur Ayub (London)