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Saturday, May 18, 2024

PM takes notice of malicious campaign against CJP Gulzar Ahmad

PM Office took notice against those criticizing the top court for alleged judicial activism. Analysts believe that right to disagree and criticize the court’s verdicts is protected by the law. However, it should be done in an appropriate way. What was that ‘appropriate way’?

Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to hold an inquiry into propaganda against the chief justice and judiciary on social platforms. PM Imran Khan said that strict legal action should be taken against the persons for running the anti-judiciary campaign

Pakistan’s top court faced criticism after it presumably attempted to meddle into executive’s domain.


It is important to note that the court is hearing a suo motu case related to the situation arising out of the coronavirus crisis and the steps being taken by the federal government to curb the spread of the epidemic.

A five-member larger bench of the apex court — headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed — is hearing the case. Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed are also on the bench.

Read More: Coronavirus management: Supreme Court of Pakistan questions government

During the hearing on Monday, CJP Ahmed remarked that the government had not done anything at this point to stem the spread of the virus.  “There is an army of ministers and advisors in place but no work is being done,” CJP Ahmed observed. He also alleged that “corrupt people” have been kept as advisors in the government.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has termed Pakistan’s measures against COVID-19 outbreak as “timely” and the “best national response”. The Country Head of the WHO Dr Palitha Gunarathna Mahipala, while talking to media in Karachi during his visit to various hospitals and testing labs, said: “At a time when other countries were reporting cases, Pakistan was keeping the virus at bay, which is something quite praiseworthy.”

The CJP also questioned the credentials of the Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Health Dr Zafar Mirza and ordered the removal of the special assistant.

Read More: Corona Entering Pakistan: The Lack of Conformity

It is worth mentioning that Dr. Zafar Mirza is a medical doctor with post-graduation in Public Health in Developing Countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a clinical stint in mental health. He has served as the Director of Healthcare System Development at the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean. Dr Mirza is also a founder Executive Director of a civil society organization – The Network for Consumer Protection in Pakistan.

Saleha Anwar, a Lahore-based political commentator, believes that the government should ask the Supreme Court of Pakistan to issue some guidelines in order to deal with Coronavirus outbreak.

“I am surprised to see such statements from Pakistan’s top court in a critical situation like this. Will the SC be able to guide the government as to how should it contain the virus? This is, in my opinion, a domain which clearly belongs to the executive,” she said while speaking to GVS.

Read More: A Coronavirus guide to fixing Pakistan’s economy

Some users on social media used inappropriate language to criticize the court’s observation and verbal order to remove Dr Mirza. It captured the attention of the PM office. However, it is maintained that people have a right to disagree with the court’s decisions and may express the same in public but with appropriate manner.