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Pak to probe judges’ allegation of intelligence agencies meddling in judicial affairs

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Islamabad, March 28: The Pakistan government on Thursday announced a formal probe into the explosive allegation by six judges of the Islamabad High Court about the country’s powerful intelligence agencies meddling in the affairs of the judiciary.
The development came following a crucial meeting by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Supreme Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, who met to tackle the explosive situation in the wake of the letter by six judges of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) alleging interference by intelligence sleuths in their functioning.
The high-level meeting came a day after the chief justice chaired a full court meeting and discussed the issue. The attorney general had also met the chief justice on Wednesday and discussed the thorny issue. Later he told journalists that it was a serious issue and “should be properly investigated”.
Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar accompanied by Attorney General Mansoor Usman Awan addressed a press conference, saying that Sharif discussed in detail with the chief justice the thorny issue and they agreed to set up a probe commission, headed by a former judge, to ascertain the veracity of the allegations.
Tarar, who along with Awan, was present in the meeting between the prime minister and the chief justice said Sharif had summoned a meeting of the Cabinet on Friday to discuss the issue.
“The Cabinet will agree on the name of a former judge of good repute to head the commission to probe the matter and prepare a report,” he said.
He also assured that the matter would be properly investigated and steps would be taken to stop such incidents of interference in future.
Tarar also said that Sharif, in the meeting, assured the chief justice that the government would take the matter to its logical conclusion. “He (the prime minister) said point blank in the meeting that there will be no compromise on the independence of the judiciary,” Tarar quoted Sharif as saying.
Earlier, Justices Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, Babar Sattar, Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, Arbab Muhammad Tahir and Saman Rafat Imtiaz, in a stunning move, addressed the letter to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) for help to deal with the rising incidents of meddling in the affairs of the judiciary.
The letter went on to highlight the interference of executive and agencies in judicial matters, including the kidnapping and torture of the brother-in-law of a high court judge to put pressure on the judge regarding a case, demanding the SJC for the initiation of a judicial convention against such interference in the judicial affairs.
The decision to probe the matter came after different lawyers’ bodies and political parties demanded action. (PTI)

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