ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court on Thursday termed the appointment of Ali Jahangir Siddiqui as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States ‘embarrassing’ for the country.

IHC judge Justice Athar Minallah conducted the hearing of a petition challenging the appointment of Siddiqui as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US.

During the hearing, Justice Minallah observed that it would have been better if Siddiqui had refused to accept his appointment as the ambassador. The court asked Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Ashtar Ausaf was the appointment not embarrassing for Pakistan.

At this, Ausaf replied that court’s reservations in this connection were correct. Then, the bench observed that the court wanted to save Pakistan from embarrassment because its dignity was very dear to the court. The AGP also requested the court to bar the media from reporting today’s proceedings. Justice Minallah remarked that the court had no intention in this regard. The bench deferred the case till the new government assumes charge of the office and adjourned the hearing till October 4.

Advocate Shahzad Siddique Alvi had filed the petition through his counsels Sajeel Sheryar Swati and Chaudhary Hasan Murtaza Mann citing the Federation through Secretary Cabinet Division and the Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the prime minister through his principal secretary and Ali Jahangir Siddiqui as respondents.

The petitioner had sought to set aside the nomination of Siddiqui for being “ultra vires of the law, the Constitution and policies” and direct the government to withdraw the “impugned order”.

The petitioner had contended that Siddiqui was arbitrarily appointed first as special assistant to the prime minister with the status of Minister for State and secondly, as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US.  He had adopted that these appointments were made in sheer violation of applicable law, rules and settled principles.

He had contended the same were highly non-transparent, illegal, in violation of the Constitution and successive judgments of the superior courts of the country.

According to the petitioner, Siddiqui being the son of Jahangir Siddiqui is part of JS Groups and has been nominated in a number of criminal investigations and a number of his group companies were subject to the criminal investigations.

 “The manner of appointment was whimsical, non-transparent, thoughtless and passed in the style of ‘medieval governance driven by sublime non-sense at public expense. It is evident that the appointment is liable to be struck down having been made in an illegal, unlawful and arbitrary manner, therefore, the same is not sustainable,” said the petition.

He had prayed to the court to declare the appointment illegal, in violation of law, equity, justice, fairness and public policy and set aside it.