CJP Isa responds to Imran Khan’s letter on level-playing field

“CJP Isa will neither be pressurised nor favour anyone,” top judge tells PTI supremo

Saturday, December 02, 2023
PTI supremo Imran Khan (right) and CJP Qazi Faez Isa. — AFP/SC/File

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa has responded to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supremo Imran Khan’s letter seeking a level playing field for his party ahead of the February 8, 2024, general elections.

Dr Muhammad Mushtaq Ahmad, top judge’s secretary, stated Saturday in a letter that CJP Isa is fully cognisant of his constitutional duties and will neither be pressurised nor favour anyone.

Imran had urged the chief justice to take notice of "discrimination" against PTI, citing arrests and registrations of cases against the party leaders.

“CJP Isa will neither be pressurised nor favour anyone, and by the grace of the Almighty shall continue to fulfil his duties and abide by the oath of his office,” read the statement issued by the top court.

Referring to the PTI supremo’s letter, the statement said an undated seven-page application was received on December 1 at 12:25pm.

“The document comprises of a typed application, tabulated tables and photocopies, altogether 84 pages, bound in a yellow paper-book, the kind used for filings in the Supreme Court; the identity and contact details of the advocate who prepared the document does not appear in the document. As per the envelope, the document was couriered by Intazar Hussian Panjutha (Adv)".

It further said that misgivings also arise when the political party on whose behalf the document has ostensibly been sent is well represented by advocates.

“Only recently its advocates conducted two significant cases in the Supreme Court, on the military courts and on the elections.”

Surprisingly, the letter added, that before receiving the document (in a sealed envelope), it had already been distributed to the media.

On Thursday, Imran, who has been replaced by Barrister Gohar Khan as the party's chairman, had called on the top judge to direct the federal and provincial governments as well as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to allow PTI, like all other political parties, to hold political meetings and gatherings without "discrimination".

The deposed prime minister, who was removed from power via a no-trust motion in April last year, stated in the letter that the PTI leaders and activists were being targeted through the registration of multiple and successive criminal cases to keep them behind bars.

He termed this a “tactic of abuse and oppression”, which he said is being used all over the country.

“Those bailed out by the courts in one or more cases are immediately booked in further case that purport to pertain to events several months in the past. Often several FIRs are registered against persons affiliated with the PTI with respect to the same event. The same persons are also implicated in successive FIRs with respect to different and unrelated events all across the country," the letter read.