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ISLAMABAD: With an appeal to the chief justice of Pakistan to form a larger bench to probe into alleged interference by spy agencies in judicial matters, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday questioned the credibility of the verdicts against their founding chairman.

After six judges of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) accused the intelligence agencies of intimidating and coercing them over “politically consequential” cases in a letter to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), PTI Chairman Gohar Ali Khan and Secretary General Omar Ayub, highlighted the unprecedented nature of the letter, saying it is the first of its kind which shows the judges have run out of patience.

Gohar emphasised the alleged pressure faced by the judges, suggesting external influences aimed at swaying arbitrary decisions, which he dubbed as depleted judicial independence.

He called upon Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa to constitute a larger bench to hold an open inquiry into the letter written by six IHC judges to the SJC members, documenting the alleged interference of the country’s intelligence apparatus in judicial affairs, specifically targeting Imran Khan.

He continued that PTI strongly condemned the meddling in the judicial affairs by the intelligence agencies, and demanded a thorough probe into it in an open court as it is a must for independence of the judiciary. “We; therefore, demand that all those decisions against Imran Khan should be declared null and void and he should be released without any further delay,” he maintained.

He demanded foolproof security for the six judges and their families, who he said took a great step for judicial independence.

“We stand in solidarity with the judiciary…the PTI will stand by the judiciary and the legal fraternity in their just struggle of independence of the judiciary,” he added.

However, PTI general secretary Omar Ayub alleged that the system has been exposed, adding it has now become clear that ‘their’ only target was Imran Khan as judges were pressured through kidnapping of their relatives and installing bugging devices inside their residences. “The PTI kept highlighting the interference of agencies in judicial matters from day one… the cases against Imran Khan were adversely affected by such blatant interference by the spy agencies,” he regretted. Ayub said that Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, and innocent party workers especially women are languishing in jail, and some are facing military courts which shows the interference of the spy agencies in judicial matters.

Omar maintained that the whole nation has fixed its eyes on the chief justice of Pakistan and is optimistic that he would properly investigate the matter through SJC in light of the letter written by the six IHC judges. He said that they would take up the issue in the national and provincial assemblies, as well as, in the Senate.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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