In Pakistan, there is little care for the legal maxim that a judge should not speak, but his judgements should speak. While dismissing the possibility of inclusion of the intelligence agencies officials in the joint investigation team to probe the scandal of fictitious transactions, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar’s comment that members of the ISI and MI were included in the Panama case was to spice up the probe against Sharif family has surprised many people.
The comment that the honourable CJP made while hearing the suo motu case against fake accounts is problematic on two levels. First, his comment suggests that the court was biased against the Sharif family and that it wanted to see them out of power. So the notion of impartiality in Nawaz Sharif’s case becomes questionable. Second, mentioning and bringing the intelligence agencies in such controversies add difficulties in the operations of the already overburdened intelligence agencies.
It was utterly unnecessary and unwarranted to say that the intelligence agencies were included in Panama JIT to “spice things up”. Nawaz Sharif and his party already believe that establishment and judiciary worked together in conspiring to keep them out of the power. CJP’s statement will give credence to their assertions. The CJP should understand that intelligence agencies have serious responsibilities and making them controversial in this way is not in the interest of Pakistan. Even if the CJP commented on a lighter mode, he failed to take into account the possible repercussions of such a statement.
It is not to suggest at all that CJP should include the intelligence agencies in the probe. However, he could have said what he said in a plain language. His comment about agencies can drag these institutions into unnecessary controversies. Everyone in the country knows how sincere the CJP is with Pakistan and all its institutions; however, the comment of the chief of the judiciary about the agencies was unwarranted.