ISLAMABAD - Three days before the hearing of the NRO implementation case, a ruling PPP Senator on Sunday called upon Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and other judges who were reinstated under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) to resign honourably.

Addressing the chief justice in the most contemptible way at a news conference here, Senator Abidi said if the chief justice did not step down, “I will throw you (CJ) out of the court”.

PPP Sindh minister Sharjeel Memon had also used insulting language against the chief justice only a day before. Other ruling party leaders also have been subjecting the country’s chief judge to severe criticism. Abidi, who is regarded as very close to President Zardari, gave details of various bank accounts of Arsalan Iftikhar and said no one who was somebody else’s employee only a few years ago could make so much money in such a short time. Also, he said Arsalan used the Chief Justice House, Islamabad, as office of his companies, which was not permissible under the law. He said he would personally gather details of Arsalan’s foreign accounts in UAE and London.

He said he cannot believe that the chief justice was unaware of the activities of Arsalan, implying that the father was also responsible for what his son was doing. He cited the example of a case of the daughter of then chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar in which the father was bitterly criticised for what he had allegedly done for the daughter.

He alleged that the chief justice was partisan in his attitude and it was for this reason that stay orders had been issued for all cases in which various opposition leaders were parties.

Calling him a PCO judge, the Abidi alleged that Justice Chaudhry humiliated military officials in court which was unfair. He said the judiciary was not independent as it was being controlled by what he called criminals.

Senator Abidi said judges were not supposed to watch TV programmes but the CJ had recently told an anchor that he witnessed his show every day. The practice, he said, was against the code of conduct of judges. Abidi said that the parliament is supreme and is above other institutions. “Parliament forms laws and constitutions. Who gave you the right to criticise and meddling in its affairs?”

“I accept your challenge in the war you have waged against the parliament. But mine is not a war of arms, but is a war of words, because Pakistan cannot afford agitation at this moment as it is already going through tough times.”

Abidi calls upon CJ to step down