The whole Pakistani nation is jubilant over the announcement by the Prime Minister of the reinstatement of the judges. But our memories are short. Let us look at the following facts:
In January 2000, Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, then a serving judge on the Balochistan High Court (BHC), was one of the first judges to take the oath on the PCO. This allowed him to be elevated to the Supreme Court to fill one of the vacancies left by the 11 judges who had resigned in protest at taking this oath.
On May 13, 2000, Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was one of the 12 Supreme Court judges who validated the military coup of Gen Pervez Musharraf. They ruled that the removal of the elected government of Nawaz Sharif was legal on the basis of the ‘doctrine of necessity’.
In June 2001, Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was one of two judges who visited the President House to convince the then President Rafiq Tarrar to resign, and make way for Gen Pervez Musharraf to assume that office.
On April 13, 2005 in the ‘Judgment on 17th Amendment and President’s Uniform Case’, Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was one of five Supreme Court judges who dismissed all petitions challenging President Musharraf’s consistitutional amendments.
In a wide ranging judgment they declared that the Legal Framework Order (LFO) instituted by Gen Musharraf after his suspension of the Constitution, the 17th Amendment which gave this constitutional backing, and the two offices bill which allowed Musharraf to retain his military uniform whilst being President were all legal.