‘You are not friend of court’, CJP Nisar tells Zulfi Bukhari in disqualification case

  • Supreme Court summons details pertaining to Bukhari and his appointment
  • The chief justice remarked that PM did not have unbridled authority
  • The petitions argue Bukhari cannot be appointed at the position of special assistant to PM as he possess dual nationality
Pakistan

LAHORE – The supreme court on Friday summoned details pertaining to Zulfikar Bukhari, the special assistant to PM on overseas Pakistanis and human resource development, and his appointment.

A bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan was hearing a petition filed by Muhammad Ali Chattah and Mirza Abul Moiz Baig seeking disqualification of the special assistant on the basis of his dual nationality at Lahore Registry.

The court has sought details about Bukhari’s education, experience and merit.

During the hearing, the chief justice admonished the special assistant for speaking loudly in the court, stating: “You are the friend of someone else, not the Supreme Court”.

The top judge directed the attorney general to inform Bukhari about his attitude.

The chief justice remarked that making appointments at the key position is an important national duty, adding that the affairs of the country will be run keeping in view the national interest rather than friendship. It is a matter of national sovereignty, he remarked.

Aitzaz Ahsan, counsel for Bukhari, said that the prime minister has the power to appoint the special assistant.

Calling the prime minister a trustee of the public, the chief justice commented: “The prime minister does not hold unbridled authorities”.

The court adjourned the case till December 5.

Previous Hearing

At the last hearing on Nov 12, the supreme court had issued notices to Prime Minister Imran Khan, Bukhrai and Secretary of Cabinet Division after admitting the petition.

During the hearing, the top judge asked what portfolio has been assigned to the PM’s close aide, to which, the counsel for Bukhari said that his client is a special assistant to the prime minister.

The chief justice asked Bukhari’s lawyer: “Tell me if an ordinary citizen can become a minister despite having dual nationality?”

Appointment

On September 17, Khan had appointed Bukhari as his special assistant, inviting criticism from the opposition due to his dual nationality.

Earlier, the Registrar office of the apex court had rejected the petition citing objections. The petitioners later challenged the objections and the chief justice admitted their plea for hearing.