Situationer: After Bajwa, Faiz & Nisar, Asif Khosa under fire

By Wajid Baloch
KARACHI: Amid calls for accountability of former army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, former ISI DG Lt Gen Faiz Hameed and former chief justice Saqib Nisar, who have become controversial for undermining the national interest, allegations have surfaced against former chief justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa for lobbying for his tenure extension.

Gen (retd) Qamar Bajwa has admitted to political engineering during his time as army chief and army’s interference in the judicial and parliamentary matters. He told media Lt Gen (retd) Faiz Hameed helped Imran Khan get relief from the Supreme Court through the then Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, who has now confessed to having contacts with Gen (retd) Bajwa and Gen (retd) Faiz and Imran Khan even after his retirement.

Khosa was among those judges who disqualified Nawaz Sharif even before the commencement of his trial in the Panama case. He had used the word Godfather for Nawaz Sharif which Imran Khan exploited in his 2018 election campaign.

In an interview to a private TV channel last night, PMLN Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz said a message was conveyed to Nawaz Sharif in Adiala Jail asking him to agree to Justice Asif Saeed’s extension. He refused, Maryam claimed.

It’s a well-known fact consultations took place on the proposed extension to Justice Khosa at the parliamentary level when Nawaz Sharif was in jail in 2019. At that time, Asif Khosa’s tenure as the CJP had to end in December 2019. However, extension was not possible without an amendment to the Constitution as a judge of the Supreme Court retires at the age of 65. The PTI tabled an amendment bill in the parliament to enhance the retirement age from 65 to 68 years. The PMLN refused to support the bill, saying the Supreme Court was giving tough time to his leadership. The matter could not be pursued further as the PTI had no two-thirds majority in the parliament to get the bill through.

In November 2019, Nawaz Sharif got a big relief and went abroad for his medical treatment. In another development on November 26, 2019, a three-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice Asif Khosa, pointing out flaws, suspended the notification which granted three-year extension to former Army Chief Qamar Bajwa.

However, Gen (retd) Bajwa got relief when all the parliamentary parties including PMLN granted him extension through the parliament.

Defending extension to Gen (retd) Bajwa, the then Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid said “If I have the powers, I could have granted three-year extension to Justice Asif Saeed as a priority”. It shows the then government was all willing to extend service of former Chief Justice Asif Khosa.

March 11, 2023

Source: The News International

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