ISLAMABAD - The commission constituted Thursday by the government to probe the gruesome murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad has hit a legal snag as the government did not consult the Chief Justice of Pakistan or the sitting Supreme Court judge appointed to lead the probe. The government issued a notification for the Inquiry Commission to pacify the journalists who were staging a sit-in in front of the Parliament. However, Justice Saqib Nisar, the proclaimed head of the commission, said the appointment of judges to a commission is the discretion of the Chief Justice. He said the CJ was not consulted on the formation of the commission. Justice Saqib also said neither was he consulted before being appointed head of the commission. He however added he was willing to lead the probe but only after the CJs approval. Earlier, the government also did not consult Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry for the appointment of Justice Javed Iqbal, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, as head of the high-level commission formed to probe the US unilateral operation in Abbottabad that purportedly killed Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. The commission has not started functioning due to the controversy. Analysts said that by not consulting the CJ, the government has deliberately tried to politicise the matter. Apparently the decision to form the commission was taken under the pressure of protesting journalists, but the government was not serious in bringing the culprits to the book, they said. The Ministry of Law and Justice issued the notification in exercise of the powers conferred on it by sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1956 and sub-section (1) of Section 5. The five-member commission comprises Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Agha Rafiq Ahmed Khan, the Chief Justice of the Federal Shariat Court, the Punjab Additional Inspector General (Investigation), the Federal Union of Journalists President and the Islamabad Deputy Inspector General of Police. The commission was mandated to inquire into the background and circumstances of abduction and subsequent murder of Saleem Shahzad and to identify the culprits involved in the abduction and murder of the journalist as well as recommend measures to prevent recurrence of such gruesome incidents against journalists in future. Supreme Court Bar Association President Asma Jahangir, while commenting on the appointment of Justice Javed Iqbal, had told TheNation that the government could not appoint any sitting judge without the consent of the CJ as he has to maintain the affairs of the judiciary. Asma Jahangir had said that appointing a sitting judge without the approval of the Chief Justice was tantamount to interference in the judiciarys independence. However, legal expert SM Zafar has said that there is no obligation of consultation while appointing a serving judge to head an inquiry commission. Mushtaq Mughal adds: The Government has constituted an independent Judicial Commission under a judge of the Supreme Court to probe into the murder of Saleem Shahzad and any legal complications in this regard will be removed from the notification. Federal Minister for Information Firdous Ashiq Awan stated this while addressing a Press conference here in Islamabad on Thursday. 'The government and media must resolve the issues though dialogue as the government adopted consultation policy so that the State institutions may work in harmony with the government, she said. 'The Prime Minister and President have issued the notification after consultation and keeping in view all the available spaces in law, as the government never intended that the journalists who have worked for revival of democracy might face problems in achievement of justice in the murder case of journalist Saleem Shahzad, she added. She further said that the govt has demanded the name of the judge from PFUJ to head the Supreme Courts Judicial Commission for the inquiry into the murder of journalist. 'However, the journalist unions announced that any competent judge of the judiciary would be acceptable to the journalists community, Firdous said. 'The country is facing war and terrorism and it is not only the matter of 74 journalists killing but also of 36,000 innocent persons from police and Army who were killed in war against terrorism, she said. Firdous said that the PPP and allied parties consider that media and government are interlinked ,adding, if PPP government is now ruling than it was due to the sacrifices of the journalists as they protested for establishment of democratic government. 'The journalist unions have no objection on eligibility of judge of Federal Shariat Court. However, the journalists demanded independent Judicial Commission under Supreme Court judge as Federal Shariat Court judges are temporary, she added. She said that the journalists may launch their sit in protest after 15 days again if the government will not listen to the demands of the PFUJ and journalist unions. Afzal Butt, President, National Press Club said that the journalists from Karachi to Khyber have protested in front of Parliament on murder of Saleem Shahzad and the journalists have seen explicit difference in dictatorship and democracy during the protest. He said that the deadline was June 10, 2011 ,however, the government had not formed the Judicial Commission and it was witnessed that legal issues were found in notification and the issue must be resolved on priority basis. Qamar Zaman Kaira, former Information Minister said that Chief Justice must pay attention to the issue of murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad and must form an independent Judicial Commission as 74 journalists were killed and the culprits must be given punishment. Meanwhile, Supreme Court will hear the constitutional petition of Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) today (Friday) in order to constitute the powerful judicial commission to probe the murder of Saleem Shahzad. According to the Registrar Dr Faqeer Hussain, a three-member bench headed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, will hear the petition. The PFUJ has filed the application under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, in which it has been prayed that powerful Judicial Commission should be set up.