Probe HC judge's allegations: army | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 23, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:23 AM, July 23, 2018

ISI 'Meddling' in Pak Judiciary

Probe HC judge's allegations: army

PTI candidate dies in suicide blast

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), via Twitter yesterday, requested the Supreme Court of Pakistan to "initiate appropriate process to ascertain the veracity of the allegations" made by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court.

"An honourable judge of Islamabad High Court of Pakistan has levelled serious allegations against state institutions, including honorary judiciary and the premier state intelligence agency," reads the press release shared by Director General of ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor on Twitter.

The statement shared by the army's media wing says that "in order to safeguard the sanctity and credibility of the state institutions", the Supreme Court of Pakistan has been requested to "initiate appropriate process to ascertain the veracity of the allegations and take actions accordingly."

Earlier yesterday, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took "serious notice of a speech delivered by Justice Siddiqui [...] alleging interference of intelligence agencies of the country in judicial matters".

The top judge has also called for complete record of the speech from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra).

Justice Siddiqui, while addressing the Rawalpindi Bar Association on Saturday, had claimed the ISI had approached the IHC chief justice seeking assurance that deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar would remain behind the bars until July 25, the election day.

"Their [the agency's] personnel get benches formed at their will," Justice Siddiqui had alleged.

"I know who takes whose message to the Supreme Court," Justice Siddiqui had further said.

He had asked: "Why was the administrative control of the accountability court taken away from the Islamabad High Court?"

He had further alleged that the judiciary's freedom has been divested and that it is now in control of "those with guns".

"I was told that 'if you assure us of decisions in our favour, we will end references against you'," Justice Siddiqui, who faces a corruption reference later this month, had claimed, adding that he was offered to be made chief justice of the high court by September.

'NO PRESSURE ON JUDICIARY'

Chief Justice Nisar, during his day-long visit to Karachi yesterday, told reporters: "Being the top judge, I am making it abundantly clear that there is no pressure on us. We are working under the supremacy of the Constitution and the law."

"Such statements are inconceivable and unacceptable," he continued, adding that he will take into consideration all possible legal actions on the matter.

He assured reporters that legal action would be taken and the facts of the matter brought before the public, reported Dawn News.

"No one can dare put pressure on the judiciary," he said, clarifying that he wanted to apprise the public in their own interest, not because there was any pressure on the judiciary to do so.

POLLS' TRANSPARENCY

The members of the Senate while raising serious questions over transparency of the general elections observed that the caretaker governments in the centre and provinces have failed to fulfil their constitutional obligations.

The members from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in the Senate on Saturday also alleged discriminatory attitude being meted out to their leaders and party workers as Senator Pervaiz Rashid said the favourite (Ladla) like Imran Khan is being given concessions one after the other while his opponents are receiving notices.

The members of the Upper House also demanded that heads of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) should also be summoned to the House. The members from PML-N and PPP pointed fingers at the ECP and NAB as Pervaiz Rashid said apparently, efforts are being made to hand victory to a particular party and arrange defeat for the second party. He also took on the caretaker Punjab chief minister for predicting results in favour of a particular party and demanded his resignation, reported The News International.

POLL CANDIDATE KILLED

An election candidate and his driver were killed by a suicide bomber in northwest Pakistan yesterday, police said.

Ikramullah Gandapur, a member of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, was contesting polls for the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly.

He "succumbed to his injuries in Combined Military Hospital after a suicide bomber blew himself up near his Land Cruiser (SUV) this morning," district police chief Zaheer Afridi told AFP.

Faraz Mughul, Gandapur's assistant, confirmed the casualties. "Our hearts weep for him and his family and we pray for both," the PTI said in a statement.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a message sent to the media.

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