Pakistan sacks High Court judge for accusing ISI of interference

Islamabad: Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi has sacked a senior judge of the Islamabad High Court, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, for alleging interference by the country’s spy agency in the judicial proceedings, especially in the Panamagate case.

Alvi removed the judge on Thursday on the recommendations of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, Dawn online reported.

Siddiqui in a speech before the District Bar Association in Rawalpindi on July 21 had said that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was “manipulating judicial proceedings as its officials managed to constitute benches at its will and mark cases to select judges.

“The ISI approached the Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court and told him that they don’t want release of (former Prime Minister) Nawaz Sharif and his daughter (Maryam Nawaz) before the elections,” he had said.

The SJC said that while delivering the speech, Siddiqui displayed a conduct unbecoming of a High Court judge.

Reacting to the move, Siddiqui said the council’s opinion was not unexpected for him.

He said the SJC had taken up a “baseless reference” against him related to renovation of his official residence, and since there was nothing in that reference, he had been eliminated for delivering a speech at the bar association.

According to a report in the Express Tribune, Siddiqui was considering filing a constitutional petition, challenging the SJC decision.