Top judge’s ‘honest prime minister’ remark echoes in Senate

PML-N senator asks, is the judge implying that all other prime ministers were dishonest?

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PML-N Senator Irfan Ul Haque Siddiqui (left) and PTI Senator Shehzad Waseem speak during a Senate session on February 10, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/Senate of Pakistan
PML-N Senator Irfan Ul Haque Siddiqui (left) and PTI Senator Shehzad Waseem speak during a Senate session on February 10, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/Senate of Pakistan

  • CJ's comments came while hearing PTI chief's petition on Feb 9.
  • "Who gave him merit to declare everyone dishonest?" Siddiqui asks.
  • PTI senator says parliament is "incomplete" as PTI thrown out of it.


Supreme Court of Pakistan Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial’s remarks about the country’s "honest prime minister" echoed in the Senate’s session on Friday.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Irfan Ul Haque Siddiqui voiced his reservations on the comments made by the country’s top judge.

“The chief justice called only one prime minister honest, who is probably Muhammad Khan Junejo. Who gave him the merit to declare everyone from Liaquat Ali Khan to Imran Khan dishonest,” he questioned in the Senate session.

A day earlier, Justice Bandial said: “Only one prime minister has come in Pakistan’s history who was considered most honest. One honest prime minister’s government was ended through 58 (2b). Article 58 (2b) was a draconian law. The court had said in 1993 that the government was [sent packing] in the wrong manner but only elections should be conducted now.”

The top judge’s comments came while hearing a petition of former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Chairman Imran Khan challenging amendments to the National Accountability (NAB) Ordinance by the incumbent government.

During his speech, Siddiqui also said that the house devises laws thoughtfully and shouldn’t be beaten in the back with a whip every day. “How did the chief justice say that parliament has become controversial? If the court gives a political comment while leaving its scope, then we are not committing an insult.”

Meanwhile, PTI Senator Shehzad Waseem, while supporting Justice Bandial’s remarks, said "parliament is truly incomplete" given the way a major party was thrown out.

“Criticism is being called an insult, getting respect is in one’s own hand. If the chief justice indicates, then this should be taken in the context of criticism, not contempt.”

Reiterating his party’s demand on the election, Waseem added that if polls are not conducted within 90s days then “the book of Constitution will close and the path for civil unrest will open”.

Led by Imran Khan, the PTI had dissolved the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies as part of its efforts to get a date for the general elections in the country. Since the Khan-led administration was ousted from the National Assembly following a vote of no-confidence in April last year, the date of general polls in the country has been his party’s primary demand.

“It’s been 25 days and no date for the election has been given. Article 6 will be applied to those who postpone the elections beyond the Constitutional term,” the PTI chief said in his televised address to the nation on February 6.