ISLAMABAD: In response to a letter of former prime minister Imran Khan to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa, the Supreme Court assured on Saturday that the CJP was fully cognisant of his constitutional duties and will neither be pressurised nor will favour anyone.

A single-page letter on behalf of CJP’s Secretary Dr Muhammad Mushtaq Ahmad stated the CJP will continue to fulfil his duties and abide by the oath of his office.

On Nov 30, Mr Khan in his letter to the CJP had demanded affirmative action against alleged political “victimisation” of his party, and abductions and disappearances of PTI workers. He also sought equal opportunities for his party to lead its political campaign.

The SC response given on Saturday said an undated seven-page application was received in the CJP office on Dec 1, 2023 at 12:25pm. The document comprises a typed application, tabulated tables and photocopies, altogether 84 pages, bound in a yellow paper-book, the kind used for filings in the Supreme Court but the identity and contact details of the advocate who prepared the document does not appear in the document, the letter said.

Letter by secretary points out undated application neither discloses identity nor contact details of lawyer who drafted it

Misgivings also arise when the PTI on whose behalf the document has been sent is well represented by advocates. Only recently, its advocates conducted two significant cases in the Supreme Court, on the military courts and on the elections. Surprisingly, before receiving the document that too in a sealed envelope, the letter highlighted, it had already been distributed to the media.

Mr Khan, in his letter, demanded that the court set up a commission to probe the abductions and disappearances of PTI workers and journalists, and direct the federal government and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to allow all political parties and their leaders to have media coverage without any discrimination. “These disappearances or abductions, quite apart from the arbitrary arrests, have spread fear through society and are a grotesque affront to the claim that Pakistan is a country ruled by a constitution and a set of laws,” the letter had noted.

“Today, the power to prosecute and arrest is being used in a blatant attempt to engineer and skew the political landscape of the country,” Mr Khan stated, while seeking media “coverage [of all political parties] without any restriction or discrimination”.

Disposal

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court disposed of 624 cases from Nov 27 to Dec 1, whereas 364 new cases have been instituted from Nov 27 to Dec 2.The CJP and judges of Supreme Court remained committed to accelerate disposal of the cases and diminish the backlog. The judges continued to hear cases with the aim to minimise the backlog and provide relief to the litigants.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2023

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