The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday issued a notice to Prime Minister Imran Khan for “attending a ceremony organized by a political party”.
“The prime minister of Pakistan took votes from the entire country: he is prime minister of the entire country, not a particular group or party,” Justice Qazi Isa, who presided over the matter, said in the notice.
Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan was also issued a notice by the court for assistance in this regard.
Justice Isa also expressed his displeasure with the advocate general of Punjab for skipping a case hearing to attend the Insaf Lawyers Forum programme, which had been organized at Islamabad’s Convention Centre on Friday.
“How did a political party use a government building for its event? Can the Islamabad administration inform the court whether a fee was paid to book the venue,” he asked during the hearing.
“Does the office of the prime minister allow that they associate themselves with a particular party?” Justice Isa asked. “Did he [PM Imran Khan] attend the event as the prime minister?” he asked Additional Advocate General Punjab Qasim Chohan.
“The advocate general Punjab, instead of discharging his professional duties, was attending an event organized by a political party,” he continued.
“The advocate general attended the event because it had been organized by lawyers,” Chohan responded.
“You seem to be withholding your opinion on the matter. The Quran states that you should testify even if it be against your own parents,” Justice Isa said.
“I am only here to represent the Government of Punjab. I cannot comment on [decisions taken by] the prime minister,” Chohan said in response.
Justice Isa said that he was referring the matter to the chief justice for suo motu notice.
“Prima facie, it seems the advocate general Punjab is not fit to work in the province’s interests,” the court subsequently said in its notice. “The court should be assisted in answering the question whether the prime minister should have attended such an event. Does the prime minister’s oath and the law provision for him to do so?”
“Can the prime minister attend a private event on the state’s expense?”
The apex court subsequently issued notices to the prime minister, the attorney general, the advocate general Punjab and the Islamabad administration.
It also summoned the vice-chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council and the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association for its next hearing on the matter.