Supreme Court judge Justice Qazi Faez Essa said on Friday that treachery with the Constitution was an action that would be punished in this world and the hereafter. Addressing a conference on “Fundamental rights and the constitution” organised by the Islamabad High Court Bar Association, Justice Essa said that a violation of the Constitution would fall into the category of treason. “Betrayal of the Constitution will be punished not only in this world but also in the hereafter,” he said, adding that without the Constitution, the federation would break up and the state or concept of being Pakistani would also come to an end. “Protecting the Constitution is obligatory upon every Pakistani, so protect it.
“Our Constitution is based on the fact that the authority of the whole world belongs to Allah,” said Justice Essa. “The Constitution of Pakistan and Islam go hand-in-hand.” He said that almost 50 years had passed since the Constitution was enacted and the Quaid-i-Azam himself had called for it to be democratic and based on Islamic laws. “Quaid-i-Azam said that all are equal in Islam and justice should prevail.” Justice Essa stated that the Constitution provided protection to every citizen regardless of religion and it was the duty of a Muslim to provide justice to minorities.
“The flag of the Muslim League was green with the moon and stars on it but there is also a white stripe in the flag of Pakistan. The white colour in the flag of Pakistan represents minorities.” “The Constitution says minorities will be given full opportunities,” he said, adding that the Holy Quran did not allow for free individuals to be enslaved and Islam did not give permission for forced labour. Rather, Justice Essa said, Islam placed a special emphasis on the protection of workers and their rights including early and timely compensation for their work.
“There are also many verses (of the Holy Quran) and Hadith regarding the privacy of the home. Suspicion should be avoided and you should not engage in jealousy and hatred with one another,” he said, adding that no one should be forcibly deprived of their property. “The Constitution prohibits various aspects of discrimination and provides protection. Islam has also taught Muslims collectivism.” Justice Essa lamented that individuals had repeatedly ignored and cast the Constitution aside while “we’re left telling them that this is not the case”. “People’s lust rejected the Constitution and the defenders of the Constitution broke their oath.”
“The Islamic system has arrived, we just need to act on it. The first command of God for Muslims is to acquire knowledge,” said Justice Essa, while questioning why the literacy rate in Pakistan was not 100 per cent when even not bringing up the example of the West it was 100pc in Sri Lanka. “Learning [is achieved] by only the one who always considers themselves a student,” he said, noting that people had neither bothered to learn about the Constitution nor even read its translation. Justice Essa said that he didn’t think the Constitution was taught in any school of Pakistan whereas American students were taught their constitution from an early age so they could know about it. “It is very important to read the Constitution because only by reading it will we know how Pakistan came into being.”