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AGP Awan Dismisses Claims Of State Interference In Judiciary During IHC Proceedings

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ISLAMABAD: Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan, in an unusual press briefing on Tuesday, rebuffed accusations of governmental or institutional meddling in judicial affairs. Awan’s remarks surfaced shortly after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) initiated hearings on two contempt petitions regarding the alleged defamation of IHC Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani on social media and the disclosure of Justice Babar Sattar’s personal information.

Awan underscored the necessity of clarifying the situation, particularly given the portrayal of the IHC judges’ letter as indicative of escalating tensions between the executive and judiciary. “We urged that surveillance-related issues be discussed behind closed doors to safeguard the capabilities of our security and intelligence agencies,” the AGP asserted, noting that this stance was communicated to relevant stakeholders.

Earlier in March, six IHC judges petitioned the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), seeking clarification on reported encroachment by executive members, including intelligence officials, into judicial affairs. Justices Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, Babar Sattar, Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, Arbab Muhammad Tahir, and Saman Rafat Imtiaz co-signed a letter addressed to Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, expressing apprehensions about intelligence agencies’ “interference” in court matters.

“We, therefore, request that a judicial convention be called to consider the matter of interference of intelligence operatives with judicial functions and/or intimidation of judges in a manner that undermines the independence of the judiciary,” the judges implored in their communication. They stressed the importance of investigating potential ongoing executive branch policies aimed at meddling in judicial affairs.

The judges also urged a judicial assembly to deliberate on intelligence operatives’ involvement in judicial functions and the intimidation of judges, actions perceived as eroding judicial independence.

 

Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi is an award-winning digital, print, and broadcast investigative journalist who is the co-founder of The Scoop. He also hosts his web shows 'The Scoop' and 'The Hassan Naqvi Show'.

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