Can the Jadoogar do any more tricks for Musharraf?

By Usman Manzoor

ISLAMABAD: Fearing possible impeachment, the presidency has once again started consulting its legal aides, including Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, the constitutional guru with specialty in supporting military dictatorship. Pirzada has also been the architect of almost every PCO promulgated by dictators in the past.

Mostly known as Jadoogar of Jeddah (magician of Jeddah) and attributed with a phrase: “He can play any game with the rules that he makes most of the time.”

Sharifuddin Pirzada has been part and parcel of every military dictatorship in Pakistan. Now 85, the influential Pirzada fixed things when military rulers took over Pakistan, scripted temporary charters and new oaths of office as the Constitution was shredded and judges dismissed.

One of the most respected legal minds of Pakistan, Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmad, while explaining Pirzada’s role in the history of Pakistan, said if a list of people who had harmed Pakistan the most was compiled, Pirzada would be on the top, as a civilian and on the second number behind Ayub Khan among the military dictators and civilians.

“Ayub Khan looted Pakistan for about 20 years, but Pirzada has been damaging Pakistan since the last 45 years and it has been his habit to help the military dictators carve their way of long rule,” said the retired judge, adding: “Pirzada was made attorney general of Pakistan in 1964 and since then he has never worked for democracy and has never served Pakistan.”

The retired judge was of the view that people like Pirzada should be socially boycotted and taught a lesson for what they had been doing with the nation. He said Sharifuddin Pirzada was among those who, instead of helping the crew, helped in sinking the ship.

The political history of Pakistan reveals what Pirzada has been carving since 1960. “Had there been no Sharifuddin Pirzada, there would have been a smooth political system in Pakistan.”

Justice Wajihuddin continued: “This lawyer has been at the heart of every political upheaval in Pakistan that one tends to get numbed with the thought as to what extent this guy could actually go masterminding the rape of the same Constitution which he at one time upheld.” He said Sharifuddin Pirzada had been using carrot and stick policy with the judges, saying, “Give a favourable decision otherwise go home as we have sent many others.”

Justice Wajihuddin said: “The judges who did not listen to Pirzada were sent packing, as I was sent home for not following his directives.”

Meanwhile, talking to The News Justice (retd) Tariq Mahmood said Sharifuddin Pirzada was not a constitutional expert but was, in fact, an expert on military dictatorships.

“Those young lawyers who did not know the exact spellings of Constitution but were sacrificing for the supremacy of the Constitution were far better than Sharifuddin Pirzada because he only damaged Pakistan and did nothing else,” said the retired judge. The government should compile the history of Pakistan since 1947 and expose the people who have been destroying Pakistan. “Sharifuddin Pirzada would lead all those who did disservice to the nation,” he opined.

Justice Tariq Mahmood said Pirzada delivered long speeches on the issues of fundamental rights, while representing individuals but had never recognised that the fundamental rights of the whole nation were held in abeyance every time he formulated the draft of a PCO.

He said: “Pirzada says he was just a lawyer and rendered service to whosoever needed him, but we have seen that he is hired every time when there is a military dictator in the country.”

The lawyers’ leader said Pirzada had been serving the military dictatorship and should not only be boycotted socially but also exposed to the whole nation. He said now that the whole nation wanted Musharraf to go, Pirzada had reached the Presidency to render his peculiar services.

One of the top legal aides of Musharraf told The News on condition of anonymity that he had told Musharraf not to impose emergency as it would shake the foundations of Pakistan but Musharraf wanted to save his presidency and, therefore, he acted on Pirzada’s advice and imposed emergency.

The legal aide further said that Pirzada had told the president to use Article 270 AAA to validate all the unconstitutional steps of November 3, 2007, and not to wait for the approval of the new assembly.

Source: The News, 10/8/2008

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