LAHORE, Jan 18: Attorney-General Malik Qayyum, who met detained SCBA president Aitzaz Ahsan here on Thursday, is reported to have stopped short of unfolding a government offer he had brought with him after the latter’s refusal to change his stance on independent judiciary, says former SCBA president Hamid Khan.Mr Khan who met Aitzaz on Friday said Malik Qayyum probably wanted to get some sort of a commitment from Aitzaz Ahsan that he would not try to launch a movement for the revival of the pre-emergency judiciary.

According to him, Malik Qayyum had asked Mr Ahsan if he could do anything for him.“There is nothing that you could do,” Hamid Khan quoted Aitzaz Ahsan as having responded.

Talking to Dawn, Aitzaz’s wife Bushra Aitzaz confirmed that her husband had clearly told the attorney-general that he would not give up the campaign for the restoration of judiciary to its pre-November status.

Mr Ahsan has been under detention since Nov 3, the day emergency was imposed and judges were removed under the Provisional Constitution Order.

His detention is nearing the time-limit envisaged in the Constitution for keeping a person under preventive detention.

Article 10 of the Constitution says a person shall not be kept under preventive detention beyond a period of 90 days and an extension in detention can only be obtained by producing the person before a review board comprising judges of higher judiciary. The judges may or may not extend the detention.

Hamid Khan said the government would have to produce Mr Ahsan before a review board before the expiry of 90 days.

If the government does approach a review board, it will be a catch 22 situation not only for the government but for the lawyers as well because the former will have to get the board’s approval to keep the SCBA president under detention while the latter do not recognise the sitting judges because they had taken oath under the PCO.

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