ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Sunday requested bar councils across the country to withdraw a strike call in protest of firing incidents at Justice Ijazul Ahsan’s Lahore residence.
A statement by the apex court revealed that the judge’s Model Town residence was struck by bullets first late last night and then again early morning today.
The judge’s house is located very close to the residence of the Punjab chief minister and his son MNA Hamza Shehbaz, where there is visible police presence throughout the day.
The chief justice, however, appealed to all bar councils to withdraw the strike scheduled for tomorrow, according to a spokesperson of the Supreme Court.
Chief Justice Nisar requested the legal fraternity to attend the courts tomorrow for ‘the sake of dispensation of justice to litigants whose cases are already fixed for hearing tomorrow in different courts.’
“Litigant parties will come from far-flung areas to attend courts, therefore, the strike will not only suffer routine court proceedings but also hurt the expectations of people,” said a statement issued by the apex court.
The chief justice also extended his thanks and gratitude to all bar councils for their ‘unflinching support for standing with Supreme Court during difficult moments.’
‘Sicilian mafia tactics’
Following the incident, reports of condemnations poured in with the legal community announcing to wear black armbands in protest tomorrow.
Moreover, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan said on Twitter that these “Sicilian-mafia-like tactics to pressurise senior judiciary are unacceptable in any democracy”.
He added that the PTI stands firmly behind the judiciary and rule of law.
Similarly, former president and Pakistan Peoples Party leader Asif Zardari called for a high-level judicial probe into the incident.
Later on, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi released a condemnation message and directed for the early arrest of those responsible.
In her condemnation, State Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said such anarchists should be unveiled as soon as possible.
Justice Ahsan often spends the weekend in Lahore, his hometown, where he, along with the chief justice, presides over several cases related to public welfare issues and other matters at the Lahore registry.
Justice Ahsan is also the monitoring judge of the ongoing corruption cases against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He was part of the bench which disqualified Nawaz in the Panama Papers case last year.
He has also remained as the chief justice of the Lahore High Court.