ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Monday filed applications in Supreme Court registries across the country, seeking a judicial commission to probe an assassination attempt on its chairman Imran Khan, secret video recording of Senator Azam Swati and his wife, and killing of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya.
In the federal capital, PTI leaders claimed they were denied entry to the Supreme Court building after they reached the parking lot, irking former human rights minister Shireen Mazari, Leader of the Opposition in Senate Shehzad Waseem, Senator Azam Swati, MNAs Ali Nawaz Awan, Junaid Akbar and Sajida Zulfiqar among others.
However, the application was received.
Ms Mazari condemned the incident and sought immediate apology from the registrar. “This is shocking that the SC registrar prevented PTI legislators from entering the SC in Islamabad today. Isn’t the SC supposed to be a public building? If legislators cannot enter a public building where one goes to seek justice what must be the fate of ordinary citizens,” she tweeted.
“The SC Registrar should immed apologise for his inexcusable action of preventing legislators from entering the SC. The Senators who were denied entry into SC shd immed call for breach of privilege motion in Senate. Let us see if the pusillanimous Chairman Senate can take a stand!” she added.
Pleas filed in all SC registries for formation of a judicial commission; Shireen Mazari demands apology from registrar for preventing PTI leaders from entering court premises..
The ex-minister also alleged, “A grade 20/21 bureaucrat can deny legislators representing the public access to the SC. Another senior bureaucrat in uniform cannot be named in an FIR & we can all be violated against for simply criticising him. Clearly it is the civil & mly bureaucracy that rules Pak today.”
According to the application, signed by the parliamentarians, the SC has been asked to constitute a judicial commission under Article 184(3) of the Constitution to probe the three events i.e. assassination plot and attempt on ex-premier Imran Khan and subsequent refusal by police to register an FIR on Mr Khan’s complaint against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal Naseer, who the complainant alleged had devised the assassination plot.
The assassination attempt, which was made on November 3 when Mr Khan-led rally reached Wazirabad, resulted in the death of one person and left 14 persons (including Mr Khan) injured.
Swati’s video, Arshad’s killing
The parliamentarians further demanded that the commission also probe the illegal video recording of Senator Swati and his wife while they were staying at an official rest house, and sent to the senator’s wife.
“This is an infringement of inviolable dignity of man guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution as well as a gross violation of the law in terms of wiretaps and clandestine camera placements for the purposes of making covert videos. On 04-11-2022, Senator Swati’s daughter informed him of an inappropriate video sent to his wife. Consequent to this event, the public in-general and parliamentarians in-specific are feeling that there is no respect to privacy or the dignity of a citizen, therefore, it constitutes a matter of public importance with reference to enforcement of fundamental rights of the citizens of Pakistan,” it stated.
The court was requested that the commission also investigate the brutal assassination of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya.
“On 23-10-2022, Arshad Sharif was brutally killed in Kenya. Brutal assassination of famous journalist has created lot of consternation in the public in general and journalist community in particular. It needs to be inquired by an independent commission that what circumstances compelled Mr Arshad Sharif to flee the country and eventually end up in Kenya, due to which circumstances, the assassination is being perceived by the journalist community as a threat to freedom of speech of the journalist community, therefore, along with being infringement of fundamental right of security of person (right to life) guaranteed under Article 9 also impedes the fundamental rights of freedom of speech,” it stated.
The registrar has been requested that the instant application be put before the SC for an appropriate and timely order for the constitution of a commission in terms of Order XXXII of Supreme Court Rules 1980 to hold inquiry into all those issues and record its findings in a detailed report.
In Lahore, a similar petition was filed by former chief minister of Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar under Article 184(3). He was flanked by PTI vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Shafqat Mahmood and other leaders when he reached the Lahore registry of the court to submit the petition.
In Peshawar, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shoukat Ali Yousafzai moved an application at the SC registry seeking formation of a judicial commission.
Mr Yousafzai was accompanied by provincial ministers Atif Khan, Dr Amjad Ali, Kamran Bangash, KP Assembly’s deputy speaker Mahmood Jan, Senator Usman Khan Tarakai, MNAs Arbab Aamir and Umer Ayub, and several MPAs.
In Karachi, around two dozen PTI lawmakers, led by ex-minister Ali Haider Zaidi, filed an application in the SC registry. Similarly, in Quetta, former deputy speaker of the National Assembly Qasim Suri, MNA Munawara Bibi Baloch and MPA Mubeen Khan Khilji moved the plea.
Wajih Ahmad Sheikh in Lahore, Waseem Ahmed Shah in Peshawar, Ishaq Tanoli in Karachi and Saleem Shahid in Quetta also contributed to this report
Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2022