Pakistan: LHC judge says PM must take responsibility for ‘subordinate’ agencies


Lahore High Court’s (LHC) Justice Shahid Karim on Thursday remarked that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif should take responsibility for any insubordination by intelligence agencies under him.

The judge’s remarks were made in the written order for a case on the alleged threats to a judge of a Sargodha anti-terrorism court (ATC) and his harassment by the intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

On June 13, Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan, the then chief justice of the high court, had summoned Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Anwar and other officials on the complaint.

The LHC registrar’s office had received a special report on June 7 from District & Sessions Judge (DSJ) Muhammad Abbas, wherein he said that on May 25 — the first day of his new charge as Sargodha ATC judge — a message was conveyed to him that some authority of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) wanted to meet him in his chamber.

Upon refusing to meet the said authority, DSJ Abbas alleged that ever since then, he had been encountering various incidents, such as firing outside his ATC and questioning from family members, among others.

CJ Ahmad had reserved his verdict in the matter on June 13. The verdict was announced in a June 20 hearing.

Following Justice Ahmad’s elevation to the Supreme Court, Justice Shahid Karim is presiding over the case. In today’s hearing, Justice Karim converted the suo moto notice into a writ petition.

He said that he would appoint a prosecutor as well as a judicial assistant in this case.

“If we find out who tried to meet the judge, we are ready to investigate him,” the counsel for the federal government said.

“The court will issue a directive that the prime minister of Pakistan (Shehbaz Sharif) take responsibility with regards to ISI and IB,” Justice Karim said. “If anything happens after that, we will directly ask the prime minister.”

The prime minister has to take responsibility, ISI and IB are subordinate to the prime minister, Justice Karim said.

He said that direction would be issued to Punjab IGP that the decision to block the road be taken after consulting the judge, Justice Karim said, noting that the Punjab IGP should issue directions to all police officers in this regard.

Justice Karim further said that all judges of ATC courts should have call recording apps on their phone.

“If any such phone call comes, it should be recorded,” he