Human rights advocate Asma Jahangir, dubbed “Little Heroine” after demonstrating against Zia-ul-Haq’s religious laws in 1982, defines the modern face of Pakistan. She was president of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan, has chaired the Pakistan Human Rights Commission, and has won international awards for defending the rights of women, children and minorities. Excerpts from an interview with Bharat Bhushan:
Have the judiciary and the bar become the Opposition in Pakistan?
The Supreme Court certainly, but the bar is divided. The SC, however, plays the bar: half the seats in various high courts are vacant and for every seat, around 20 lawyers have been promised consideration. Lawyers demonstrating support for the court are given relief. However, the leadership of the various bar associations and councils are critical of the court.
How do you see the judiciary-PPP government confrontation playing out?
The confrontation is not...