PM Imran Khan orders FIA to probe into anti-judges campaign

imran khanISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday took serious notice of the recent campaign on social media against the superior judiciary of Pakistan, including the Chief Justice of Pakistan, and asked DG FIA to look into this malicious campaign and depute a team of suitable officers to track down the culprits involved in it.
According to the Prime Minister Office, the prime minister took a very serious view of the recent campaign on social media in which uncalled for, immoderate and intemperate language had been used against the superior judiciary, including the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
“The prime minister has been pleased to direct that the director general, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to look into this malicious campaign and depute a team of suitable officers to track down the culprits involved therein and take necessary action as per the relevant laws,” it said, and noted that the matter be treated as most urgent.
Meanwhile, the prime minister received Saylani Welfare Trust delegation that appreciated the efforts of the federal government, especially Prime Minister Imran Khan, to provide relief to the weaker sections in the current situation of the coronavirus.
Special Assistant for Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar and Focal Person for Shelter Nasimur Rehman also attended the meeting. The delegation appreciated the government’s decision toallow construction and other industrial activities in the current situation, saying it would reduce the difficulties of the business class.
The delegation informed the prime minister of other welfare activities, including providing food and education to the deserving people from the Saylani Welfare Trust. All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) representatives Gohar Ijaz and Adil Bashir also met the prime minister and presented him Rs50 million for PM’s corona relief fund. Faisal Edhi called on the Prime Minister and gave away Rs10 million for the fund
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken notice of Special Assistant for Health Dr Zafar Mirza for not presenting in an appropriate manner the government’s endeavours with regard to the fight against the coronavirus in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
It was learnt that the prime minister reprimanded the special assistant and said that as special assistant for health, it was his duty to present the government’s efforts to contain the virus before the Supreme Court in a respectful manner and in a comprehensive way.
The special assistant failed to give satisfactory replies to questions asked by the apex court. During the federal cabinet meeting Tuesday, the prime minister expressed displeasure on this count and said that the incumbent government accorded utmost respect and honour to the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
The prime minister emphasised that no cabinet member or the government representative would be allowed to show irresponsible and non-serious attitude before the Supreme Court and that it would not be tolerated.
On the orders of the apex court, the Health Ministry had submitted a report about the government steps to control the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Meanwhile, the appointment of five advisers and 14 non-elected special assistants to prime minister in the cabinet of the ruing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PT1) was challenged in the Supreme Court.
Muhammad Arshad Khan Advocate, member Islamabad High Court Bar Association, and Ghulam Dastageer Butt Advocate, member Rawalpindi Bar Association, have field a joint petition in the Supreme Court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, praying for declaring the appointments of these advisers and special assistants to the prime minister against the Constitution.
Besides the Federation and secretaries Cabinet, Establishment Division, Law and Justice as well secretary to PM, the petitioners have also made five advisers to PM including Malik Amin Aslam Khan, Adviser on Climate Change, Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser on Commerce and Investment, Dr Ishrat Hussain, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Adviser on Finance and Revenue and Babar Awan, Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs as respondents.
Similarly, 14 special assistants to prime minister Dr Sania Nishtar, SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty, Muhammad Shahzad Arbab, SAPM on Establishment, Mirza Shahzad Akbar, SAPM on Accountability and Interior, Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, SAPM on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Shahzad Syed Qasim, SAPM on Coordination of Marketing and Development of Mineral Resource, Ali Nawaz Awan, SAMP on CDA, Muhammad Usman Dar, SAMP on Youth Affairs, Nadeem Afzal Gondal, SAPM on Parliamentary Coordination, Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind, SAPM on Power and Petroleum, Dr Zafar Mirza, SAPM on National Health Service Regulation and Coordination, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, SAPM on Information and Broadcasting, Nadeem Babar, SAMP on Petroleum, Dr Moeed Yousaf, SAPM on National Security and Strategic Policy Planning, and Ms Tania S Airdus SAPM on Digital Pakistan, were also made respondents.
They have submitted that the appointment of the respondents No 6-24 are against the Constitution and law of the land.
The petitioners contended that the Federation as well as secretaries of Cabinet, Law and Justice and Establishment Division have no authority to appoint any non-elected person as adviser or SAPM with the status of federal minister and minister of state. They prayed the court to declare that the exercise of any executive authority by the advisers and special assistants to prime minister is against the law and Constitution. They further prayed to the apex court to declare that these advisers and non-elected SAPMs are not entitled for any financial benefit including their salaries , allowances, perks and privileges having the status of federal minster and minster of state being advisers and SAPMs.
Furthermore, the petitioners prayed that these five advisers and 14 special assistants to prime minister may be directed to surrender all the salaries and other perks and privileges obtained from the date of assuming of office till their removal.
The petitioners submitted that the status, powers and rights of a federal minister or a minister of state cannot be conferred upon non-elected advisers and special assistants to the prime minister, nor can they sit in or participate in cabinet meetings conducted by the prime minister.
The petitioners submitted that That article 93(1) speaks of two things in relation to the appointment of advisers: firstly, empowering the prime minister to appoint adviser(s) and secondly, preventing him from appointing more than a certain number.
When it comes to the appointment of advisers, on the face of it, the president enjoys absolute and unfettered power; he can appoint any person, irrespective of whether he is a member of Parliament or not, the petitioners submitted, adding that this power is to be exercised according to the constitutional scheme, not brazenly and arbitrarily.
Seemingly, the underlying intention of this provision is to accommodate highly educated and qualified people working in various walks of life who could not be elected to parliament or do not want to indulge in electoral politics. However, they said party loyalists are now joining the government under this provision, thereby defeating its real purpose. As for the restriction envisaged by the constitutional provision, they said, it limits the PM’s power to appoint advisers in respect of numbers. “In other words, the maximum number of advisers a PM may appoint at a time is five and any appointment beyond that limit would be unconstitutional,” the petitioners contended.
Source: The News

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