Khurshid Khan’s dismissal was uncalled for
It seems that trouble just won’t stop following Khurshid Khan, till recently one of Pakistan’s top law officers. After having been issued a show-cause notice by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for polishing shoes, sweeping floors and washing dishes outside several places of worship on a recent trip to India in a bid to promote interfaith harmony, he has now been relieved of his duties as the country’s deputy attorney general (DAG).
The premier bar association’s show-cause notice had been prompted by the so-called affront that Khan’s actions had caused to Pakistan’s honour, notwithstanding the fact that what the former DAG had done in India was entirely his own business and in no way harmed the country’s prestige.
At least, the SCBA gave reasons for its uncalled for action, which was thankfully withdrawn after harsh criticism from some liberal lawyers. But what exactly prompted the government to relieve Khan of his duties remains unexplained.
According to the attorney general of Pakistan, the post of DAG is not a permanent one and is only assigned for a period of three years. Even so, the fact remains that Khan had not completed his three-year tenure in the position. The lack of any reason given for this action highlights the absence of any procedures, rules and regulations followed in the matter. This, ironically, for a position and a ministry whose job it is to uphold the rule of law in the country.
It seems that Khan may have become another victim of the narrow sense of morality that many on the right-wing possess. If the former DAG’s acts of kindness and humility are indeed responsible for his dismissal, then this decision deserves our contempt and condemnation.
On the other hand, there is also reason to believe that the former DAG may have been ousted because of his dogged pursuit of a corruption case against activists of one of the parties that forms the ruling coalition. In either case, the fact remains that Khan was ousted in an uncalled for manner.
The government needs to explain the reasons for his dismissal forthwith and reverse its decision if the intentions behind it are mala fide.
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