ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday directed the Attorney General for Pakistan to submit a reply on a petition challenging the appointment of Ali Jahangir Siddiqui as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States.

IHC judge Justice Athar Minallah deferred the hearing for two weeks after seeking the reply from the AGP.

During the hearing, AGP Ashtar Ausaf appeared told the court that the government had sent agrima to the US government for the appointment of Pakistani ambassador and not a notification, in this regard, had been issued.

He assured the court that the notification of appointment of Ali Jahangir as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US would be issued after apprising the court of it. But, he requested the court not to make his statement as part of the judicial record.

The court asked that whether it is discretionary powers of the prime minister to appoint anyone as ambassador. At this, advocate Hassan Mann told that the court that it was not discretionary powers of the prime minister but rather there was a procedure for the appointment of an ambassador.

Advocate Shahzad Siddique Alvi has filed the petition citing the federation through Secretary Cabinet Division and Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prime Minister of Pakistan through his Principal Secretary and Ali Jahangir Siddiqui as respondents.

The petitioner has requested the high court 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 has contended that Ali Jahangir was arbitrarily appointed firstly as special assistant to the prime minister with the status of Minister for State and secondly, as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US.  He adopted that these appointments were made in sheer violation of the applicable law, rules and settled principles and the same were non-transparent, illegal, in violation of the Constitution and successive judgments of superior courts.

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

He has prayed to the court to declare the appointment of Ali Jahangir as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US without lawful authority, in violation of law, equity, justice, fairness and public policy and set aside the appointment.