Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday alleged that officers of Pakistan’s premier spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), is directly involved into manipulating the judicial affairs in the country.

“I don’t know what will happen tomorrow but I swear on my mother and this Bar that ISI officials instruct the judges to constitute the bench of their own choice,” the judge said while speaking at Rawalpindi Bar Association on Saturday.

Mr Siddiqui also claimed that the secret agency’s officials “contacted my chief justice and asked to keep former premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz in Adiala jail till general elections 2018”.

“My chief justice was asked not to include justice Shaukat in the bench to which my chief replied ‘don’t worry we will form the bench as per your wishes’,” he maintained.

A video, containing part of Justice Siddiqui’s speech, is making rounds on the internet.

In the video, the judge can be heard saying that he knew where the proceedings of accountability courts were going and ‘who’ goes to the Supreme Court with a message from ‘someone’, in an unveiled reference to the spy agency.

“Why the administrative control of IHC has no rule over the Accountability Courts,” he questioned.

“We are not independent and our institution is in the hands of those carrying guns,” he continued.

Justice Siddiqui went on to assert that he did not care about his job and he was conveyed that all references against him would be removed if he accepted the terms.

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The IHC judge told the lawyers that he was even offered the post of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice.

“For a while now, I have been wanting to present myself before the bar for accountability. I wanted to do that because only this bar can hold me accountable and I face no corruption charges.

“Whenever I pass a judgment in a crucial case, a group starts malicious campaign claiming that there are corruption references ongoing against me,” he added.

Justice Siddiqui also made headlines last year when he criticised the armed forces for their role as the “mediator” in the agreement that led to an end of the sit-in by religious groups at Islamabad’s Faizabad Interchange in November.

“Who is the army to adopt a mediator’s role?” the judge had questioned at the time. “Where does the law assign this role to a major general?”