Maryam Nawaz, the PML-N chief organizer, has expressed her dissatisfaction with the remarks made by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial during the Supreme Court hearing on the postponement of polls in Punjab, following Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s comments.
The Supreme Court had been hearing the PTI’s petition against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to delay the polls for the Punjab Assembly until October 8 for more than a week. Recently, the court rejected the electoral body’s order and declared it unconstitutional.
During the hearing in the Supreme Court, the CJP made a statement that caught everyone’s attention. He stated that “Today, when you go to parliament, you find people addressing the parliament who were till yesterday in captivity, imprisoned, declared traitors.
They are now talking over there and being respected because they are representatives of the people.”
The CJP’s remarks caused a stir, coming just a day after the Senate passed a bill aimed at limiting the CJP’s powers and giving the right to appeal in all suo motu cases with retrospective effect.
The bill, named the ‘Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023,’ seeks to remove the CJP’s discretionary powers to take suo motu notice, form benches, and assign cases individually. Maryam Nawaz, like Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, found the CJP’s remarks to be inappropriate and expressed her concerns.
Earlier this week, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz expressed regret over the Chief Justice’s comments, stating that the opposition members, including himself, were imprisoned on baseless and false accusations by the ruling party.
In a lawyers’ convention, Maryam also criticized the Chief Justice’s remarks and his verdicts, echoing the Prime Minister’s sentiments.
She started her address by saying that in Pakistan’s 75-year history, the country was under military rule for almost 40 years, and no elected Prime Minister had completed their term. Four dictators ruled for 10 years each, and no court stood up against them.
Elected Prime Ministers were thrown out of office, but no court had the courage to bring any dictator to justice. Dictators were not disqualified by any court, but elected PMs were declared disqualified.
Maryam addressed the CJP, saying that she saw tickers on TV that attributed to the Chief Justice, where he got emotional during the hearing. She pointed out that the Chief Justice should have been emotional when an elected Prime Minister was ousted on the basis of an expired Iqama.
She questioned why he didn’t get emotional when an election won by Nawaz was handed over to Imran. Maryam also asked why the Chief Justice didn’t get emotional when his brother, Justice Qazi Faez Isa, was suffering.
Maryam claimed that the politicians mentioned in the CJP’s remarks went to jail on orders of former director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, who had control over the judiciary.
She alleged that PTI Chairman Imran Khan was a facilitator of the ex-spymaster. Maryam further said that the CJP should have mentioned that those who went to jail were imprisoned due to false cases instead of taunting Shehbaz Sharif and the entire government.
Maryam criticized Imran’s hypocrisy, stating that the man who once threw shoes at banners of judges was now talking about the law and Constitution. She further claimed that Imran’s facilitators were in the judiciary, and a new trend had begun to get bail in 12 cases simultaneously.
She criticized Imran for resisting the court’s summons and bringing a horde of people when he did appear in court. Maryam also claimed that Imran and his facilitators had a plan in store, which was to be executed before the new CJP takes charge in September.
Maryam likened the SC’s verdict in the Punjab polls case to the facilitation done by Justice Saqib Nisar, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, and Gen Faiz in 2017. She questioned how the CJP could expect people to accept a decision that even his brother judges were not accepting. Maryam said that the Chief Justice excluded the judges who had raised legal reservations and instead brought those judges who favored him.
Maryam accused the judges in the Supreme Court of favoring Imran Khan and rewriting the Constitution to facilitate his rise to power.
She specifically pointed to Justice Ijazul Ahsan, who was a part of the monitoring bench during Nawaz Sharif’s trial, and Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, who had severe corruption allegations against him. Maryam argued that every bench had the same judges, which she saw as evidence of a larger conspiracy against her party.
Maryam further accused the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) of overstepping his bounds by taking on the roles of other governmental institutions. She called on him to address recent audio leaks, including one featuring Justice Naqvi, and to focus on the internal issues within the court.
Maryam questioned why the Constitution was being selectively applied to certain provinces, and she claimed that elections would take place on time and that Imran would lose.