Aviation minister faces contempt of court

Updated November 09, 2019

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Ghulam Sarwar Khan allegedly linked former premier's release with a 'deal'. — DawnNewsTV/File
Ghulam Sarwar Khan allegedly linked former premier's release with a 'deal'. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: A petition has been filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking contempt of court proceedings against the Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan for linking the release of Nawaz Sharif with a deal.

Lawyer Khalid Mehmood Khan in the petition cited aviation minister and chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) as respondents.

IHC will likely take up the petition on Monday when it will resume contempt proceedings against Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdus Ashiq Awan.

The petition while referring to a talk show aired on a private television channel pointed out that the PTI’s minister openly linked the release of ailing ex prime minister with a deal between government and the ex-premier.

The IHC has recently suspended the sentence of Mr Sharif for eight weeks as the medical board constituted by the Punjab government declared his condition as ‘critical and serious’.

The petition termed Mr Khan remarks “unfortunate” which gave an impression that judicial institutions of this country had also played a role in the alleged ‘deal’.

“Being a citizen of this country, petitioner has a basic right to know about the facts whether such kind of ‘deal’ reached between Nawaz Sharif and the government. If answer is yes then it is a question mark on the independence of the institutions of this country and if answer is no then why a responsible leader of PTI and federal minister of this country gave such kind of irresponsible statement.”

According to the petition, the minister’s act was “to malign the dignity of this honorable court that accepted the petition and granted bail to Nawaz Sharif for eight weeks hence the statement of respondent No 1 [Ghulam Sarwar Khan] falls in the ambit of contempt of this court.”

The court has ample power to summon Khan and punish him under the relevant provisions of law, the petition said.

It requested the court to seek explanation from the minister for making such an statement and also ask him to “explain facts of the ‘deal’ between Mr Sharif, government and other institutions.

Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2019