In a groundbreaking moment in Pakistan’s judicial history, the newly-appointed Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa took his oath of office with his wife, Sarina Isa, standing beside him. This symbolic gesture, which took place on Sunday, signifies a significant departure from tradition and carries a powerful message about gender equality and partnership.
During the oath-taking ceremony, Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa pledged to uphold the rule of law, abide by Pakistan’s Constitution, and ensure justice throughout his tenure as the country’s top judge, which will continue until October 25, 2024.
It’s worth noting that Justice Isa had faced a presidential reference against him, which was ultimately dismissed by the apex court on June 19, 2020. In January 2022, the Supreme Court issued a detailed verdict stating that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had acquired the tax records of the judge and his family in an “unlawful” manner.
The decision by Chief Justice Isa to have his wife, Sarina, by his side during the oath-taking ceremony has garnered widespread praise for its progressive and inclusive message. Many prominent figures from Pakistan’s political and social landscape lauded this gesture.
Sherry Rehman, a former climate change minister and leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), commented on the importance of Justice Isa’s act, emphasizing the value of equality and partnership for women.
Ahsan Iqbal, a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and former planning minister, commended Sarina Isa’s courage in the face of adversity and conspiracy, adding that her presence at the ceremony was highly commendable.
Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, the president of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT), also appreciated the Chief Justice’s act, underlining the message it sends about recognizing women as equal partners.
Husain Haqqani, former Pakistan ambassador to the United States, saw this gesture as a response to the unjust harassment faced by Justice Isa’s wife and an indication of their resilience.
Senior journalist Mariana Baabar praised Sarina Isa’s determination and called the moment “symbolic” and “perseverance at its best.”
Asma Sherazi, a senior anchorperson, described the scene as iconic and carrying a powerful message.
The gesture by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and the support of his wife, Sarina Isa, have not only broken away from tradition but have also sent a resounding message of equality and partnership, resonating with many across Pakistan.