Justice Qazi Faez Isa questions credentials and appointment of Shahzad Akbar, slams Farogh Naseem and Firdous Ashiq Awan
Justice Qazi Faez Isa on Friday submitted an application to the Supreme Court of Pakistan in which he questioned the credentials and appointment of Special Assistant to the P.M. on Accountability Shahzad Akbar, as well as hitting out at the president, the law minister and the former information minister.
The application was filed almost a week ahead of a 10-member full court’s scheduled resumption of hearings into challenges to the filing of a presidential reference against Justice Isa. Hearings are set to resume on June 2.
In his application, the petitioner judge took special aim at Akbar, describing him as an “imposter” whose appointment to the political position was illegal and unconstitutional.
In a series of questions about Akbar’s role in government, Justice Isa asked if the post for the Assets Recovery Unit chairman had been duly advertised and applications invited for it. He also questioned if the Federal Public Service Commission had selected Akbar, and sought the terms and conditions of his employment.
Justice Isa alleged that the ARU had no legal basis, and every rupee spent and used by it constituted pilferage of public funds.
Referring to Akbar’s “probe” of Justice Isa’s assets, the application alleged that the special assistant to the P.M. had gathering this information without disclosing any personal details. It asked whether he was a Pakistani, foreigner or dual-national, and also inquired into his wealth status; when he started filing his income tax returns; what if any assets he owned; the names of his wife and children; the nationalities of his wife and children; whether his wife and children owned properties in Pakistan; and whether such assets had been declared in Akbar’s tax returns.
The application alleged that Akbar had no “special qualifications” but had been appointed a “special assistant” and questioned why the accountability czar appeared to have no personal accountability. It said that, as defined, a special assistant is meant to “assist” the prime minister; not operation an important part of the government without any oversight.
Further, Justice Isa alleged that Akbar had misused the symbols of the state, posturing between the flag of Pakistan, the flag of the government and underneath the photograph of the country’s founder without being entitled to any of these honors.
Not just Akbar
In addition to Akbar, the application also accused Law Minister Farogh Naseem and former Attorney General Anwar Mansoor as being glove-in-hand with Akbar in attempting to malign the judiciary. It alleged that Abdul Waheed Dogar, who had written to Akbar highlighting the alleged offshore properties of Justice Isa, was an operator for “the powers that be” and had been brought out pressure him.
According to Justice Isa, former special assistant to the prime minister on information Ashiq Awan, who was ousted from the post earlier this month, had attacked him by using her position as media spokesperson. He also alleged that both the law minister and former attorney general had supported constitutional deviations, including siding with former Army chief Pervez Musharraf to subvert the constitution, and had themselves undermined their trustworthiness, credibility and integrity.
The application also alleged that President Arif Alvi, despite being the head of state, had sided with the incumbent government by discussing the reference against Justice Isa in an interview after submitting it to the Supreme Judicial Council.
Summarizing the application, Justice Isa claimed everyone associated with the attack on him had destroyed their own credibility, adding that the petitioner considered the facts on record more than sufficient to make the petition indomitable.