Saturday, May 12, 2007

How the U.S. Attorney Purges and Pakistani Judge Firings Are Similar

A controversial leader is coming under fire for the dismissal of one of his legal representatives. Critics say he did it for political reasons. No, this post isn’t about the U.S. attorney purge scandal; it’s about the suspension of Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

From Wikipedia:

Justice Chaudhry was summoned by the President General Pervez Musharraf at his Army residence in Rawalpindi on Friday, 9 March 2007 and asked to explain his position on a list of charges brought against him from several quarters. He was then asked to resign, something which Justice Chaudhry refused to do and was hence forth detained for about five hours while arrangements were made elsewhere in Islamabad for speedy appointment of the Acting-Chief Justice. According to further reports he was only allowed to leave when the Acting-Chief Justice had taken oath of office and proceedings of the Supreme Judicial Council had begun. According to legal analysts, the procedure adopted by the President is not only unjust and inappropriate but also unconstitutional and therefore illegal.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? In the U.S. it wasn’t legal of course, but there are many similarities. Mr. Chaudhry had some high profile cases coming up this year, two of which involved President Musharraf:

• The case on whether or not the President Pervez Musharraf could run the election for the next Presidency term.
• The Uniform Issue of President Pervez Musharraf.

What Has To Be Done

In both these instances, people complained. In both the U.S. and Pakistan, each President made a mistake. To make up for this, all attorneys or judges involved should be fully reinstated.