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pakistan
Tuesday Jul 27 2021
By
Web Desk

'Pakistan's judiciary is independent': FO rubbishes US claims of govt influence on courts

By
Web Desk

  • Allegations are factually incorrect and misleading, says FO.
  • "There is no question of any coercion or pressure on Pakistan’s judiciary."
  • Courts functioning in line with Constitution and laws of the country, it adds.


Foreign Office said Tuesday the judiciary in Pakistan is independent and the courts are functioning in line with the Constitution and laws of the country.

The US State Department has portrayed the judiciary of Pakistan in an extremely negative manner and stated that theoretically, the country’s judicial system operates independently of the executive branch but the reality is quite different, The News had reported.

In its latest report, 2021 Investment Climate Statements: Pakistan, the State Department said: “Pakistan’s judiciary is influenced by the government and other stakeholders. The lower judiciary is influenced by the executive branch and is seen as lacking competence and fairness. It currently faces a significant backlog of unresolved cases.”

Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, spokesman of Pakistan´s Foreign Ministry addresses a media briefing in Islamabad on July 15, 2021. — AFP/File
Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, spokesman of Pakistan´s Foreign Ministry addresses a media briefing in Islamabad on July 15, 2021. — AFP/File

The allegations to the contrary are firmly denied as factually incorrect and misleading, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said in a statement, responding to media queries.

The spokesperson said the country takes strong exception to the gratuitous and unwarranted comments made in the report on Pakistan's judicial system, as he reacted to the "Investment Climate Statements for 2021" released by the US Department of State.

"The allegations to the contrary are firmly denied as factually incorrect and misleading," the spokesperson said.

As a vibrant democracy, the Pakistani government firmly believes in the separation of powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the state, the spokesperson said.

"There is no question of any coercion or pressure on Pakistan’s judiciary," he said.

The baseless assertions made in the report are contradicted by innumerable decisions by Pakistani courts at all levels that meet the highest standards of judicial independence, Chaudhri said.

"While the statement acknowledges the progress made and reforms undertaken by Pakistan in improving its business and investment climate, despite extremely difficult circumstances due to the pandemic, it speculates on alleged shortcomings in Pakistan’s regulatory framework and bases its conclusions on unverifiable sources," the spokesperson said.

Mutually beneficial cooperation in the areas of the economy, trade, and investment with the international community, including the US, is one of the key priorities of the Pakistan government, he noted.

"We will continue to take steps to optimally realise Pakistan’s geo-economic potential," Chaudhri added.