26 November, 2020

"Minutes Later, The Police Had Surrounded My House"

Pakistan's civil society has emerged stronger from the Emergency's maelstrom

illustration by Sorit
"Minutes Later, The Police Had Surrounded My House"
The reinstatement of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry, by the Supreme Court on July 20 was an unbelievable relief. It was too good to be true. Government spokespersons reassured the nation that the government had accepted the decision of the Supreme Court in good grace. This was out of character therefore; many of us anticipated trouble ahead. Signs of trouble appeared with some ministers challenging the wisdom of the Supreme Court in interfering with the work of the executive. The judgements of the superior courts were flouted. There were signs that the confrontation between the government and judiciary was drawing closer. Despite the Supreme Court's instructions to the government to allow former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to return to Pakistan unhindered, he was deported to Saudi Arabia. Battlelines were drawn.

The unease over the government-judiciary tussle increased as November 15 drew closer. Musharraf had given an undertaking to the nation during a hearing in the Supreme Court that he would give up the office of army...


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