JERUSALEM: Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani virtually addressed a conference in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, sharing tales of the supreme court’s resistance against former president Pervez Musharraf.
The former Chief Justice of Pakistan cautioned the Israeli audience at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem about the paramount importance of fighting for judicial independence. Jillani shared his story to the Independent Conference on Judicial Independence, but with his own insider personal commentary, about how he and other Pakistani judges helped to thwart then-Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf’s attempt to essentially cancel the judicial branch. The three-day conference ending Thursday last.
Responding to pressure to delay a ruling shortly after a group of lawyers were bombed at an Islamabad rally and when he knew the decision would risk Musharraf’s ire, he said, “Let them blast the court – we’ll announce the judgment on the street and on Constitution Avenue.”
The hook which connected Jillani’s judicial independence story to Israel and the conference was Hebrew University Prof Shimon Shetreet, who is also the president of the International Association of Judicial Independence and World Peace. The former Pakistani chief justice recalled how a lawyer for Musharraf had misquoted a line from a book by Shetreet out of context, but refused to share the original copy of the book with him to check the full passage. Jillani was eventually able to get a copy of the book to check the context – which Shetreet himself sent by courier, since it was generally out of print.