Pakistan: Gunmen open fire at SC Judge residence in two separate incidents

Pakistan: Gunmen open fire at SC Judge residence in two separate incidents

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LAHORE: Unknown gunmen opened fire at the residence of Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan in Lahore’s Model Town in two separate incidents only hours apart, DawnNewsTV reported on Sunday.

No casualties were reported in the attacks, one of which took place around 10:45pm on Saturday and the other at 9:10am on Sunday.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar visited the residence of the Supreme Court judge, and called the Punjab inspector general to probe the incidents. The chief justice is said to be overseeing the situation himself.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the incident as well and ordered immediate arrests of the attackers. He also asked the Punjab inspector general (IG) to submit a report on the incident.

Security personnel, including Rangers, have been deployed outside the residence of the judge.

“This is a highly condemnable incident. We are trying our best to arrest the attackers and a thorough investigation is underway,” Punjab government spokesman Malik Ahmad Khan told DawnNewsTV. He said that additional security has been provided to the Supreme Court judge.

According to reports by security forces, spent bullet casing of a 9mm pistol was found near the main gate of Justice Ahsan’s residence last night while another was found near kitchen window in the morning.

Forensic experts visited the residence twice and gathered evidence, including CCTV footage of the security camera.

Bar associations, politicians condemn incident

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) condemned the firing incidents and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits.

“Lawyers of the whole country are standing with the Supreme Court judges,” SCBA Secretary Safdar Tarar said in a statement, while LHCBA President Anwarul Haq said the lawyers were soldiers of the SC judges.

PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari termed the attacks alarming and called for a judicial probe.

PTI chief Imran Khan also “strongly condemned” the incidents, claiming that they were “tactics to pressurise senior judiciary”.

Recent prominent cases

Justice Ahsan was part of the five-member bench that heard the high-profile Panamagate case last year that led to the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif, the then prime minister.

He was appointed as the monitoring judge to supervise and monitor the implementation of the Panamagate case verdict and oversee the ongoing proceedings by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and accountability courts against the Sharif family members and Ishaq Dar.

He was also part of the three-member bench hearing 17 petitions against the controversial Elections Act 2017. The bench had ruled that an individual disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution cannot serve as head of a political party, leading to Nawaz Sharif losing his position as the chief of PML-N.

Law career

After completing his LLB from Punjab University Law College, Justice Ahsan completed his postgraduate studies from Cornell University, New York.

He was elevated to the bench in 2009 and was confirmed as a judge of the Lahore High Court in 2011.

Justice Ahsan has served as inspection judge for Kasur, Gujranwala and Lahore Districts. In 2015, he was appointed as the chief justice of Lahore High Court and elevated to the SC in June 2016.__Dawn.com

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