LAHORE – Former federal minister for interior Ahsan Iqbal has begged mercy and apologized before a Lahore High Court bench in response to a contempt notice, saying that he has utter respect for the courts and always bowed down before the law.
The former security czar appeared before the court along with his counsel Azam Nazir Tarrar and urged the full bench headed by Justice Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi to discharge all proceedings against him.
During the hearing, Justice Naqvi told Iqbal that he could have adopted a legal approach to express his reservations regarding the remarks of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, but he chose to air his comments publically.
Ahsan explained that being the interior minister, he had the information about foreign elements conspiring against the country’s stability, contending that he could never think of disgracing or disobeying the court.
“Did you ever teach this lesson to other leaders of your party,” the judge asked the PML-N leader, in a reference to anti-judiciary speeches by Danyal Aziz, Talal Chaudhry and Nehal Hashmi, Express Tribune reported.
Upon this, Iqbal requested the court not to punish him for the sins of others, adding that what he did was not intentional.
Contrary to Iqbal’s plea, a video of the PML-N leader’s objectionable speech was also shown; the hearing was adjourned till June 11.
The bench had issued a notice to the former minister to explain ‘anti-judiciary’ remarks as he had decried that ‘enough is enough’ in response to the judicial activism at play under the chair of top judge, Mian Saqib Nisar.
Meanwhile, the bench also directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to submit a detailed report on petitions against anti-judiciary speeches by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and other leaders of the PML-N.