ISLAMABAD: Outgoing Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Asif Saeed Khosa on Monday said that the protection of the citizens the core responsibility of the state.
The chief justice made the comments at a farewell lunch organised by the Police Reforms Committee of the Law and Justice Commission at the National Police Academy in Islamabad.
The top judge lamented the failure of successive governments and in introducing much-needed police reforms and properly implementing the National Action Plan (NAP).
“December 16 reminds us of two unfortunate incidents: the fall of Dhaka and the attack on Army Public School in Peshawar. Both incidents have taught us profound lessons,” he said.
He explained how the debacle in former East Pakistan proved the importance of the state honouring its social contract with citizens.
“When the state starts ignoring the fundamental rights of its citizens, that contract is broken. This is what happened when Bangladesh came into being,” said Justice Khosa.
“A mechanism to maintain the social contract is provided in the constitution – the rule of law. That is why it is imperative for the state to ensure the fundamental rights guaranteed to its citizens.”
“Unfortunately, a perception was created in Pakistan that the police infringes on the rights of citizens rather than protecting them.”
On the APS attack, Justice Khosa said it shocked the nation and forced Pakistan to “reconsider our approach to deal with terrorism”.
“We said enough is enough. The National Action Plan was formulated and the entire nation supported it. While the judiciary has taken a number of steps to implement NAP, nothing significant has been done by the government in this regard.”
Earlier, CJP-designate Justice Gulzar Ahmad promised to continue Justice Khosa’s mission to improve Pakistan’s judicial and police systems. “It is unfortunate to hear people say the institution of police has become redundant. I believe they should have the capacity to provide security.”