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Daily Briefs


Photo : The Supreme Court of Pakistan

03 July 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.66

The Intelligence Agencies manipulate the appointment of Judges, says a former Supreme Court judge



Interview by a former Supreme Court judge talking about the role of intelligence agencies in the appointment of judges, the continuation of debate on the "minus-one", and strong criticism of the government handling of PIA pilots issue.

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus

The Intelligence agencies manipulate the appointment of Judges, says a former Supreme Court judge

During an interview to the Voice of America, former Lahore High Court chief justice and former Supreme Court judge Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry, who retired in December 2015 said the Panama Papers case verdict against former PM Nawaz Sharif will forever remain controversial as the 1970s’ Zulfikar Ali Bhutto case; confirmed the interference of intelligence agencies in the appointment of judges; and commented on the reference against Justice Faez Isa. (“Panama Papers case verdict will remain controversial, says former SC judge,” Dawn, 3 July 2020) 

The former Judge spoke of how Nawaz Sharif was removed by the SC (led by the then CJ Nasirul Mulk who was the apparent “right person”) in the Panama Papers case in 2018, as former PTI leader Makhdoom Javed Hashmi had claimed in 2014. Previously, in November 2019, advocate Babar Sattar argued before the SC that the reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa was appraised in the ‘Panama’ light by disregarding existing laws. (“Reference against Isa modelled on Panama Papers, says lawyer,” Dawn, 12 November 2019)

Mr Chaudhry narrated an incident wherein he received a phone call from the ISI general seeking the appointment of a particular judge. However, on the disagreement by the general to appoint a lieutenant-general of Justice’s choice as a return favour, the Justice declined the general’s request. Mr Chaudhry explained that interference would only occur if space was provided. (“Panama Papers case verdict will remain controversial, says former SC judge,” Dawn, 3 July 2020)

PML-N government’s former legal adviser Zaffarullah Khan said the verdict in the Panama Papers case opposed natural justice’s principle and lacked juristic precedence wherein any country Premiere was stripped of his powers in the same fashion. Mr Khan said that although Mr Sharif was removed over Iqama, other parallel cases remain pending.

Lawyer and senior PPP leader Sardar Latif Khosa commented on the interview saying that the judiciary has been misused for political engineering on various occasions. The leader clarified that prior to the 18th Amendment, intelligence agencies were able to manoeuvre judges’ appointments due to the dependency of the governments on the ISI reports for their induction.

Also read:
How Pakistan's Panama Papers probe unfolded,” Dawn, 3 April 2016
 


In Brief
INTERNAL
Will there be another minus-1?: Analysis
An analysis in the New International titled “Minus-1 formula in politics” by Mazhar Abbas looks into the possibility of another minus-1. The analysis states that if at all the possibility exist there may be more than just one. While looking into the political history of Pakistan the “minus-1 formula” not only 'minus-1,’ but, at times minus-2, minus-3, have always been a part of it in some form. It is this formula that has restricted the enforcement of democracy in a true sense, further politicians have also not learnt from history as time and again they either backed undemocratic actions or tried and took advantage from the situation. The analysis states that it is high time that democratic institution like the Election Commission and rule of law are strengthened, further adding that a positive formula must be followed through, as per the Constitution. Thus, both PTI and combined opposition need to understand the consequence of the minus-formula. (Mazhar Abbas, “Minus-1 formula in politics,” Dawn, 3 July 2020)

Rawalpindi-based cleric charged with contempt in Justice Isa case
On 2 June, the Supreme Court (SC) charged Rawalpindi-based cleric Mirza Iftikharuddin with contempt of court for delivering a derogatory and scandalous speech against the judiciary that had gone viral on social media. A complaint was lodged by the wife of Justice Isa based on the video clip, stating that death threats were being hurled at Justice Isa. The cleric has been indicted under Section 5 of the Contempt of the Court Ordinance, 2003. The hearing was initiated suo motu by a two-judge Supreme Court bench consisting of Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan. This charge comes after the SC had issued a notice to Mr Iftikharuddin for throwing abuses against Justice Qazi Faez Isa as well as the institution of the judiciary. (“SC charges cleric with contempt in Justice Isa case,” Dawn, 3 July 2020)

Government's handling of PIA pilots' case is disastrous, says an editorial
An editorial in the Dawn titled “Aviation challenge” is critical of the was the government has handled the PIA pilots’ case stating the government’s handling of the scandal has been disastrous. The editorial highlights the impulsive decision to make public the list of pilots when the investigation was still underway, depicting that the government has not given much through to the matter. Further, the statements made by the Aviation Minister to shield his government has left many in the aviation industry to come under scrutiny even though their credentials were not faulty. Further, the editorial states that the government should not have addressed this issue in such a public manner, thus, further diminishing the credibility of Pakistani pilots internationally. The editorial concludes by stating that although the damage is already done, the government must see address this crisis logically. (“Aviation challenge,” Dawn, 3 July 2020)

Custody exceed of four linked with Daniel Pearls murder
The custody of Ahmed Omar Saeed, Fahad Naseem, Sheikh Adil and Salman Saqib convicted for, Daniel Pearl's kidnapping and killing have increased for another three months. The Karachi Central prison superintendent said these four will continue there sentence until September 30. The US journalist, Daniel Pearl who disappeared in January 2002 from Karachi was confirmed dead in the following month. (“4 linked to Daniel Pearl's murder to stay in prison,” The International News, 03 July 2020)

President Arif Alvi encouraged investigation against the scandals
On 02 July, Pakistan President Arif Alvi said, ‘anyone wishing to move a no-trust motion against the Prime Minister is welcome to try’ with referring to ‘scandals’ and case filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa, a Supreme Court judge. He also encouraged investigation to cases on ‘Bus Rapid Transit, Malam Jabba, and Billion Tree Tsunami project’. (“Reference against Justice Isa as per law: Alvi,” The International News, 03 July 2020)

IPOR Survey on Prime Minster Imran Corona strategy
According to the recent survey report by the Institute for Public Opinion Research, ‘a majority f Pakistanis support Prime Minister Imran Khan’s approach to handling the pandemic situation’. The report highlights ranking given to the policy of smart lockdown implemented by the prime minister, in which 63 per cent supported and rest 21 per cent opted Chief Minister of Sindh, Murad Ali Shah’s strategy. It also reported how many people are willing to get vaccinated if it becomes available in Pakistan. (“Majority support Imran’s handling of corona crisis: survey,” The International News, 03 July 2020)

GILGIT BALTISTAN
PML-N warns the federal government against medalling in GB elections
The PLM-N secretary general Ahsan Iqbal has warned the federal government against interfering in the upcoming elections in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), stating that any such action would be against the national interest and national security of the country. The leader stated “I want to give message to the national institutions so that free, fair and transparent elections are held in GB. The federal government should refrain from horse-trading and interference (in the polls).” Further, Iqbal has alleged that the federal government had already started pre-poll rigging in GB, further adding that his party has set up a special monitoring cell to keep an eye on postings and transfers being made in GB ahead of the elections. The elections on 24 general seats of the GB Legislative Assembly are scheduled to be held on 18 August. (Amir Wasim, “PML-N warns govt against interfering in GB elections,” Dawn, 3 July 2020)

ECONOMY
The slow pace of export decline depicts signs of revival
Data released by the Ministry of Commerce showed that the exports have fallen at a much slower pace when compared to a month-on-month drop of 33.6 per cent in May and 54 per cent in June. This is the result of recovered export orders from international buyers mainly in the textile and clothing sectors. The data also showed that Pakistan’s exports have fallen for the fourth consecutive month in June to $1.609 billion, down 6.3 per cent year-on-year from $1.717 billion in the corresponding month last year. Further, the decline in imports is providing some space for the government to manage external account despite negative growth in exports from the country. Further, the country’s trade deficit has also come down by 27.41 per cent in the FY20 from a year ago, this decline is a result in the fall of imports and the corrective measures implemented by the government to help slow down imports to reduce pressures on foreign exchange reserves. (Mubarak Zeb Khan, “Exports show signs of revival as pace of decline slows in June,” Dawn, 3 July 2020)

ON INDIA
Violence against children in Kashmir will not be tolerated: Editorial
An editorial in the Dawn titled “Kashmir’s children” is critical of the unethical atrocities carried out by Indian forces in Kashmir. While addressing the recent case of Bashir Ahmed Khan, who was taken out of his vehicle and shot in front of his three-year-old grandson, the editorial states that the children of Kashmir have become accustomed to seeing bodies of their fathers, brothers and other relatives as the violence continues in the region. While condemning such acts the editorial states that brutal violence against children in Kashmir does not seem to draw any attention from the international community, demanding that “this blatant hypocrisy must end.” Further, the editorial concludes by stating that the international community needs to take up the responsibility to make India realise that violence against civilians especially children will not be tolerated. (“Kashmir’s children,” Dawn, 3 July 2020)

Unending violence in the Valley
On 1 July in Sopore, a 65-year-old man Bashir Ahmad Khan was shot dead. The incident has caught international attention and has condemned the incident as a violation of Child rights. The editorial laid focus on the ‘unending violence and bloodshed, death and tragedy’ in the valley where the citizen has been left virtually to themselves. (“Kashmir’s anguish,” The International News, 03 July 2020)

A rift in India and China economic relation
After the recent clash at Galwan valley, a new possible economic war between India and China has gained attention across borders. The stricter investment flow could be soon imposed which may further hamper bilateral trade. This may increase the fraction between Chinese investors and Indian private businesses. China’s foreign direct investment in 2019 reached $5 billion in the automobile and tech sector in India. (“Can India afford to server its economic relations with China,” The Friday Times, 03 July 2020)

 


"During the phone call, he [ISI general] asked me whether we were inducting judges. I replied in the affirmative. He then asked me to appoint someone as a judge."

-  Justice (retd) Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry, former judge of the Supreme Court on the role of intelligence agenices in the appointment of judges (Dawn)

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Record COVID-19 spike in a single day;