Why we need an independent judiciary
April 5th, 2008 by Shakir Lakhani

When Britain was being bombed by the Germans in the Second World War, Churchill was told about the death and destruction and how almost all economic activity had collapsed. Churchill asked, “Are the Courts functioning?” When told that the judges were present in the courts, dispensing justice, Churchill replied, “Thank God. If the Courts are working, nothing can go wrong.” This was the view of one of the greatest men Britain has produced.

In Pakistan, of course, only the courts are paralyzed, while everything else is working. And to our eternal shame, although our Constitution stipulates an independent judiciary, our government is bent upon ensuring that our judges always live in a climate of fear. We need independent, fearless judges who will not be afraid to rule against the establishment, who will prevent the selling of our precious assets at throwaway prices and who will make sure that the police and agencies don’t pick up and kill whoever they want. An independent judiciary will help me when my rights are violated. But the establishment has everything to fear from an independent judiciary, since it wants to perpetuate its rule and cannot tolerate any opposition. The sooner the deposed judges are restored, the better it is for the country.