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Khawaja Asif castigates judiciary, demands judges’ accountability

ISLAMABAD: Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has sharply attacked the judiciary for ‘interfering in political matters,’ calling on present and previous judges to be held accountable.

Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly (NA), the defense minister accused Pakistan’s Supreme Court (SC) of collusion, stating that a ‘special committee should be formed to probe the cases from the prosecution of former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to the present’.

Khawaja Asif slammed the Supreme Court for asking the ‘political parties to negotiate,’ stating that instead of ordering them, it should first resolve their disputes.

In reference to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the federal minister stated that ‘some people’ were still facilitating a political party that took power in 2018. “The House’s responsibility is to stand in the way of facilitators,” he continued.

“The practice of overthrowing a prime minister should end,” he said, referring to the prosecutions of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif. “We [the House] should defend our Prime Minister, whatever party he may belong to,” he continued.

“We’ve been held accountable several times; now it’s time to hold the judiciary accountable,” he stated, saying that some people receive lifetime automobiles, guards, and phone bills in addition to their pension.

Asif asked that the judiciary be held accountable by forming a special committee of the National Assembly to probe instances dating back to Bhutto’s trial.

Khawaja Asif also called previous Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar a “dam fool” for collecting donations for dam development. “Which constitution gives a chief justice authority to collect dam funds?” he inquired.

Meanwhile, he admitted to supporting dictators but claimed that they had paid the price. “They [the judges] supported dictators but did not pay the price,” he added, adding that proceedings against those who perished should also be filed.

“Parliament will not surrender and will not sacrifice its Prime Minister,” he continued, encouraging the House to “stand up and defend itself.” He concluded that they will not permit the facilitators to engage in “wrong actions.”

It should be remembered that the government promised the Supreme Court that it would hold talks with the opposition about elections in two provinces on April 26.

During the Supreme Court’s last hearing on the polls delay case, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) assured the court that they would sit with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to try to find a solution on the election date.

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