Pakistan

ISLAMBAD – The remarks of Supreme Court judges against the government are ‘deplorable’ and “against the traditions, oath and moral conduct” of the apex court, the government spokesperson said on Thursday.

“The judges’ remarks hurt the identity and image of Pakistan in the world,” the spokesperson said in a statement, adding that an SC judge “ignored the PM’s action against Nehal Hashmi” over inflammatory speech against the Panama Joint Investigation Team members.

The statement comes after the SC decided to open a case against PML-N’s sacked senator Nehal Hashmi for railing against “those investigating” the prime minister’s family and threatening them with “consequences”.

Hashmi’s party membership was suspended as soon as the PM house came to know of this statement and he was directed to tender his resignation from the Senate, according to Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb.

PM Nawaz revokes Senator Nehal Hashmi’s party membership

The PML-N stalwart had also resigned from Senate on Wednesday, before the CJP took suo moto notice of his anti-judiciary speech.

SC likens govt to Sicilian mafia

The SC bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, which had a particularly fiery exchange with the attorney general (AG) on Thursday, came down hard on Hashmi over his controversial remarks, saying only mafias and terrorists threaten children.

Justice Ejaz stated that the bench had directed the Supreme Court registrar to nominate persons for the [Panama case] Joint Investigation Team.

The judges asked the Attorney General (AG) whether he was aware of what was going on. “It seems that the government’s self-proclaimed spokespersons let no opportunity for maligning the courts slip by,” Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked.

“It is not our custom to bring our children into our fights,” Justice Sheikh Azmat chimed in, referring to the senator’s threats. “Mr Attorney General, what kind of people involve children in their fights,” he asked.

“The cowardly kind,” replied AG Ashtar Ausaf.

“No, not cowards – it is terrorists and the mafia who do such things,” responded Justice Azmat.

“Congratulations Mr Attorney General: it seems that your government has joined the Sicilian Mafia,” he added.

Panama case verdict opens with quote from The Godfather

Condemning the judges’ remarks, the government spokesman held that “the judges hurled baseless allegations against the government without unearthing the details.”

Analysts are of the view that the latest statement lays bare the growing tensions between PML-N government and the judiciary over the issue of Panama probe which includes PM Nawaz Sharif and his immediate family.