News Analysis |
Pakistan is set to hold the general election after two days. International media and some segments in Pakistani media are ‘alleging’ secret agencies for meddling into the political process to manipulate the results on Election Day. Pakistan’s upcoming general elections’ credibility become ‘questionable’ when the most senior Judge of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui leveled serious allegations against the spy agencies of Pakistan. In a speech delivered before the Rawalpindi District Bar Association, Justice Siddiqi lamented over the extra-constitutional role of the agencies in Pakistan. “In today’s era, the ISI is fully involved in manipulating judicial proceedings. Their personnel gets benches formed at their will,” Justice Siddiqui alleged without providing any evidence.
Almost a year ago, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui expressed displeasure over army’s role in the deal brokered between the protesters staging a sit-in at the Faizabad interchange and federal government.
He also claimed that the agency approached the IHC chief justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi and said: “We do not want to let Nawaz Sharif and his daughter to come out [of the prison] until elections do not include Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on the bench [hearing Sharifs’ appeals].” The IHC CJ has not responded to the allegations leveled by Justice Siddiqi.
Justice Siddiqi also stated: “I know who takes whose message to the Supreme Court.”
“I was told that ‘if you assure us of decisions in our favor, we will end references against you’, Justice Siddiqui claimed.
Read more: Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui lambasts ‘secret’ agencies, levels several ‘allegations’
It may be important to mention here that two references against Justice Siddiqui are pending at the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). The first reference pertains to a corruption case filed against him by an employee of the Capital Development Authority (CDA). In the second reference, the SJC questions his critical comments regarding the role of the Army during last year’s Faizabad sit-in.
CJP takes notice of Justice Siddiqi’s ‘allegations’
The CJP Justice Saqib Nisar made it clear on Sunday that the judiciary is working independently and that nobody ‘can dare’ to pressure the judges. “I read about the remarks of a judge in Islamabad and was deeply saddened,” he said while directing the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to produce the complete record of the speech before the top court.
The CJP took serious notice of the matter and assured the nation that all facts will be brought before everyone.
Judiciary under CJP Nisar has become active and, to an extent, assertive. The top judge exerts that his fundamental duty is to deliver justice and the basic facilities of life.
Pakistan’s upcoming general elections’ credibility become ‘questionable’ when the most senior Judge of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui leveled serious allegations against the spy agencies of Pakistan.
ISPR requests SC to take notice
The Director-General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) tweeted a press release and requested the SC to take notice of the matter. “An honorable judge of Islamabad High Court of Pakistan has leveled serious allegations against state institutions including honorable judiciary and the premier state intelligence agency.
Read more: Blocking Roads for security not acceptable: Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui
In order to safeguard the sanctity and credibility of the state institutions, Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan has been requested to initiate the appropriate process to ascertain the veracity of the allegations and take actions accordingly,” the press release read.
Twitter reacted to Justice Siddiqi’s allegations
Social media strongly responded to Justice Siddiqi’s allegations against the ISI and superior judiciary of the country. Many senior anchors, commentators and public intellectuals bashed at Justice Siddiqi for misusing his position for his personal gains. Anchorperson Mona Alam took to the twitter and reminded the world about Justice Siddiqi’s alleged involvement in a ‘corruption’ case. “Justice Shaukat Siddiqi; fan of murderer Mumtaz Qadri, hater of minorities and advocate of extremist religious fundamentalism, is trying to save his skin from #CORRUPTION charges against him soon to be probed in Supreme Judicial Council by blaming ISI of #Judicial manipulation,” she said.
Justice Shaukat Siddiqi; fan of murderer Mumtaz Qadri, hater of minorities and advocate of extremist religious fundamentalism, is trying to save his skin from #CORRUPTION charges against him soon to be probed in Supreme Judicial Council by blaming ISI of #Judicial manipulation
— Mona Alam (@MonaAlamm) July 21, 2018
Journalist Mehreen Zahra Malik also tweeted and urged people not to forget about Justice Siddiqi’s pending ‘reference’ before the SJC. “Let’s not pretend this ‘indictment’ has nothing to do with that little reference against Justice Siddiqui before the Supreme Judicial Council. #Pakistan,” she tweeted.
Let’s not pretend this ‘indictment’ has nothing to do with that little reference against Justice Siddiqui before the Supreme Judicial Council. #Pakistan https://t.co/hMRyyPCZQA
— Mehreen Zahra-Malik (@mehreenzahra) July 21, 2018
Columnist Umair Javed also highlighted an important point, saying “Shaukat Siddiqui is not the hero you want or need. He’s a bigot trying to save his skin. Stop consecrating his outbursts.”
Shaukat Siddiqui is not the hero you want or need. He's a bigot trying to save his skin. Stop consecrating his outbursts.
— Umair Javed (@umairjav) July 21, 2018
Justice Siddiqi; some hard-hitting comments
Justice Siddiqi has remained in news for various reasons. Last year, Justice Siddiqi got upset over some blasphemous content on Facebook. He even directed the authorities to shut-down the social media site, if it does not work according to the laws of Pakistan. He further suggested making the blasphemy law ‘tougher’. This judgment generated a huge debate on social media.
Almost a year ago, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui expressed displeasure over army’s role in the deal brokered between the protesters staging a sit-in at the Faizabad interchange and federal government. ‘In what capacity, the Army Chief assumed the role of guarantor in the agreement,’ inquired Justice Siddiqui.
Read more: Nawaz Sharif fears no ‘free and fair’ Elections to be held,…
Last year, Justice Siddiqi ordered to ban celebrations on Valentine’s Day at public places. He directed the PEMRA to ban all promotion and programs related to the said day. The order was criticized by many, who believed it was one’s own choice to celebrate or not. The court should have nothing to do with people’s personal lives, they added.
Recently, Justice Siddiqi issued a judgment and said that all citizens to be easily identifiable by their faith and that applicants for public offices should declare their beliefs before being considered eligible.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, who penned the order, referred to Article 5 of the Constitution, saying it demands that citizens remain “faithful” to the state and “abide by the rules of law and Constitution.” However, he then interpreted Article 5 as the Constitution making it “mandatory” for every citizen, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, to declare their “true faith”, failing which they could be guilty of “betraying the State” and “exploiting the Constitution”.
Analyst opines that Justice Siddiqi is trying to create an environment in which references against him become controversial and useless. He is apparently making efforts to be anti-establishment, fighting extra-democratic forces in the country in order to become a hero in the eyes of the public. However such sneaky back-roads hardly deliver one to their desired location.