ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali said on Monday that certain political and religious parties supported foreign-funded terrorism due to their vested interests and called for severing linkages between terrorists and the parties.

Speaking on the occasion of commencement of the new judicial year, he said that the legal fraternity and the judiciary were being targeted by terrorists because they dealt with terrorism cases and terrorists wanted to undermine the due process of law through sabotage activities.

He referred to the recent attack on the district courts in Mardan, the Quetta carnage and other attacks on lawyers and judges and condemned kidnapping of the son of the chief justice of the Sindh High Court.

To prevent such incidents, Justice Jamali suggested high-level meetings between representatives of the judiciary and the executive in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and the setting up of security committees at the district levels.

The CJP recalled that during the hearings of Karachi and Balochistan law and order cases, the apex court had made observations about the nexus between local and foreign-supported terrorism and certain political and religious parties.

“Our society is divided on the basis of ethnicity, caste and social stratum. Religious divide is the most harmful as it leads to terrorism,” he said.

He urged state institutions and people to promote tolerance to put the country on the way of progress.

In the past, the apex court had been criticised for overstepping into the executive’s domain, CJP Jamali said and added: “We have tried to dispel this impression by exercising suo motu powers only in selected cases, like those pertaining to illegal appointments in the National Accountability Bureau and the Sindh health department, induction in the Federal Investigation Agency through deputation, delay in national census and appointment of a member of the Election Commission of Pakistan, the Quetta carnage, rising incidents of kidnapping of children in Punjab, illegal transplant of human organs and issues related to the environment.”

The CJP said that during the last judicial year the apex court had decided 18,000 cases but still over 30,000 cases were pending. Likewise, the Human Rights Cell of the Supreme Court disposed of 31,669 complaints and 10,096 complaints are pending. The cell constituted to redress grievances of overseas Pakistanis disposed of 1,432 complaints.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2016