RAWALPINDI – Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has clarified that he was not running the election campaign of any political party and has nothing to do with the upcoming polls.
The chief justice gave these remarks during the visit of an under-construction Rawalpindi Child and Mother Hospital (RCMH) located in the constituency of Awami Muslim League Chairman Sheikh Rasheed’s constituency.
He said that he was visiting the hospital to check the progress and he had not been invited by anyone. Responding to a question regarding his visit to the hospital in Rasheed’s constituency amid electioneering, the chief justice said that he has not taken a contract to run the campaign of any political party.
The whirlwind visit of the top judge to the hospital, a project which was started in 2005 during former president Pervez Musharraf’s tenure, came after he heard a case about the RCMH. The AML chief also attended the hearing when he invited the chief justice to visit the hospital in order to give it revival.
Earlier, CJP Nisar declined to visit the hospital after receiving a briefing by the National Engineering Service officials; however soon after the hearing, he reached the hospital site.
During the effort, Rasheed said he wanted to rename the hospital after the CJP, saying: “You have undertaken a noble cause of reviving the hospital project”. But, the chief justice refused it.
The AML chief informed the judge that work on the project had halted since 2006 as the successive governments of PPP and PML-N had not issued funds for it.
The chief justice said that the project must be completed in 18 months adding that the funds for it would be provided on a regular basis. “The apex court will provide funds to you if the government does not release the money,” he assured.
The chief justice also reprimanded Pakistan Public Works Department’s chief engineer and ordered him to resume the work.
The RCMH, commonly known as TB Hospital, inaugurated on April 8, 2005 by then prime minister Shaukat Aziz. It was a joint project of the centre and the Punjab government on the basis of equal sharing.
But work on the project was stopped soon after the formation of the PML-N government in Punjab in March 2008.