LAHORE: Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah has urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of the alleged use of the Supreme Court name for political purposes.
Talking to journalists here on Tuesday, he criticised the opposition, claiming that it had been reported that Imran Khan introduced the Supreme Court as a ‘political party’ in the NA-120 by-election, which the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) won despite difficulties.
He said Mr Khan had asked voters if they stamped on his side of the ballot then they were casting their votes in favour of the apex court and if they voted for the other side — the PML-N — then they were exercising their right of franchise against the SC.
“Even today a statement of Imran Khan was published in newspapers that the reduction in the margin of the PML-N was actually the victory of the Supreme Court,” Mr Sana said, adding that the people might ask whether there was any role of the judiciary in decreasing the PML-N’s margin in the NA-120 election.
Punjab’s law minister urges CJP to take notice of use of SC name in politics
He said that although he did not believe that the SC had any link with the results of the NA-120 election, it would have been better if the SC registrar had issued a one-line clarification that the apex court had no connection with this election and anyone suggesting otherwise was wrong.
Dispelling an impression that the PML-N was talking against the institution of the judiciary, Mr Sana clarified that his party was only discussing the SC verdict and it had every right to do so. “If an honourable judge of the Supreme Court can call us godfather, which for me is a swear word, then yesterday another learned judge of the Supreme Court said that NA-120 results had been announced and the people’s mandate should be respected.”
He said that ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, soon after the pronouncement of the verdict in the Panama Papers case, implemented it as he respected the verdict.
Mr Sana said the Panama Papers case verdict was not a ‘divine scripture’ that could not be discussed. “But we followed it in letter and spirit despite all reservations as it was binding under the Constitution and law. We should not be asked to believe in it,” he added.
“Like us, it is the duty of everyone to respect institutions,” he said, adding: “Allegation Khan, the Cunning Maulvi and Sheikh Rashid must now accept the defeat.” He said when the PML-N requested for an extension in the polling time for NA-120, it was told that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf should be taken into confidence for the purpose.
The minister asked a reporter to inquire about the character of Irfan Mangi, a senior official of the National Accountability Bureau who gained fame as a member of the joint investigation team which probed the allegations of money laundering against the Sharif family on the orders of the apex court.
He said the relations of another JIT member with retired Gen Pervez Musharraf were no secret.
Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2017