On The Side Confessional

Satire: Diary of Jawwad S Khawaja

Published 18 Sep, 2015 10:52am
– Illustration by Sabir Nazar
– Illustration by Sabir Nazar

Honourable judges, venerable lawyers, learned legislators and all the other members of our respected legal fraternity – criminals, tailors, stenographers – it is my great privilege to write about becoming the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

[Side note: was baffled to find out the Pakistan Bar Council is not an association of tavern owners].

As you know and as should be apparent from established practice, not withstanding death or senility – and senility is more damaging to a judge’s abilities than death – chief justices are appointed through seniority. Since my seniority was the most senior among 16 sitting judges, I was nominated by the prime minister to stand up and take the position.

[Was even more disappointed to discover that a sixteen-judge bench is not a piece of furniture].

A week after my nomination, a shabby looking man came to me and said I needed to take oath. I informed the vagabond that I would need the president of Pakistan for that. He smiled and said he was the president of Pakistan.

[So hungry, can’t stop thinking about food. Keeping reading it as ‘corma naan judice’ and ‘malai fide’].

So, I took the oath and made a speech extending maximum courtesy to my predecessor.

I said, and I quote, “the outgoing chief justice’s legal wisdom, juristic acumen and balanced judgments have not only restored social equilibrium and harmony, but also curbed inflation, reduced unemployment and established peace on our borders. His thought-provoking and mind-blowing pronouncements are going to prove a juristic beacon of light, notwithstanding the long hours of load shedding, for all time to come.”

[When I’m sitting at the restaurant and my order arrives. Justice is served].

Now, it has come to my attention that certain miscreants have been making a list of things that are longer than my tenure as the chief justice. Such as Rana Sanaullah’s moustache. Ramzan. Mubashir Luqman’s musical career. Imran Khan’s dharna. Bajrangi Bhaijaan. The queue outside Data Sahib on a Thursday.

The same miscreants also say that I am just looking to increase my retirement benefits. By the power vested in my black robe, I have taken notice of this undue slander. Although, it is true that 24 days is no acceptable duration for a chief justice, it’s not even enough time to have new business cards printed.

[It’s really annoying when your robe gets caught in a doorknob].

This is where the honourable Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry would have taken suo motu notice of the situation and granted himself an extension.

[It has come to my notice, that Hafiz Saeed has successfully submitted a petition at the High Court to ban an Indian movie for portraying him as a terrorist. I suppose that’s why they call it a High Court].

On the subject of slanderous rumours, yes my brother is married to Mir Shakil’s sister. But as far as I am aware, it is as yet, not illegal to be related to anyone. I have exchanged no favours with Mir Shakil. I don’t have my own show on Geo. There is no Khwaja Jawwad Ki Adalat. My appointment as the Chief Justice of Pakistan barely made the tickers. At least ARY mentions me every day.

[It occurs to me that judges aren’t very romantic, we only hold people in contempt].

Let it also be known here that I did not rule in favour of military courts, as established by the 21st amendment. A military judge is no judge at all; the law requires gavels not guns. How would the esteemed military feel if barristers were made Corps Commanders?

All this doctrine of necessity cum expediency cum laude cum sofa and bed, and all this de jure de facto de Villiers. I declare it all ultra vires to the Constitution.

[It has since been pointed out to me by Justice Khosa that while adjudicating on this earth, we must never forget that there is a higher power we will all be answerable to one day, namely the GHQ, so my objections might have been misplaced].

Since civilian administration has proven incompetent at implementing our judgments, I propose that a special legal task force be set up, headed by a baton-wielding Iftikhar Chaudhry, with powers to conduct raids and detain any suspects from a period of three months, to forever.

I don’t want to use a bulletproof car. It is my experience that bulletproof cars only tend to attract heavier ordnance, like bombs.

This journal will now adjourn. Dismissed.

Yours truly, Jawwad S Khawaja

This satirical diary was originally published in Herald's September 2015 issue. To read more, subscribe to Herald in print.