ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) president Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Tuesday asserted that the recent controversies have raised questions on the freedom and independence of the judiciary, referring to the Rana Shamim affidavit and the alleged Justice (retd) Saqib Nisar audio clip.
“With a heavy heart, we think that the judiciary will have to regain their status through their character,” the JUI-F chief said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad after a meeting of opposition alliance.
The JUI-F chief was referring to the recent affidavit submitted by former Gilgit-Baltistan chief justice Rana Shamim and an audio clip that allegedly features the voice of ex-chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar.
Maulana Fazl said that the judiciary’s integrity had come into question after recent allegations “from within”. “The conspiracies that took place against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and political leaders, are in reality conspiracies against the country,” he added.
“We respect the courts but are also hurt,” he said, adding that these conspiracies were the main reason why Pakistan was facing an economic crisis today. He pointed out that the PDM will hold its next meeting on December 6 where the Opposition alliance will take “final and important decisions.”
The PDM chief further said the entire nation was demanding an independent election commission. “It is totally unacceptable to clip the ECP’s wings,” he said, adding that the Constitution already lays down the powers of the commission.
He said that the joint Opposition will play a role in guaranteeing that overseas Pakistanis “have representation in the Parliament”, warning them not to get caught up in the government’s “lies”.
Talking about the electronic voting machines (EVMs), he said the government wanted to hold elections when the world had rejected the same process. “We reject this pre-poll rigging,” he said, referring to the government’s move to pass laws relating to the voting machines.