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PTI Demands Full Court for Suo Motu into IHC Judges’ Letter

Opposition party rejects seven-member bench led by CJP, claiming it was aimed at securing ‘decision of choice’

by Staff Report

File photo of Raoof Hasan

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday rejected a seven-member larger bench headed by the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) that will probe a letter from six judges of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) alleging intelligence agencies’ interference in judicial affairs and demanded the suo motu case be heard by a full court bench.

Addressing a press conference, PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan accused the bench of being comprised of “like-minded judges” aimed at securing a “decision of choice.” He said the PTI would not accept such a decision and demanded proceedings be televised.

The PTI leader similarly demanded the convening of a judicial conference so all judges could share alleged interference in their functioning. Describing Justice (retd.) Tassaduq Hussain Jillani—who recused himself from an inquiry commission formed by the federal government—as a credible person, Hasan said his recusal was the right choice. He noted that Jillani’s recusal letter had noted that the IHC judges’ letter was addressed to the Supreme Judicial Council and as such it was not appropriate for him to probe it. This, he claimed, had endorsed the PTI’s stance of an investigation through the full court.

Congratulating the legal fraternity and bar associations for their unified stance, Hasan hoped they would continue to exert pressure to ensure the issue proceeded to its logical end.

Claiming the PTI supported the supremacy of the Constitution and law and stood by the judiciary, he maintained the PTI had never lost trust in the courts despite the “barbarities and fascism” experienced by its leaders. Alleging the judiciary had become a tool of political engineering at the hands of the establishment, he hoped the judges’ letter would bring the practice to an end.

Describing the suspension of PTI founder Imran Khan’s sentence in the Toshakhana case as “a ray of hope,” he maintained the conviction should have been quashed entirely as it was a “frivolous, bogus, and politically motivated” case. “Today is a great day for our party and the first drop of hope, as the nation’s beloved leader Imran Khan stood victorious and soon he will be released from unlawful detention to take the reins of the country as the Prime Minister of Pakistan,” he claimed.

Former Gilgit-Baltistan Khalid Khurshid also spoke at the occasion, claiming the judiciary was “always” fractured for vested interests. Praising the six IHC judges, he maintained the PTI would not rest until the matter was concluded. “We have never seen such a judicial surrender in 75 years, as CJP surrendered six judges at the mercy of the executive,” he claimed.

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