SC issues notice to PM Imran for attending Insaf Lawyers Forum ceremony

Published October 12, 2020
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the Insaf Lawyers Forum in Islamabad on Oct 9. - DawnNewsTV screengrab
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the Insaf Lawyers Forum in Islamabad on Oct 9. - DawnNewsTV screengrab

The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to Prime Minister Imran Khan for attending a ceremony of the PTI-affiliated Insaf Lawyers Forum (ILF) held in Islamabad last week.

"The prime minister is the premier of the whole country, not of one particular group. Why is he misusing the state's resources?" Justice Qazi Faez Isa remarked while hearing a civil case against the Punjab government. He added that the matter was related to the Constitution and fundamental rights.

The apex court also issued notices to the attorney general, the Punjab advocate general and the in-charge of the convention centre where the ceremony was hosted. Justice Isa asked the convention centre's in-charge to inform the court whether the expenses for the ceremony were paid for.

Justice Isa added that the premier participated in the event in a personal capacity. In his remarks, the SC judge said that the premier could not align himself with one particular group. "The premier supported a particular group by attending the ceremony," he said.

Jus­tice Isa referred the matter to Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed for the constitution of a bench.

Addressing the ILF last week, the premier had said the opposition parties' real issue with the military was that — unlike other institutions — they were unable to "control" the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) after the agency "found out" about their alleged corruption.

He also touched upon tenures of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, saying the PML-N supremo "fought with every army chief" because he wanted to turn the military into Punjab police.

Nawaz in recent weeks has levelled serious allegations of political interference against the armed forces. "They (opposition parties) control all the institutions whose job it is to keep checks and balances, except one. They know the ISI is aware of all their theft. They try to control it and that's where the conflict starts," he had said.

PM Imran had said Nawaz's real cause was not democracy but protecting his financial interests. "I am democracy," he had declared. "I was elected after bagging the most votes in Pakistan and won from five constituencies."

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