ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar said on Friday there is no space in the country’s Constitution for a judicial martial law, while referring to Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed’s statement, urging Justice Nisar to impose a 90-day-long ‘judicial martial law’ in the run-up to the forthcoming general elections.
Addressing a Pakistan Day event in Lahore, the CJP asserted, “There’s no question of judicial martial law in the Constitution.”
“There’s no martial law from the inside or outside,” he added, without elaborating.
“Anything considered above the Constitution will not be tolerated,” the CJP stressed.
“We will not allow democracy to be derailed in Pakistan,” he vowed.
The chief justice further said that people are being held accountable “without bias”, adding that “accountability will not be held on the basis of a person’s status”.
Highlighting the need to unite as a nation, Justice Nisar said it’s the only way independence and freedom can be safeguarded.
“We are fortunate we were born in an independent country,” Chief Justice Nisar remarked.
Terming leadership, the supremacy of law, independent judiciary and impartial provision of justice “most important aspects for a country to progress”, he stressed, “The country should be run in accordance with law and Constitution.”
“In Pakistan, law will prevail,” the chief justice said.
On Wednesday, Sheikh Rasheed had urged Saqib Nisar to impose a 90-day-long ‘judicial martial law’ in the run-up to the forthcoming general elections but after criticism from ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the AML chief “clarified” his statement, saying that he wanted to ask the CJP to form the caretaker government himself.
He had said that appointing the caretaker prime minister was actually the responsibility of the chief justice as the whole nation was looking up to the judiciary in this regard.
“Perhaps, the CJP should impose a 90-day-long judicial martial law in the country, but, this martial law should only last till the elections,” he had said.
He had also stated that not only the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah but all heads of the opposition parties, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan must be consulted for the appointment of a caretaker prime minister.
“A caretaker PM without the approval of Imran Khan would not be accepted,” he had remarked.
Responding to AML chief’s remarks, Khursheed Shah had said such statements can only be stated by those who are either in favour of a martial law or are a part of it.
He continued that those who follow democracy can never consider the possibility of a ‘martial law’.
He had said that the formation of an interim government is clearly written in the Constitution and no one is above the rule of law. Those advising judicial martial law will be considered as rebels, he added.
Furthermore, Captain (r) Safdar, son-in-law of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, had accused the AML chief of breaching the Constitution and demanded SC to take notice of him.