Harvard to honour sacked Pakistani chief justice


Islamabad : The prestigious Harvard Law School will accord sacked Pakistani chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry its highest honour — the Medal of Freedom.

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“As lawyers who value freedom and the rule of law, we at Harvard Law School want chief justice Chaudhry and all of the courageous lawyers in Pakistan to know that we stand with them in solidarity,” Dawn quoted Dean Elena Kagan as saying in a report from Washington Thursday.

“We are proud to be their colleagues in the cause of justice, and we will do all we can to press for the prompt restoration of constitutionalism and legality in Pakistan,” she added.

“Although Mr. Chaudhry has been placed under house arrest and is not free to leave Pakistan, Dean Kagan has reached out to the chief justice regarding the award and hopes that he’ll be able to come to the Law School to receive it when the state of emergency is lifted,” a statement issued by the law school said.

The award is given to selected personalities for their contribution to freedom, justice, and equality. Former South African president Nelson Mandela is among the recipients of the award.

The statement announcing the award identified Chaudhry as Pakistan’s chief justice and not as a deposed or former judge. The school also identified several Harvard graduates who are participating in the movement against emergency rule in Pakistan.

The Harvard South Asia Initiative will host campus-wide events on Friday to raise awareness about the events in Pakistan.

The award bears the image of Charles Hamilton Houston who helped abolish the segregated school system for black and white students in the US.