‘Deviating from oath’: National Assembly to form committee for filing reference against CJP Bandial


ISLAMABAD, MAY 15: The National Assembly on Monday unanimously adopted a motion seeking the formation of a special committee to file a reference against Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) for his “misconduct and deviating from oath”.

The motion was moved by Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Dr Shazia Sobia.

During the session, lawmakers strongly condemned arson attacks on the Lahore Corps Commanders House (Jinnah House), Radio Pakistan’s Peshawar office, and damage caused to public and private properties in various parts of the country by violent protesters of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The parliamentarians also demanded that PTI Chairman Imran Khan be tried under the Army Act.

They said such elements took the entire country hostage by creating anarchy and commotion and damaging public and private properties. Such anti-state elements do not deserve any leniency and they should be taken to task, they added.

‘Time for Parliament to play its role’
Speaking on the floor of the house, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said that the time had come for the Parliament to play its constitutional role in the prevailing situation.

He said that in the judiciary’s 75-year history, there have been multiple incidents that have had a profound impact on the country, but recently a section of the judiciary had started supporting a political party.

He said that the judiciary’s recent decisions were tantamount to “political support”, adding that the apex court’s 4-3 verdict regarding the Punjab polls has no constitutional value because the only purpose of the judiciary is to give Khan relief.

“The time has come for the Parliament to send a reference of misconduct to the Supreme Judicial Council, under the authority and law given to it by the Constitution,” Asif iterated.

He lamented that the judiciary had changed the Constitution’s structure by rewriting Article 63-A to protect the interests of a specific person.

Referring to the attacks on the Lahore Corps Commander House, Rangers post, General Headquarters, and PAF Base Mianwali, he said that protection was being provided to those who desecrated the memorials of martyrs.

He said that violent PTI protesters, on the direction of their leadership, had attacked Quaid-e-Azam’s house which was a shameful act as the building was a national heritage.

He pointed out that mainstream Indian media had comprehensively covered the incident.

“I demand that the Parliament send a reference to the Supreme Judicial Council,” he added.

Asif went on to say that when former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s wife was dying, he was not allowed to use a phone but Khan was allowed to do so while in custody.

“This person (Khan) cannot be loyal to anyone except his interests.”

The defence minister said that a real estate mogul’s laundered money was used in the Al-Qadir Trust and both Imran and his wife earned billions of rupees through corruption. They also acquired 250 kanals of land in Bani Gala, he stated.

He said that a lot of money was spent on inquiries against Nawaz and incumbent Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, but the UK’s National Crime Agency acquitted them as no evidence was presented.

He said that Khan could also have investigated this case during his government but he did not as he knew that it was fake.

PTI leaders were talking about the sanctity of homes but they did not protect the sanctity of the houses of Maryam Nawaz, Faryal Talpur, and other women during their government, he noted.

He said that the country’s system has given the judiciary respect which should be maintained through loyal decisions.

The minister urged the parliament to exercise its powers under the Constitution and take action against injustice.

The purpose of all these actions was to prevent Justice Qazi Faez Isa from becoming the next chief justice in September, he alleged.

He demanded that another committee should also be formed to examine the pending cases in the judiciary.

Lawmakers demand action against Khan
Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in the NA Raja Riaz Ahmed termed Khan a “fitna” (chaos), saying that when he was arrested in a corruption case, his supporters resorted to violent protests and torched the historical Jinnah House, Radio Pakistan Peshawar and damaged statues of martyrs.

“Fitna Khan has shamed the whole nation but he was given a warm welcome at the Supreme Court,” he said.

He demanded that a case should be registered against Khan under the Army Act.

He also urged the speaker to adjourn the proceedings for 10 minutes or play the national anthem several times in solidarity with armed forces and Pakistan.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) Salahuddin said anti-state elements deserved no leniency and those involved in attacking and damaging public and private properties should be tried under the Army Act.

He said many people were taken into custody from the premises of courts after the cancellation of their bail. The entire country was taken hostage by the miscreants of PTI who resorted to violent protests soon after Khan’s arrest, he added.

He said there was “solid corruption evidence” against Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case but he was given special treatment by the judiciary.

He said that on May 9, a vehicle in which he and MNA Sabir Qaimkhani were travelling towards Islamabad was also attacked by PTI’s violent protesters near Chungi-26.

Salahuddin Ayubi of Jamiat Ulema-e-Fazl (JUI-F) condemned the PTI for torching a toll plaza, and public and private properties, and demanded the government declare PTI as a “terrorist organisation” and impose a ban on it. The PTI wanted civil war in the country, he claimed.

He said the PTI not only destroyed the country’s economy but also tried to create anarchy.

PPP’s Abdul Qadir Mandokhel said a transparent inquiry should be held into arson attacks on Jinnah House and other public and private properties by the PTI workers.