Pakistani judges expose ISI of judicial interference

judges expose isis
Judges of Islamabad High Court (Photo: Web)

In a significant development, six senior judges of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in Pakistan have made startling accusations against the country’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. According to a letter dated March 25, which was made public on Tuesday, the judges have alleged interference in judicial matters by the ISI, including intimidation tactics such as secret surveillance, abduction, and torture of their family members.

The judges have called upon the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), Pakistan’s judicial watchdog, to investigate these serious allegations. They emphasize the need to determine whether there exists a systematic policy implemented by intelligence operatives to coerce judges into engineering judicial outcomes in politically significant cases.

The letter, which has sparked widespread concern, particularly relates to cases involving the main opposition leader and former Prime Minister Imran Khan. Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has accused the military of orchestrating a crackdown on the party ahead of last month’s general elections. The alleged interference in the election process has raised questions about the military’s role in Pakistani politics.

Notably, the allegations come on the heels of a recent Supreme Court ruling declaring the removal of former IHC judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui in 2018 as illegal. Siddiqui had previously accused the ISI chief and other military officials of manipulating judicial decisions, sparking a contentious legal battle.

After the shocking revelation, the interference of Pakistan Army and ISI in Pakistan’s politics and judicial process has become profoundly clear. Interestingly, the onus now rests on Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa to address the concerns raised by the judges and take decisive action to protect the independence of the judiciary. The ISI and Pakistan military have not yet responded to the allegations, raising anticipation for their forthcoming statements on the matter.

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