Govt, opposition forge rare consensus on SC action over judges' bombshell allegations

Web Desk
Clockwise from top left: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, PTI chief Barrister Gohar Khan, JUI-F MNA Noor Alam Khan and PPP leader Nabil Gabol. — AFP/APP/File
Clockwise from top left: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, PTI chief Barrister Gohar Khan, JUI-F MNA Noor Alam Khan and PPP leader Nabil Gabol. — AFP/APP/File 
  • SC notice will yield a positive result: Khawaja Asif.
  • PTI chief demands 12-member bench to hear case.
  • PPP leader says controversy to end after SC notice. 

In a rare consensus, parliamentarians belonging to the opposition and treasury benches have welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to take suo motu notice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges’ bombshell letter accusing spy agencies of interfering in the judiciary’s matter.

The IHC judges — Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, Justice Babar Sattar, Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir, and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz — wrote the letter to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), urging the body to convene a judicial convention over the alleged interference of intelligence agencies in judicial affairs.

The explosive letter which surfaced last week triggered a crisis and the Supreme Court led by CJP Isa has been under pressure to hear the matter under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

Consequently, the Supreme Court earlier took suo motu despite the government forming a one-man commission to probe the matter.

A seven-member bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Mussarat Hilali, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan will hold the maiden hearing on the issue on Wednesday.

“The Supreme Court is the top court of the country that has taken suo motu notice..this is a holy month of Ramadan and the notice will yield a positive result,” Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said while speaking on the floor of the National Assembly.

Concurring with Asif, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan demanded the apex court to include more judges to the larger bench formed to hear the serious allegations.

“We demand to form a 12-member bench as matters like this are usually heard by 12 judges,” he added.

PTI leader Ali Muhammad Khan also praised the apex court suo motu notice saying: “Better late than never.”

Welcoming the Supreme Court's notice, a Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) MNA Noor Alam Khan urged the apex court to look into “where one-sided decisions are being made”.

“The Supreme Court will have to make reforms,” he added.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmaker Nabil Gabol hoped that the controversy surrounding the matter would end after the top court took suo motu notice.

“It is hoped that the Supreme Court will bring the truth before the nation,” Gabol said while addressing the NA session.