Prime Minister Imran Khan has clarified previous remarks implying that some judges on the Supreme Court were partial to Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif, explaining that he was referring to a specific incident in 1997 when a mob ransacked the apex court.
At a political rally in Kamila city, Punjab on Saturday, the prime minister had insinuated that should Nawaz Sharif return to Pakistan, he would divide the judiciary, which PM Imran claimed Sharif had already managed to do from abroad.
During yesterday’s hearing before the apex court regarding the presidential reference seeking the court’s interpretation of Article 63-A of the Constitution, the justices took umbrage at the premier’s remarks.
Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel said that he regretted the prime minister’s remarks, while Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel had questioned whether the prime minister was able to restrain himself from making such ‘irresponsible’ comments, as quoted in Dawn.
In response to the judge’s concerns, Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawed Khan presented a statement before the court explaining that the prime minister’s comments should only be considered in the context of the incident in 1997, when supporters of Nawaz Sharif stormed the Supreme Court during a session with the chief justice and other judges.
The attorney general told the court that the premier had full confidence and trust in the judiciary.
Since his elevation as chief justice of the apex court, Judge Umar Ata Bandial has made it a point to condemn personal attacks on judges, requesting relevant parties to show restraint against criticizing the judiciary.