Struggle For Rule Of Law

(Aasif Ali Bashir, Lahore)

I salute lawyer’s community for their role in the restoration of rule of law and democracy. Indeed, during the long dark nights of tyranny, these are the efforts of the legal community which illuminated the path to rule of law and democracy. The relentless struggle against autocracy and suppression in which the advocate participated, hundreds were arrested, many tortured as an exemplary precedent for the rest of society. But it was not only during the recent Democratic Martial Law period when law yet played a historic role. Indeed, if we look at our history, lawyers have played a vanguard role in the struggle not only for the restoration of democracy but in the struggle against the colonialism for the founding of a Muslim state based on parliamentary democracy and constitutional rule. Advocates have always helped carry high the banner of upholding the rule of law and striving for those fundamental rights that constitute a civilized society.

In any civilized society, members of legal profession are most respected and held in high esteem. This is because they are the custodians of the rights and the liberties of individuals. These are the ones who are the protectors of the ones who are the protectors of the weak from the strong. Rule of law is the corner-stone of a civilized society because it aims at striking a balance between humans in their interactions with one another. Indeed, it is the rule of law which distinguishes a society of humans from a society of animals. Without the elements of justice and rule of law, this disappears and the society no longer remains a truly human society.

The lawyer has struggled for the rights of a common man. Every citizen has the right to life, liberty and security of person. Every citizen has the right to work and employment. Every citizen has the right to freedom and expression, the right to form associations, to participate in the government of the country directly and through freely chosen representatives.

All are the equal before the law and entitled without discrimination to equal protection by the law. These all the constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Judiciary is the custodian of constitution. The main focus of lawyer’s struggle was to restoration of judiciary as well as the constitution.

What is constitutionalism after all? It means an order based on and in accordance with laws, with exercise of power limited by law. It does not mean a society where you bring martial law regulation every day and change the law of yesterday. It does not mean that if a law does not suit you, you change it. The constitution has become a malleable object, treated with callous sacred to suit the interests of a self- perpetuating dictatorship. Although the concept of justice is central to all human societies, it has unique statues in an Islamic Country.

The lawyer’s struggle has resulted in successful struggle to awake the native of this country. Independent judiciary now can build self-confidence and unity needed to build institutions. The economy needs reveal, nation unity and the people is élan need a revival through out nation and a strengthen federation. Strong and independent judiciary now can build a dynamic and vibrant Pakistan to take it into 21st century, a Pakistan based on justice and equity, a Pakistan in which all citizens can take pride, a Pakistan that can take its rightful place in the Muslim world and the International Community.

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