LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday accepted an unconditional apology tendered by former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal and discharged the contempt of court proceedings initiated against him following his statement about Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar.
Mr Iqbal tendered the apology in writing before a full bench, headed by Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, during the July 2 hearing. The bench had, however, deferred its decision.
Justice Naqvi had observed during proceedings of the case on July 2 that the court would monitor the conduct of the politician till the next hearing as Mr Ahsan had been found changing his stance inside and outside the court.
During Monday’s hearing, the bench told the former minister that another application had been filed urging it not to accept his apology. However, the judges observed that the bench had found the conduct of the former minister positive.
Mr Iqbal assured the bench that he would be more careful and responsible in future while issuing statements. At this, the bench accepted the apology and discharged the contempt proceedings against him.
Mr Ahsan had issued the statement when the CJP, while hearing a case regarding appointment of vice chancellors of public sector universities, had suspended Prof Dr Uzma Qureshi as the VC of the Lahore College for Women University and observed that her appointment had been manoeuvred by the former minister for interior.
Later, Mr Iqbal, speaking at a seminar in Islamabad, had criticised the CJP’s remarks saying the chief justice had no right to say such a thing. He had also urged the chief justice to first issue him a charge-sheet if he had any evidence.
Talking to media at the LHC, Mr Iqbal said that the issue of dams should be taken seriously, but it seemed that the present government was only interested in collection of donations. He said that international funding was inevitable for the construction of dams.
He said his party (PML-N) would not hold sit-ins or go for lock-downs but oppose the government in parliament.
He said the PML-N had acquired land for the Diamer-Basha dam and also produced 12,000MW of electricity without any donation. He said the CPEC was one of the most transparent projects of the country and his party would not only oppose but stop the government if it tried to roll back the project.
The former minister said that levelling baseless allegations on the contracts of the CPEC was not fair. An independent commission should be formed to hold probe into these allegations, he added.
Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2018