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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday reserved its verdict in an Intra-Court Appeal (ICA) praying it to direct the secretary of Ministry of Interior to conduct an inquiry regarding the “threat letter” and forward the same to the relevant court for trial of high treason against former prime minister Imran Khan and his aides.

A division bench of Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan heard advocate Moulvi Iqbal Haider’s ICA, wherein, he challenged a single bench of Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah’s verdict.

The IHC single bench had rejected his petition, wherein, the petitioner stated that by fabricating a letter-gate conspiracy, the political government has committed high treason, thus, his complaint pending with Secretary Interior be, under directions, forwarded to the relevant court for trial of high treason against the former prime minister and his aides.

In his petition, Haider sought directions to the federal government for probing the contents of the cable sent by the ambassador of Pakistan in the United States of America to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan.

He also sought a direction for initiating proceedings under the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973 against Imran Khan, former prime minister, Fawad Chaudhry, former federal minister, and the Ambassador of Pakistan in the United States of America. In addition, he prayed that their names be ordered to be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL).

The IHC chief justice had observed in his written judgment that the allegations and assertions made against a former elected prime minister in the memorandum of the petition are deprecated.

“Moreover, making the cable sent by a diplomat of Pakistan controversial and subject of litigation is against public interest and the interests of the State. It is an onerous duty of every citizen to ensure that sensitive national security issues are not sensationalized nor politicized,” added Justice Minallah.

He further said, “Dragging the diplomats and their classified reporting and assessments into political controversies could undermine Pakistan’s national interests, its diplomacy and external relations.”

Therefore, he declared that the petition is frivolous and the petitioner has unjustifiably attempted to make the cable controversial. He dismissed the petition and imposed Rs100,000 cost on the petitioner.

The IHC bench mentioned that the petitioner claimed that the treason case against General (retired) Pervez Musharraf was initiated pursuant to acceptance of his petition. The bench noted that it is settled law that matters relating to foreign affairs of the country are extremely sensitive and, therefore, not justiciable while exercising extra ordinary jurisdiction under Article 199 of the Constitution.

It stated that the assertions made in the memorandum of the petition are vague and they are not supported by any credible material so as to justify making of a diplomatic cable as the subject of the litigation in hand.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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