AGP Awan says Justice Sattar only requested for in-camera briefing on surveillance issues

No top official from security establishment approached the IHC judge, says top law officer

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Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan is delivering a video message on May 14, 2024. — Screengrab/GeoNews

  • Awan says AGP plays role of bridge between judiciary, executive.
  • Communication between state institutions "imperative," adds AGP.
  • National security matters should not be highlighted via letter: Tarar.

Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan has said that an “impression is being given as if the relationship between the court and the executive is deteriorating”, the top law officer said in a video statement on Tuesday.

His statement came after Islamabad High Court's Justice Sattar reportedly wrote a letter to IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, claiming that he “was delivered messages on behalf of top officials in the security establishment asking me to back off from extensive scrutiny of the existence and mode of surveillance” in the audio leaks case.

Speaking about the judge’s letter, the AGP said the communication between state institutions regarding "sensitive matters is imperative in the view of security situation" that Pakistan has been facing for the last 45 years.

He said such communication involving sensitive matters is liaised by the AGP or advocate general who he said played a role of bridge between judiciary and executive.

AGP Awan said the judge only requested that in the audio leak case briefing on the matters related to surveillance should be held in-camera.

“Unfortunately, it [request] was perceived that the case should be decided on one side, which was not the case,” he clarified.

“I deny this impression; the content of the letter should be examined to know what has been termed obstruction of justice. Neither any top official from the security establishment approached the IHC judge nor can anyone do."

Minutes after the AGP delivered a video statement, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar said the office of AGP requested the IHC for an in-camera briefing.

“Impression was created as if the matters of the court are being interfered with,” he added.

He said the commission was formed on six judges' letters to “separate wheat from chaff”.

Speaking on the occasion, Information Minister Ataullah Tarar said the matters of national security should not be highlighted via letter.

“It would be inappropriate if a question is raised on national security,” he added.