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PTI calls on SC, IHC CJs to resign for ‘inaction’ over meddling

5 min read

ISLAMABAD: PTI on Friday demanded the resignation of the Supreme Court and Islamabad High Court (IHC) chief justices over their “inaction” on intelligence agencies’ interference in judicial affairs.

While addressing a press conference, PTI spokesman Raoof Hassan alleged that CJP Qazi Faez Isa and IHC CJ Aamer Farooq turned “a deaf ear” towards the repeated complaints of IHC judges against ISI’s interference in the judiciary’s affairs.

He was referring to a letter written by six IHC judges accusing the intelligence apparatus of interference in judicial affairs, including attempts to pressure judges through abduction and torture of their relatives and se­­cret surveillance inside their homes.

The IHC judges added that the issues were already brought to the IHC CJ’s notice through two letters on May 10, 2023 and Feb 12, 2024 but no responsibility was fixed.

The letter “indicted” the IHC chief justice by citing the instances when the “intimidation and interference” was brought to his attention, said the PTI spokesperson.

“Despite being informed in writing and verbally, the IHC chief justice didn’t take any action to protect judicial independence,” Mr Hasan said, adding that it was because CJ Farooq was “complicit” in the matter.

CJ Farooq “had the biggest role” in the trial of cases against PTI founder Imran Khan and his convictions, and he “supervised” the entire process.

Mr Hasan added that the letter also “indirectly indicted” the CJP as it stated that the CJP was apprised of the issue in “multiple meetings”.

It is important to note that the letter referred to only one meeting between the six IHC judges and the CJP in May 2023. At the time, Umar Ata Bandial was in the office, and the incumbent CJP was the senior puisne judge.

In his press conference, Mr Hassan said that PTI has repeatedly demanded the IHC chief justice to recuse himself from cases against Mr Khan, but he “rejected the requests”.

He added that Prime Minister She­h­baz Sharif is also an accused and be­­neficiary of the interference of intelligence agencies in judicial affairs.

Yet, he was allowed to appoint the head of the commission to probe the allegations levelled by the six judges, added Mr Hasan.

He termed it “judicial surrender”, saying that instead of an executive inquiry, the matter should be probed in a full court hearing of the Supreme Court.

PTI’s core committee member and Insaf Lawyers Forum president, Niazullah Khan Niazi, said that the letter has proved that the system has been paralysed.

He pointed out that the CJP dep­rived the PTI of its election symbol, yet the party won with a landslide victory, which was reversed through the manipulation of Form-47.

According to Mr Niazi, the PTI is demanding the rule of law, and lawyers will launch another movement for this cause.

“We will stage a protest in front of the Supreme Court, Islamabad High Court and D-Chowk,” he announced.

PTI leader and lawyer Shoaib Shaheen said his party has rejected the commission formed to probe the allegations.

He demanded the Supreme Court hold an inquiry into the matter. According to him, PM Shehbaz, being a “puppet prime minister”, cannot hold a free and fair inquiry.