Had he been a Pakistani citizen, Justice Markandey Katju would have faced Article 6 of the constitution for sedition because what he has written about Pakistan and its Founding Father Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah amounts to treason. His being a foreigner and outside the jurisdiction of local laws, has proved his saving grace. However, after his retirement from his position as an honourable judge in the highly respected Indian judiciary, Justice Katju should not have assumed the role of a citizen free to abuse the freedom of speech like Bal Thakarey who abuses Pakistan and indulges in character assassination of Pakistani leadership as an article of faith.

Justice Katju, according to his statement, is Chairman of the Press Council of India and former judge of the Supreme Court. The institutions to which he belongs cannot escape responsibility for his utterances and keep their eyes closed to the mischief he is creating between the two independent sovereign states which are also members of SAARC and the UN. The sovereignty of Pakistan, which at present happens to be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, is being questioned. Mr Katju has involved not only the Press Council of India as its chairman but also the UN Security Council with regard to the independent and sovereign status of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

In an article under the title of “The truth about Pakistan” published in The Nation on March 2, 2013, Mr Katju states “I do not believe that there are two nations, there is only one nation, that is India, and Pakistan is part of India. Pakistan was created in pursuance of the wicked British policy of divide and rule and the bogus Two Nation Theory”. The British government has thus been blamed for creating Pakistan through its wicked policy. The Press Council of India should explain whether it owns the statement of its Chairman about Pakistan and its Founder Quaid-i- Azam. The government of India cannot keep its eyes closed to the wild statement of the Chairman of the Press Council of India on vital issues of foreign policy challenging the very basis of the creation of Pakistan i.e. the Two Nation Theory. Similarly, the UN Security Council should take notice of the statement of a judge of the Supreme Court of India. I for one do not take Mr Justice Markandey Katju’s statements as just an unguarded outburst. I regard his article as a “bomb blast” designed to destabilize Pakistan at this critical juncture when it is beset with various internal and external challenges. To quote Mr Katju again about his deep concern over the internal situation in Pakistan, “According to reports, Pakistani cities Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar, etc. are rapidly becoming killing fields, with bomb blasts and gun firing a regular occurrence, and ethnic violence between Sunnis and Shias, and persecution of minorities escalating. Nobody knows that when he steps out into the streets of these cities whether or not he will return alive. A beautiful metropolitan city like Karachi is becoming, if it has not already become, a Jurassic Park”. Do I have to tell a retired Judge of Supreme Court of India that his statement is a brazen interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign State?

Many blame India for the above sad state of affairs in Pakistan. The Pakistan foreign office and press representatives bodies, CPNE and APNS, should give a suitable rejoinder to the Indian Press Council and its Chairman.

The space does not allow the narration of the sad saga of dissensions and revolts in a number of states of India that should make a self-respecting Indian hang his head in shame rather than lecture others on democracy and peace. The Indian occupied part of Kashmir is a classic example where brutal suppression is being exercised against the legitimate freedom fighters and independent observers are not allowed to visit. My comment: “Physian, heal thyself.”

The writer is president of the Pakistan National Forum.  Email: ikramullahkhan1@yahoo.com