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Imran pens letter to Qazi seeking justice for PTI

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ISLAMABAD: The incarcerated founding chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, wrote a letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa on Saturday and drew his attention to seven key issues that he felt needed urgent intervention by the top court and the top judge to safeguard the rule of law and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution within the country.

In his letter, the former premier has urged the CJP to take notice of NAB giving clean chit to ex-PM Nawaz Sharif in Toshakhana case; look into Bahawalnagar incident; take action on the letter of six high court judges; fix petition calling for independent probe into May 9 events; inquire about Commissioner Rawalpindi’s statement regarding poll rigging; take up petitions pertaining to rigging in February 8 general elections; and see how reserved seats have been allocated in national and provincial assemblies.

While drawing CJP’s attention to the seven issues, the PTI supremo has reminded him that the entire nation is looking at him and quoted the words of one of the greatest and most influential scientists of all time, Albert Einstein: “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”

Through the letter, Khan has conveyed to CJP Isa that the state of the rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution has fallen to new lows in Pakistan under his watch, saying it has caused the gradual emergence of the “law of the jungle and the enactment of the primitive doctrine that might is right.”

“I have no doubt that if our superior judiciary, with your good-self at its helm, would not meaningfully intervene as the custodian of the Constitution and the ultimate arbiter of justice, and if the foregoing situation were to prevail,” Imran stated, “it would be fatal to any civilised order in the world.”

He then brought seven matters to CJP Isa’s attention, saying some of which form sub-judice matter of petitions already pending in the Supreme Court, while others involve facts and circumstances that glaringly call for prompt intervention at the judiciary’s own motion, but, in each case, “it has so far been in vain.”

Nawaz’s Toshakhana case

Firstly, Khan’s letter which was officially released by his party states that the CJP should take notice of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s sudden decision to exonerate three-time former premier Nawaz Sharif, saying the case was pursued for years and has now been dropped. Also, he has called for an inquiry against NAB Chairman Nazir Ahmed Butt and sought his removal from office.

Bahawalnagar incident

Secondly, Khan has urged “dear” CJP to look into the Bahawalnagar incident, saying it should serve as an eye opener on the lop-sided state of uniformed vigilante justice in Pakistan. Khan recalled that, for months on end, the police repeatedly crossed every single line known to a civilised society by raiding, vandalising and looting the homes of unarmed citizens – mostly PTI workers – and no one came to the rescue of the defenceless men, women and children. “Disappointingly,” he stated, “our Judiciary, instead of stepping in, has remained a bystander in the face of all these excesses.”

Referring to how women belonging to PTI have so far been treated, Khan’s letter read that this begs the question: “are the fundamental rights of human dignity and privacy of the home left to be enforced solely by the barrel of the gun, or does the Judiciary retain any semblance of authority to enforce them across the board?”

“The lines drawn by our Constitution between the various pillars of the state are getting blurred into non-existence, and this has to be stopped before it is too late,” the letter read.

Six IHC judges’ letter

Thirdly, Khan has urged the CJP to take action on the letter written by six judges of the Islamabad High Court, complaining about being subjected to blackmail, harassment and coercion by “members of the executive, including operatives of intelligence agencies.”

Recalling how different judges were pressurised, Khan stated that it could not be more ironical that, in this day and age, those who are supposed to provide justice to citizens, those who are duty bound to secure justice for others, are themselves seeking justice. To date, he said, the action taken by the Supreme Court on the subject has been meek and indecisive. By failing the judges, he added, people’s confidence in the justice system, which is undergoing significant erosion already, will stand dismantled and demolished.

Transparent probe in May 9 events

Fourthly, the letter stated that Khan believes that 90 per cent of the people incarcerated and facing trial in connection with May 9 incidents “did not indulge in any violence whatsoever”.  The state, however, is acting as judge, jury and executioner in all these trials. He apprised the CJP that a constitutional petition “calling for an independent, transparent and thorough inquiry into who in fact incited and perpetrated the 9th May violence” has been pending in Supreme Court since May 25, 2023. “In the interest of complete justice,” he urged, “this case must be fixed and decided upon on a priority basis.”

Where did Commissioner Rawalpindi go?

Fifthly, Khan has referred to startling press conference of the Commissioner Rawalpindi Division on February 17, 2024, regarding the alleged manipulation of election results on February 8. The PTI founder has asked the CJP to look into the commissioner’s subsequent retraction; whose custody he was in until the point he made it and to where he has disappeared now from public view, saying these are a mystery to all and sundry.

“Stolen mandate”

Sixthly, Khan has drawn the CJP’s attention toward a series of petitions, including one filed by PTI, pressing that, contrary to constitutional stipulations, the general election of February 8, 2024, was “not conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law, and that corrupt practices were not guarded against therein”. He said that petitions have been pending in SC for more than two months now, calling to uphold the rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution by fixing and deciding all those petitions on a priority basis.

Reserved Seats

Lastly, he drew the chief justice’s attention towards the manner in which the subject of allocation of reserved seats in the national and provincial assemblies has been handled by the Election Commission of Pakistan, and by speakers of several of the houses concerned. He said the pending petitions on this subject must also be fixed and decided upon on a priority basis in the interest of justice. “Inaction on your part and that of the Supreme Court in the face of each of the aforementioned matters of grave importance,” he stated, “would exacerbate the constitutional crisis the country is already faced with and push it closer and closer to the abyss.”

“Yours faithfully”

Surprisingly, in the letter, Imran reminded the CJP how he faced the wrath of the state in the form of a reference in the Supreme Judicial Council a few years ago – when Khan was the premier. Similarly, he reminded the CJP of the occasion when he spoke to the joint sitting of the parliament on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Constitution of Pakistan, saying a copy of the Constitution was held in hand in full public view before proclaiming that the book was the CJP’s guiding light after the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH).

“As, what I believe to be the majority of our populace, faces the wrath of the state,” Khan concluded, “now is the time for you to prove whether his proclamation of the supremacy of the Constitution is for real “or were mere hollow rhetoric.”