'Pakistan being destroyed': Supreme Court Justice rues over sorry state of democracy

WION Web Team
Islamabad Updated: Feb 05, 2021, 06:50 PM IST

Qazi Faez Isa and Supreme Court of Pakistan. Picture courtesy: Supreme Court of Pakistan and ANI Photograph:(Others)

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Punjab province's government had 'killed' democracy by dissolving the local government before the expiry of its term

In a striking revelation, Pakistan’s Supreme Court Justice Qazi Feez Isa has claimed the country is being destroyed in a systematic manner. The judge has lashed out at the government over the state of democracy, media freedom and governance while hearing on a matter related to local government election in the Supreme Court. 

Isa said Punjab province's government had 'killed' democracy by dissolving the local government before the expiry of its term, Geo News reported. 

In 2019, the Punjab province government dissolved the local bodies system. While inquiring about the reason for the move, Isa said, "Local governments were dissolved in the martial law era, but it is unheard of in a democracy."  

Justice asked if Punjab was in the mood to abolish the system of local governments altogether. To this, the Punjab additional advocate-general said a new law had been made for local governments in the province. 

Confirming the clear violation of the Constitution in the dissolution of the local government by the Punjab province government, Justice Isa added, like this, Punjab can continue dissolving local governments till a government of its choice comes along. If the democracy is lost, half the country will be gone, he warned.  

"Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) says there will be huge cost of Rs 18 billion on local bodies elections," Justice Isa remarked. "Yet huge development funds are being released for politicians." The senior judge also made strong statements over the state of media freedom in Pakistan. 

He said he won't shy away from saying the media is not free and it is being controlled, with real journalists being thrown out of the country. Pakistan, he said, is being destroyed in a systematic manner. He said when media is destroyed, a country is destroyed. "Tell me. Is media free in Pakistan?", Justice Isa asked attorney-general Khalid Javed Khan.