The country is being destroyed in a systematic manner, Justice Qazi Faez Isa made these remarks during a Supreme Court hearing on local government elections on Thursday.
The senior judge stated that when it comes to holding local body polls, the provinces start counting off their problems instead of fulfilling their constitutional duty.
Punjab had “killed” democracy by dissolving the local government even before the expiry of its term.
Justice Isa inquired why that was done.
“Local governments were dissolved in the martial law era, but it is unheard of in a democracy,” the judge said.
The Punjab government has clearly violated the Constitution, by dissolving the local government. Justice Isa, added that, like this, Punjab can continue dissolving local governments till a government of its choice comes along.
If democracy is lost, half the country will be gone, he warned.
“ECP says there will be huge cost of Rs18 billion on local bodies’ elections,” Justice Isa remarked. “Yet huge development funds are being released for parliamentarians none other than by PM Imran Khan before Senate Elections.”
Justice Isa asked Attorney-General Khalid Javed Khan, “Tell me. Is media free in Pakistan?”
The attorney-general requested the judge to give an option of answering other than a “yes” or “no”, to which Justice Isa offered that a referendum should be held with the media persons present in the court room.
He said the media in the court should raise their hands if they think the media is free.
When no journalist raised their hand, the judge asked the journalists to raise their hand if they think there was freedom of press in the country.
Yet again, no journalist raised their hand.
The senior judge gave the analogy of a plant, asking if a seed planted in the morning ought to be uprooted in the evening just to see how strong its roots have become.
Justice Maqbool Baqir, another member of the SC bench hearing the case, said judges should ideally avoid such comments, but what can be done when the country itself is not in an ideal situation.
“How long can judges remain silent?” Justice Baqir asked.
Justice Isa said every opposition leader is being described as a traitor and every supporter of the government is being described as a patriot.
The top court judge said those who have deprived the media of its freedoms must go to jail.