Ali Ahmad Kurd was the President of Supreme Court Bar Association and a key leader of the Lawyers’ Movement in Pakistan.He belongs to the famous Baloch tribe of Kurd related to Magsi Balochis. He is known for his aggressive speeches and outspoken attitude towards the military regime of General Pervaiz Musharraf. He served as a lawyer on lead counsel for the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Mr Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in the reference filed against him by General Pervez Musharraf. Along with the CJP and other lawyers in his defense team, Mr Kurd has been addressing the Pakistani nation on the issue of judicial independence in various bar councils.
60-year old flamboyant lawyer firebrand, Ali Ahmed Kurd, has spent most of his life in judicial activism and fighting dictatorship. He went to jail for the first time when he was merely a 17-year old student in Mustang district of Baluchistan. For him, that was understandable as he came from a highly respected political family of Baluchistan and participated in anti-government agitations from teenage days. Baluchistan’s illustrated politician, Mir Abdul Aziz Kurd, who along with Mir Yousaf Aziz Magasi, pioneered a culture of political resistance in the present day Baluchistan, was his uncle. Kurd credits his early day detentions for his today’s fearlessness. Jails, he says, no longer frighten him as he has spent more than six and a half years of his life in the jail.
Kurd has been an active lawyers’ leader since 1980s but he came to limelight after the eruption of last year’s judicial crisis in the country. Once President Pervez Musharraf decided to oust former Supreme Court Chief Justice, Mr. Ifthakar Mohammad Chaudhary, on March 9 last year, Kurd’s fiery speeches fueled the lawyers’ unprecedented movement for the reinstatement of the CJP.
His speech during the seminar in the Supreme Court in Islamabad on “Separation of Powers and Judicial Independence” invoked the displeasure of the army and General Musharraf’s government for its aggressive tone. Soon after this seminar, the government forbade the electronic media to cover any more bar council addresses by the Chief Justice and his lawyers. Then on June 3, 2007 a draconian “Pemra Ordinance 2007” was enacted that aimed to gag the electronic media. Due to domestic and international pressure the government was forced to withdraw the PEMRA ordinance. However, there was a ban on broadcasting the visit of Chief Justice to bar associations across the country.
Mr Kurd’s addresses to the bar councils (below) are of historic significance. No one in Pakistan’s history has addressed a military ruler or the army in such a belligerent tone on live TV. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain (president of ruling PML-Q) added to controversy by stating that those who raises slogans against the Pakistan army should be shot.
Kurd was arrested on April 29, 2007 in Quetta on the charges of inciting people during an absentia funeral of Nawab Akbar Bugti a year earlier. Upon protests from lawyers, he was released.
After the imposition of emergency in Pakistan on November 3, 2007, Kurd was again arrested along with the other prominent leaders of the lawyers movement.
After imposing martial law in Pakistan on Nov 3rd 2007, Musharraf ordered the arrest of Ali Ahmad Kurd. He was kept under arrest for four months in Quetta and was released on March 4, 2008.
Address to Peshawar High Court Bar on April 21, 2007
“He is not a man who has no passion, and that passion is useless that does not challenge general Pervez Musharraf. Enough of this fooling around! Enough of this fooling around! Today a man on the basis of his arrogance! Today a man on the basis of his haughtiness has dared to challenge the Chief Justice of Pakistan. If you are men you’ll stay in the battlefield and not turn your back.”
“Today, Pervez Musharraf has again said that no reference (against Chief Justice of Pakistan) will be withdrawn. When did we ask you to withdraw the reference? We say it is a war! It is a war! If you (Pervez Musharraf) are in your uniform, then so are we (the lawyers). Come fight us! Come fight us! No power in this world can defend this reference
Address to Supreme Court Bar on May 26, 2007
Long ago, we said … we said to that man (Pervez Musharraf) beware . The battle that you started by manhandling the Chief Justice of Pakistan, by assaulting the constitution …… this battle is not any ordinary battle. It is a battle between two uniforms. And we also said that be careful, 150 million people of Pakistan are neither anyone’s fiefdom, nor anyone’s slaves.
The people of Pakistan are no one’s property nor are they slaves! (“In Urdu, Pakistan kay awam na kisi kay baap ki jaagir hein na ghulaam hein”) This is the voice! This is that nation! These are the sons and citizens of this land! Today their valor and their courage! You and your disciple generals, do you have this courage, this power? You and those generals who were not ashamed to imprison a man (in the army headquarters) for 5 hours!
While talking to you in the life, living, breathing, independent, my head is held high; by God, even if I am beheaded you’d still hear my voice from my grave that I don’t recognize this man, I don’t recognize this throne (referring to General Pervaiz Musharraf)
Don’t dare to come in front of us. For you, we got fire in our eyes, and hatred in our hearts! By God if anyone goes against us, this is a war, beware, it will be our hand and your neck!
What does a man want? All he wants is to make his bread and butter with dignity; he wants the right to say proudly this land is his land; a right to say he is not a slave in his own country
Address to Multan High Court Bar on June 24, 2007
Mr Kurd stated that ISI and MI have become symbols and tools of state terror in the hands of the military government (against the citizens of Pakistan).furthermore,he stated that Musharaf is using agencies to frighten the lawyers In account to this,the firing was made to his anf Munir A Malik Home.To put his word to an end , he said if they won the movement they will give gurantiy to every citizen to get justice otherwise they will offer their blood to the nation.
Ali Ahmad Kurd Speaks After CJP Reinstatement
This is a victory of Pakistani people.This is a victory of laborers, farmers and poor of this country. Today Pakistanis have won and dictators have beaten down. Dictators are the losers. From last two years, each and every part of this country was waiting for this decision.
We have already said that if the decision would be in favour of Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudary then the referring authority (Pervez Musharraf) will have to go.
This was the end of first phase of our movement. The next phase will be the removal of General Pervez Musharaf.
Ali Ahmad Kurd: Former President of Supreme Court Bar
On 28 October 2008, Ali Ahmed Kurd was elected as the president of supreme court bar. He secured 854 votes and his opponent got 401 votes.
Ali Ahmed Kurd Pictures