Pak SC Chief Justice chides PM Imran for blaming judiciary over Sharif’s exit to UK for treatment

Pak SC Chief Justice chides PM Imran for blaming judiciary over Sharif's exit to UK for treatment

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top judge on Wednesday chided Prime Minister Imran Khan on his recent provocative comments against the courts, telling him to “be careful” with his statements and not to “taunt” them, amidst differences between the government and the judiciary over allowing jailed former premier Nawaz Sharif to go abroad for medical treatment.

Addressing a public meeting in Havelian in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Monday, Khan urged Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and senior judge of the Supreme Court Justice Gulzar Ahmed to come forward and restore public confidence in the judiciary.

Khan also said there was a perceived disparity in how the powerful and common people were treated in the country’s judicial system. He said he was ready to support the judiciary to change the perception and restore public confidence in the institutions.

Prime Minister Khan’s government had demanded that Sharif, who was convicted of corruption, should furnish indemnity bond worth Rs 700 crore as a condition of his travel abroad – which the PML-N rejected.

After days of deadlock over the condition, he was finally allowed to leave his home in Lahore to travel to London for treatment following an undertaking to court that he would return to Pakistan within four weeks.

But Khan’s remarks did not go down well with the chief justice, who urged the prime minister to refrain from blaming the judiciary, as the Lahore High Court (LHC) only set modalities after the government allowed Sharif to exit Pakistan on account of failing health.

Speaking at a function here at the Supreme Court, Khosa said the prime minister should refrain from issuing such statements as he is the chief executive of the government.

“The particular case that the respected prime minister referred to, I do not want to comment on that. But he (Prime Minister Khan) should know that they themselves allowed somebody (Nawaz Sharif) to go abroad. The debate in the high court was only over modalities. Please be careful (with statements),” Pakistan Today reported.

“Do not taunt us regarding the powerful,” the chief justice said, adding that everyone is equal before the law.

“Do you not remember that we convicted a prime minister (Nawaz Sharif) and disqualified another prime minister (Yousuf Raza Gilani)?” he was quoted as saying by Dawn News.

The chief justice also noted that a case concerning former army chief Gen Pervez Musharraf is going to be decided soon. A special Pakistani court will announce its verdict in the high treason case against Musharraf on November 28. PTI

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