ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira expects that the Supreme Court will avoid wading into political waters while dealing with issues of public interest, as did the US Supreme Court which upheld President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.
Talking to journalists after attending a function here on Thursday, Mr Kaira refused to comment on the SC’s decision to reduce CNG prices terming the matter subjudice. However, he advised the judiciary to exercise restraint on ‘political matters and issues of public interests’.
Replying to a question about reported remarks of Lahore High Court chief justice stressing the need for consensus on the controversial Kalabagh dam, the minister said only elected forums could take decisions on these issues.
“Involvement of judiciary in such matters should be avoided as it would not serve any purpose,” he added. At the same time, he suggested that as a nation “we should also try not to drag it (judiciary) into political matters”.
Citing an example of the US Supreme Court he said that in its recent ruling on the issue of a hotly-debated healthcare bill it had declared that courts should not get involved in matters of public interests on the basis of which people made decisions at the time of voting.
Mr Kaira’s comments came a day after the two former presidents of the Supreme Court Bar Association — Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and Asma Jahangir — objected to SC’s involvement in ‘petty’ issues like prices of CNG and sugar.
Mr Ahsan, who is also a PPP senator, had expressed reservations over suo motu notices saying in such cases the defendant party lost right to appeal.
Similarly, Asma Jahangir had stated that the Supreme Court was not meeting all requisites of justice and said if judiciary remained stuck to gas and sugar prices, who would dispense justice to commoners.
HAMEED GUL CRITICISED: Mr Kaira also lashed out at former chief of the ISI Gen (retd) Hameed Gul for his role in the formation of the anti-PPP Islami Jamhoori Ittehad in the 1990 elections which had been declared manipulated by the Supreme Court in the Asghar Khan case.
The information minister said Mr Gul’s institution should take notice of his activities during service as he himself had confessed that he had formed the IJI in his personal capacity and as a serving general what was his personal capacity.
Hameed Gul, he said, had created a lot of problems for the nation in the past and now he should refrain from issuing irresponsible statements. The minister said the IJI had been formed to steal the mandate of the people with ulterior motives by depriving the PPP of its election victory.