When Musharraf used Justice Iftikhar's fortune-teller to mend fences with him

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Bahawalpur (Pakistan), Jan 24 : Syed Sibtain Shah, a close friend of former Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary, and who predicted his fate correctly on several occasions, had twice approached the judge to mend fences with President Pervez Musharraf, but the latter didn't yield.

The fortune-teller, whose services are now being availed by senior Pakistani leaders like Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, was used by the Pakistan Government as a last-ditch effort to persuade the adamant Chief Justice to mend fences with Musharraf. But this attempt also failed like many others.

The government got the information about the seer's acquaintance with the top judge and the respect he enjoyed, when the then Chief Justice was put under unprecedented surveillance shortly before March 9. After failing to persuade Justice Iftikhar to agree to mend fences with Musharraf, Sibtain was ultimately sent as a mediator. This was on October 31, 2007, four days before the Nov 3 imposition of emergency, promulgation of the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) and suspension of the Constitution resulting in the ouster of nearly five dozen superior court judges, including the chief justice.

According to The News, the fortune-teller came back with the usual "no" from the top judge. On his return from his failed mission, a visibly upset seer said: "The chief justice is flying very high and the public following he evoked has made him too proud as he is not prepared to play ball with the president."

When this last-ditch effort made through Sibtain proved unproductive, Musharraf decided to strike in a bid to remove the irritant, added the paper.

Then again in February this year, Sibtain Shah met him and made the request that the bail plea of Raja Zaraat of Bawan Shah Group of Companies, who was in jail (and is still in prison) on multiple charges of tax evasion, may be heard by the Supreme Court at an early date. The top judge promised to look into the matter after mid-March. Hearing this, the seer promptly said, "You will not be chief justice then as you are going to be shown the door on March 9." This came as a bombshell for a disbelieving Justice Chaudhry. However, Sibtain's prediction turned out to be exactly true when the top judge was kicked out on the date given by him, said the paper.

As the ex-CJP embarked on a public campaign, the crystal gazer met him around May and told him that he was going to be restored with honour and dignity. This came as music to Justice Chaudhry's ears.

When Sibtain had another session with the top judge on Oct 31 on prodding from the government and talked about the likely settlement with the President, the soothsayer told Justice Chaudhry that he would be thrown out of his office on Nov 3. This also came as a bolt from the blue for the chief justice. But this prediction too proved to be true.

ANI

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