On the judiciary and the economy

On the judiciary and the economy
The judiciary is looking over different aspects of the Constitutional framework in a manner that is creating more space for a de facto set-up in negation of de jure and is making the state dysfunctional for the very purposes this Constitution was created.

A bare reading and even deep analysis of the Constitution does not yield an understanding that favours any act that takes the State further away from its aim of democracy, rule of law, protection of human rights, justice, equality and respect. These aims are not merely theoretical or ideological foundations but an observance of these values ensures the accomplishment of a state that will perhaps be liveable for its people.

The current scenario in which the judiciary is taken with a particular kind of justice in which it finds more and more culprits in the same category will ultimately lead to political chaos. This will give more power to non-political entities that by default take decisions from their own point of view without considering those of others.

Political parties, who in the eyes of the public became victims of that justice, will benefit for being held accountable in a manner that at least in the judicial history of Pakistan has harmed the very foundations that empower the judiciary. By simply adhering to constitutional norms that are prevalent around the world a system can offer in justice, equality before law, impartiality and a state that is favorable to every citizen. A Pakistan that is represented by statesmen who are loved by their people and have their confidence will gain more respect internationally. That will create numerous economic benefits and a sense of security.

Restraint and logic in the exercise of power will create a pattern that adheres to the principles of natural justice and abusers shall find it hard to violate it. Thousands of cases are pending in courts throughout Pakistan and sporadic allegations of corruption do surface and sometimes action is taken.

The training of judges on a regular basis is still a distant dream and there is no policy to make it happen. No one disagrees that health and education need special attention but so does the judicial system and no one is there to correct it. Legal matters have great social repercussions.

Change in international politics with the emergence of new stakeholders in the region makes Pakistan’s economic and security concerns shift from a security narrative to an economic one. This shift requires policies, minds, specialists and economists who can turn our direction from that of a security state to an economic one that will be investment friendly and will be deeply concerned for its citizens’ prosperity and rise in living standards. It is here that the role of the judiciary comes in, as there are examples around the world where decisions are made keeping in view economic policies.

The judiciary should not show a soft corner to any elements who are or were involved in a self-proclaimed holy war and more emphasis should be placed on curbing such elements from society. And a legal jurisprudence that is business-friendly and based on concrete economic principles is the need of the hour. This is something which is neglected.

Pakistan will suffer at the hand of these decisions, which are prone to political chaos and discrimination and will keep us away from economic opportunities, which are at our doorstep. That will result in a weak state which will not be equipped to protect its economic interest. A drained state will not be acceptable to many in our region and responsibility this time will be on our judiciary, who are well-equipped to concentrate on jurisprudence which is very much in line with current economic principles.

Our judiciary has to end its backlog and focus on the dispensation of justice to people. It should concentrate on forming an institution which is efficient and unbiased in every respect. It must emerge as business-friendly and keen to adapt to changes happening in our region and around the world. It is time to shift our concentration from political-oriented policies to people-oriented policies that will ensure justice, the protection of human rights, economic prosperity, equality before law and access to basic facilities, democracy and respect internationally.