Monday, May 19, 2014

Ex-AG Munir Malik vs Riaz Haq on Ex-CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry of Pakistan

Viewpoint From Overseas team invited former Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and former Attorney General of Pakistan Mr. Munir A. Malik for a conversation at our Silicon Valley studio last week. 

The former chief justice did not respond to our invitation.

We were fortunate to have Mr. Munir Malik visit with us and respond to the questions often asked by people here in the valley. 

L to R: Misbah Azam, Saeed Malik, Riaz Haq, Munir Malik and Faraz Darvesh
The format chosen was essentially a debate format moderated by VPOS host Faraz Darvesh. 

Mr. Malik vigorously defended the lawyers' movement a movement to bring rule-of-law to Pakistan. The former attorney general supported the actions of Mr. Chaudhry before, during and after 
his restoration to the top bench, including Mr. Chaudhry's unprecedented use of suo moto and contempt of court actions. Mr. Malik rejected allegations that Mr. Chaudhry covered up his son Arsalsan Iftikhar's corruption

Riaz Haq responded by pointing out the lawless conduct of lawyers during and after the lawyers' movement. Mr. Haq pointed that Mr. Chaudhry took PCO oaths twice and remained a compliant judge until his support for his son Arsalan Iftikhar's illegal and rapid promotions and conduct were discovered in 2007 and a reference filed against Chief Justice Chaudhry.  The issues of corruption brought out in that reference have remained unresolved mainly due to obstruction of justice by the Chaudhry Court. 

Faraz focused on the following questions: 

How did Mr. Munir Malik start and lead Pakistan lawyers' movement? 

Did Ex-CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry meet lawyers' expectations of him?

Was the effort to restore him worth it? 

 ViewPoint from Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discussed these questions with Pakistan's former attorney general Munir Malik and Riaz Haq (

Here's a video of the Malik-Haq debate:

Ex AG Munir Malik Defends Ex CJ Chaudhry, Lawyers Movement in Pakistan from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Chaudhry Court Scared Away Investors

Chaudhry is No Angel

Vindictive Judges Pursue Musharraf

Is Musharraf's Treason Trial Justified?

Arsalan Iftikhar's Corruption Scandal

Lawless Lawyers of Pakistan

Viewpoint From Overseas Video Collection


Ras said...

The former Chief Justice is not a very articulate person.

He let Munir do all the talking last night too.

Shamshad said...

This is a quality debate but no commercial media ever hire you Riaz Haq sahab.

Tafseer said...

Ex AG Munir Malick has no choice but to support his Boss

Ali C. said...

Not many in the Human Development Fund dinner audience comprehended Bushra Ansari's tongue-in-cheek comment for CJ. She said had she known Iftikhar Chaudhry was going to be there, she would have killed a few people before coming there, knowing that the CJ will set her free.

Riaz Haq said...

Fact Checks on debate:

1. Maulana Aziz of Lal Masjid was in fact bailed out by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

From The Guardian:

Aziz was freed on bail of £1,750 by the supreme court led by the recently reinstated chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry. His release comes at a bad time for the beleaguered civilian government.

2. Pakistan Supreme Court's Justice Jawad Khawaja took cognizance of Article 6 which is clearly forbidden by the Constitution:

“No court shall take cognizance of an offense punishable under this act except upon a complaint in writing made by a person authorized by the Federal Government in this behalf.”

Justice Khawaja issued an order for Musharraf to appear before his bench on April, 2013, well before Munir Malik became Attorney General.

Anonymous said...

Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari
By Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari
May 25, 2014

I recently returned from Istanbul where the streets in Taxim were choked with protesters rallying against the mismanagement of the mining tragedy that killed hundreds in western Turkey. There erupted a Twitter campaign against a person close to the government who was pictured kicking a protester in the head. Twitter, previously banned there, was still accessible, despite this campaign. Turkey has accelerated its economic growth to an extent that it is not comparable to Pakistan’s but its political questions remain somewhat similar, pertaining to: the military’s interventions, bans on social media, obsession with Islam and trying to either keep it out of the state (Turkey) or keep it in (Pakistan).


Pakistan’s relationship with India could enter a new era with the right wing party in power in India. What happened to Ehsan Jafri under Modi’s watch notwithstanding, he is unlikely to face the accusation of appeasing Pakistan by Indian hawks and more likely to extend that hand of friendship to Pakistan. Evidently, he has asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to attend his oath taking. This indicates that his government desires dialogue and movement forward, hopefully resulting in open trade routes.

After Raymond Davis, Salala and Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad hideout being busted, there are fewer things now on the list of US grievances with Pakistan and vice versa, and there is even less frequency. This has direct implications for our economy, which comes first, especially at a time when the volatility of extremist threats attempt to destabilise it. Not only are the Chinese investing over $ 50 billion in energy in Pakistan, they are also partnering on smaller infrastructure projects like the Orange Line. Pakistan has played the right foreign policy cards to have not just a friendly border but to also navigate cautiously given that the rise of China unsettles many nations.

With 60 percent of its poor below the poverty line, it is a blessing that Pakistan is holding off on excessive military spending. It has, in fact, got the lowest military spending in the region at almost $ 5.7 billion. Turkey, by comparison, is $ 19.1 billion, India’s is $ 37.256 billion and China’s is $ 115 billion. If we can keep the war drums away we may be able to appropriate some more from the military to education and health — the greatest of all weapons against external threats.

We do also have much to support our troops for. They have begun an offensive in North Waziristan against the Taliban. They are employing Pakistani-made drone technology as well. After playing the futile game of ‘negotiation, negotiation’, seemingly we have managed to call a spade a spade and launch an attack against those who want to see Pakistan returned to the dark ages. The hope is that this will continue until the hydra-headed monster is eliminated.

Above all, we have continued over the past 10 years to integrate women into the workforce. This over 50 percent increase in the workforce means that over eight million women are now more financially empowered, protected and capable of making decisions that impact their and their children’s wellbeing. This is worth celebrating.

So far, a controversial private television channel has not been banned. Undoubtedly, such an action can only be a nail in the coffin of free speech. Whereas there must be more accountability for the press, the solution is not to bully a group into silence, a group that has played a part in civil society’s vibrancy. There is so much to emulate about Turkey. Let us hope the close ties between the PML-N and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey result in bringing back some of the optimism of the people of Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

QUETTA: The provincial government has appointed Arsalan Iftikhar, son of former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, as vice-chairman of the Balochistan Investment Board.

The Chief Minister’s Finance Adviser Mir Khalid Khan Langove had announced in his budget speech the provincial government’s plan to set up the board headed by Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch.

“Yes, Arsalan Iftikhar has been appointed vice-chairman of the Balochistan Investment Board,” Finance Secretary Mushtaq Ahmed Raisani confirmed to Dawn on Wednesday.

He said it would be an “honorary post without salary and allowances” and the vice chairman would preside over the meetings of the investment board in the absence of the chairman (chief minister).

The board will have 12 members. “The names of other members are likely to be announced soon,” the secretary said.

Riaz Haq said...

Fox guarding the chicken coup? CJ Chaudhry's son Arsalan Iftikhar's appointment as chief of Balochistan investment board means he will be in charge of deciding who gets the licenses to extract vast gold, copper and other mineral deposits of the resource-rich province of Pakistan....what a rip-off...

Riaz Haq said...

Larger bench formed to revisit decision on privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar has formed a nine-member larger bench to take up the matter related to the Supreme Court’s judgment that halted the privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills in 2006.

The bench, to be headed by the chief justice himself, will take up the matter on March 6.

However, it is not yet clear whether the larger bench will revisit the judgment or not.

Other members of the bench are Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah.

Last month, while hearing a case, the chief justice had asked senior lawyer Khalid Anwar about his opinion regarding the Supreme Court’s 2006 judgment that halted the privatisation of the PSM. The counsel had replied that it was a ‘bad’ verdict.

On behalf of one respondent, the counsel had filed a fairly comprehensive review petition but it was dismissed in his absence as he was on general adjournment.

Upon this, the chief justice asked the Registrar Office to place the file of the case before him.

The larger bench will take up plea for the restoration of review petition.

A section of lawyers believes that the judgment on the PSM should be revisited. The country is currently losing billions of rupees due to the Supreme Court’s 2006 ruling.

Last month, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi gave a formal go-ahead for the privatisation of two major yet loss-making entities — Pakistan International Airlines and the Pakistan Steel Mills — apparently on the pretext of ‘restructuring’.

He granted the related approval while presiding over a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) at the Prime Minister’s Office.