The following is an interview with Muneer A Malik, by Hissaan, a student of LUMS. It was taken before he was shifted to Karachi.
1. How are you feeling Sir?
I think I’ve turned the corner. My kidneys have started to function and I’m off dialysis. Tomorrow (
2. I know that you have been asked this question a number of times, but now with the student community and other members of the civil society also joining you, let’s clarify any ambiguities and set the record straight. What are the aims of the lawyers mov’t?
We wanted to bring apart from lawyers other segments of the society like students, doctors, teachers and other professionals together. We looked for the largest common denominator and then decided that there are three aims of this movement and we are clear on this from the beginning. Rule of law,
3. At this present moment, I would ask what do you think this movement has achieved and what more is in the agenda?
We have managed to make 2 irreversible changes in the country. Number one, we have made the meaning of justice clear. We have shown that judiciary is a not a pawn to be used by the establishment for reaching their nefarious goals, a practice inherited from our colonial masters. With this we have changed minds forever - Minds of both the judiciary and the people. This is reflected by the pro-activity of the judiciary which is unprecedented in the history of the country! It is the first time that a majority of the judiciary has refused to do bow down to the rule of the army boot. We have supported the judiciary in their endeavor to find their rightful place in the state. Now our target is to to make the political parties realize that
4. It has often been claimed that you are politicizing this movement. What do you have to say about that?
The governing clique whether its army or a civilian is a matter of politics and it does concern me. What I am not involved in, is partisan politics.
5. How do you see the 1973 constitution and its effectiveness considering the numerous amendments? Do you think that the revival of judicial activisim would make any difference in improving the situation?
What we have to understand is that the constitution is an organic document. This means that it is open to interpretations at different. For example let’s look at the 14th amendment in the
Later it was said that the notion that ‘separate but equal’ is inherently unequal. The problem in
6. Musharraf has said that elections will be held under the emergency. This means that there is a possibility that the legitimate judiciary might not be restored. How hopeful are you about the rein-station of the judges?
I feel that participating in this charade would be giving a lifeline to this tottering regime. Let me tell you that this is a defining moment for
7. Lawyers movement is being supported by the student community. LUMS, QA, FAST and other various instiutions have joined the struggle. This might be the revival of moribund student politics. How can this nascent movement become more mainstream and effective?
I believe that this it is the repression of the student unions that has been a source of strength for the student unions. The student unions should not be an extension of the political parties but should be a vanguard of the political parties. They are bright people. They are clean people. They don’t have vested interests. They are selfless. They should be the vanguard of the political parties. Look at
Malik Muneer also said that he was proud of the LUMS and the student community. He said that he is grateful for their support and expressed his wish to visit LUMS someday. Interviewed on