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Sunday, February 18, 2024

    Chief Justice Responds to Imran’s Election Concerns

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    In a noteworthy exchange between Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan, the Chief Justice has responded to Imran Khan’s plea for a level playing field for his party in the upcoming general elections on February 8, 2024.

    Imran Khan, in a letter, highlighted what he perceived as “discrimination” against the PTI, citing arrests and the registration of cases against party leaders. Seeking the Chief Justice’s intervention, Imran aimed to address what he saw as biased actions hindering the PTI’s political activities.

    Responding to Imran’s letter, Dr. Muhammad Mushtaq Ahmad, the secretary to the Chief Justice, asserted that Chief Justice Isa is fully aware of his constitutional duties and will not succumb to pressure or show favoritism to any party. The official statement emphasized that Chief Justice Isa is committed to fulfilling his duties impartially, following the oath of office.

    The statement, released by the top court, described the detailed letter received from Imran Khan on December 1. It outlined the extensive content, including a typed application, tabulated tables, and photocopies, totaling 84 pages, bound in a yellow paper book commonly used for filings in the Supreme Court. Interestingly, the identity and contact details of the advocate who prepared the document were absent, raising additional questions about the authenticity of the submission.

    Furthermore, the statement highlighted the misgivings arising when a political party, well-represented by advocates, sends such communications. Notably, the PTI had recently engaged in significant legal cases in the Supreme Court, addressing issues related to military courts and elections. The statement pointed out that the document had been distributed to the media before being officially received in a sealed envelope.

    Imran Khan, who recently stepped down as PTI chairman, had urged the Chief Justice to direct federal and provincial governments and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to ensure equal opportunities for political meetings and gatherings for all parties, without discrimination. Imran alleged that PTI leaders and activists were being systematically targeted through the registration of multiple criminal cases, preventing them from active participation in political processes.

    Imran characterized these actions as a “tactic of abuse and oppression” employed nationwide, emphasizing the concerning pattern of individuals being implicated in successive FIRs (First Information Reports) related to the same or different events. The letter underlined the urgency of addressing these issues to ensure a fair and transparent electoral process.

    As this exchange unfolds, it sheds light on the intricate dynamics between political leaders and the judiciary, with implications for the upcoming elections. The impartiality of the Chief Justice and the constitutional principles guiding his role in addressing such concerns become pivotal aspects of this unfolding narrative.

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