Pakistan paying price of Iftikhar Ch’s decision: Fawad

Pakistan paying price of Iftikhar Ch’s decision: Fawad

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry Sunday said Pakistan was paying the price of decisions made by ex-chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

He said this in reference to $6 billion penalty awarded to Pakistan by a World Bank arbitration court in the famous Reko Diq case. A three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by the then chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had declared the (Reko Diq) agreement null and void in a short order in 2013.

In a tweet, Chaudhry suggested constitution of a high-powered commission to look into the decisions handed down by Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. He said the ex-chief justice, Hamid Khan and their other colleagues must be sent behind the bars for causing an irreparable loss to the country.

Meanwhile, addressing a ceremony in Jeddah, Fawad Chaudhry expressed his reservations about the federal government's statement backing the Accountability Court judge Arshad Malik over his video controversy.

Chaudhry said, “If the issue is between the court and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), why the government held a press conference backing the statement given by judge Malik?” He added the minister should not speak about these issues.

Federal Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Farogh Naseem confirmed the judge's removal from duties, following the Islamabad High Court's (IHC) request to remove him after his alleged involvement in a controversial video scandal.

"The law ministry has stopped Judge Arshad Malik from performing his duties for now," Naseem said. He added the law ministry and government are standing by the judiciary. "The government will not victimise anyone or take sides but will not tolerate manipulation of judiciary either," Naseem said.

Earlier in the day, judge Malik had written a letter to the IHC refuting PML-N's allegations and the video purportedly showing him admitting to a lack of evidence against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference. The accountability court judge had sentenced Nawaz Sharif to seven years in prison in the same corruption case in December.

In the affidavit submitted to the IHC, Malik denied the contents of the video and termed them edited, fabricated, and produced with an aim to defame him. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has taken up the case over the video scandal allegedly involving the accountability court judge. The case has been fixed for hearing by a three-judge bench of the apex court led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa on July 16.