April 11th, 2022
Advocate Adnan Iqbal, who on Saturday night, of April 9, filed a petition with the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking dismissal of an alleged notification to impose martial law and remove Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Qamar Javed Bajwa from his post, had in the past also moved the courts against leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
In 2020, Iqbal appeared as a counsel for one Amir Aziz Ansari, a citizen, in a petition to the IHC. The writ requested the court to impose a ban on all speeches made by PML-N supremo and former three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for allegedly criticizing State institutions.
However, Chief Justice of the IHC Athar Minallah rejected the plea on the grounds that the court did not have the jurisdiction to interfere in political matters.
In order to verify facts regarding the April 9 petition, Voicepk.net contacted senior lawyer Ali Raza, whose signature can be seen on a copy of Iqbal’s petition circulating online. However, Raza provided that the signature was not his, and that neither does he file such petitions nor drafts them using the style and language found in the copy circulating online.
When attempting to reach Adnan Iqbal, sources close to him stated that they could not discuss the events and circumstances in which the plea was filed.
However, senior lawyers and journalists described the filing of such a petition and the subsequent opening of the courts a most extraordinary, if not peculiar, situation.
Senior lawyer Hamid Khan stated that it had initially appeared that the judiciary was prepared to go the extra mile when the IHC opened up at night, however none of this would have come about had the government accepted and adhered to the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Senior lawyer Khalid Ranjha stated that the opening of the courts indicated that the judiciary was complicit in political agitation.
Journalist Imran Riaz Khan, whose news programme was recently taken off-air, said that the IHC opening its doors was unusual. On his programme being shut down, Riaz stated that the Opposition parties had come to know about this long before he did.
The superior courts have been front-and-center these past few weeks due to the ongoing political instability, stepping in on various occasions to prevent Pakistan’s fragile democratic system from being derailed.
However, the sudden and unexpected opening of the court late Saturday night has raised eyebrows among some quarters who have expressed concern that the incident may have tarnished the reputation of the judiciary as an independent body.