Essay Topic: No national progress possible without a comprehensive justice system in place
- National Progress is not possible without comprehensive justice system
- National Progress
- Role of Justice system in bringing national progress
- Analysis of Justice System in Pakistan: How Justice system contributes to modest national Progress in Pakistan?
- Absence of checks and balance for Legislature and Executive
- Corruption is pervasive because of lack of accountability
- Media: Lack of Freedom of speech
- Democracy derailed due to Inept justice system
- Military courts formed
- Justice not provided in cases of Political killings and Political prisoners
- Inefficient civil justice shrinks economic growth
- Land disputes and Lawlessness in Urban areas of Pakistan
- Tax disputes amassed large revenue
- Commercial disputes take too long to resolve
- Social evils caused because of poor justice system
- Gender equality not achieved
- Alternate justice system like Local Panchayat system which initiate honor killings.
- Poverty proliferation
- Lack of justice for the poor in violence, theft and other cases
- Gender equality not achieved
- Absence of checks and balance for Legislature and Executive
- Can national progress be achieved without effective justice system?
- Economic growth in China and India but both countries have heinous record of human rights violations owing to weak justice system
Table of Contents
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Role of Justice system in bringing national progress
- 3 Analysis of Justice System in Pakistan: How Justice system contributes to modest national Progress in Pakistan?
- 4 Corruption is pervasive because of lack of accountability
- 5 Democracy derailed due to Inept justice system
- 6 Land disputes and Lawlessness in Urban areas of Pakistan
- 7 Social evils caused because of poor justice system
Pakistan’s progress in the region has been slow owing to multitude of political, social and economic factors. The nation’s development has been hampered by failing democracy, economic instability, menace of corruption, lawlessness and pervasive poverty and gender inequality. Although these problems originate from different sources yet they can only be effectually addressed by effective law enforcement. Unless the dismal condition of justice system is not ameliorated national progress cannot be achieved in Pakistan.
Role of Justice system in bringing national progress
According to a research report published in Sussex Institute of development studies “Legal system offers an arena in which people can hold political leaders and public officials to account . . . and resolve conflicts that are individual or collective.” Hence it is the responsibility of the justice system to monitor governmental actions,hold public officials accountable, in addition with providing affordable and timely access to civil and criminal justice. Effective rule of law reduces corruption and protects people from injustices; resulting in an environment favorable to foreign investment,public welfare and protection of fundamental rights of people.
Analysis of Justice System in Pakistan: How Justice system contributes to modest national Progress in Pakistan?
Pakistan remains one of the most lawless countries in the world. According to rule of Law index, published by World Justice Project based on the performance of justice and governance, Pakistan is ranked 106th out of 113 countries mentioned in the report. Even more glaring is the Pakistan’s lowest position in the South Asia; Nepal,India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have all been ranked higher than Pakistan.
Absence of checks and balance for Legislature and Executive
One of the main reasons of this lower ranking is the inefficient performance of Justice System in the political realm. Absence of checks and balances has resulted in derailing of democracy. The Legislature and Executive have widely misused their powers. Lack of judicial accountability has resulted in massive corruption by public officials, curbs on freedom of speech, dominance of military in political affairs and silencing of political opposition.
Corruption is pervasive because of lack of accountability
Corruption in Pakistan is caused by the incompetency of National Accountability Bureau. Bribery and misappropriation of public funds prevails in government offices attributable to failures of accountability. According to corruption perceptive index, which measures public sector corruption, Pakistan is ranked 117th out of 175 countries of the world cataloged in the report. Consequently, the government funding which is allocated for nation’s development are misused by the public officials.
Media: Lack of Freedom of speech
Besides the failure in restraining corruption, the judiciary has failed to safeguard liberty of speech. Contempt of court cases have been leveled against the politicians and media persons who criticized the judge’s for misappropriation. Malik Riaz was jailed because of the accused against former chief justice. Freedom of speech is one of the critical components for the advancement of nation. The criticism on the performance of government officials should be seen as positives for improvement.
Democracy derailed due to Inept justice system
Military courts formed
The ineptitude of anti terrorism courts in providing speedy trials has prompted the establishment of military courts. The resultant empowerment of military outside its power domain has further increased military’s dominance over civilian institutions. Moreover, the military court’s lack of transparency makes the proceedings dubious.
Justice not provided in cases of Political killings and Political prisoners
The legal system has also failed to deliver fair trial in the cases of political killings and prisoners. Under the backing of judiciary, the present government has used coercive means to silence opposition. The massacre of model town and subsequent judicial report epitomizes the corruptness of courts. Similarly, many cases have been registered against political workers in Karachi and Sindh. Opposition renders the diversity of opinion necessary for the establishment of true democracy.
Inefficient civil justice shrinks economic growth
In addition to the political sphere, Pakistan has also faced economic costs because of ineffective civil justice system. The civil courts fail to provide opportune justice in property and tax disputes, and during mediation in commercial disputes. Negligence of judicial process in each case has stymied the economic growth.
Land disputes and Lawlessness in Urban areas of Pakistan
Property disputes have been a major source of lawlessness in Pakistan. Courts take years to resolve land dispute cases. Over the last five years around 2000 FIRs have been registered over land disputes in Islamabad and most of the cases are under trial in the lower court. When people do not get justice through legal means they resort to illegal activities such as kidnapping and murders.Moreover, the rising value of land in urban areas has augmented the crime rate. As a result of the increasing law-breaking, many property investors fear to invest in the real estate sector.
Tax disputes amassed large revenue
Similarly, tax disputes cases have also amassed in the courts resulting in further decrease in revenue.According to Haroon Akhtar Khan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue, disputed tax dues have amounted to around Rs 365 billion. Large amount of cases in court and years of litigation results in stuck revenue and aggrieved taxpayers.
Commercial disputes take too long to resolve
In addition to property and tax disputes, piling of contract obligation cases in courts also constrain business activity. According to an estimate, courts take three years, on average, to resolve a commercial dispute compared with less than half this time in other jurisdictions.
Social evils caused because of poor justice system
Gender equality not achieved
Inadequate access to justice has engendered growth of social evils in Pakistan. Local Jirga in the tribal areas give heinous verdicts of gender violence such as honor killings and gang rapes. Moreover, scantiness of justice for the poor has led to poverty proliferation.
Alternate justice system like Local Panchayat system which initiate honour killings.
In the absence of efficient forums of justice, people rely on alternate justice systems like Local Jirga. These groups of elders often make deplorable judgments which are inequitable and against human rights. One of the prominent cases is of Mukhtaran Mai, who was gang raped as a form of honor revenge, on the orders of the tribal council,in rural areas of Muzzafargarh. The dreadful situation of the Pakistan’s justice system is typified by the fact that the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted 5 of the 6 accused on the basis of insufficient evidence. Owing to large per cent of women population, Pakistan’s economy cannot improve unless significant efforts are made for gender development and equality.
Lack of justice for the poor in violence, theft and other cases
Poverty has advanced in Pakistan because of lack of social and economic justice. The poor do not have the resources and means to access justice. As a result of this, the cases of violence, theft, property are not easily resolved. Therefore the condition of destitution prevails in Pakistan.
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