ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif criticized the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and the Supreme Court for allegedly showing favoritism towards Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. This comes after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended the sentence of Khan in the Toshakhana case.
The IHC’s decision is seen as a significant legal win for Khan, who had previously been sentenced to three years in prison and fined Rs100,000 in the Toshakhana case by Additional Districts and Sessions Judge Dilawar Humayun. This initial conviction had barred him from participating in upcoming elections.
Through a message posted on the platform X (previously known as Twitter), the former Prime Minister expressed his view that the IHC’s ruling had been influenced by the Supreme Court’s leniency towards the PTI leader. He pointed out that while the sentence had been suspended, it had not been entirely revoked. Shehbaz Sharif raised concerns about the justice system when decisions seem predetermined, suggesting that it should be a matter of worry if outcomes are known in advance.
لاڈلے کی سزا معطل ہوئی ہے ختم نہیں ہوئی۔ چیف جسٹس کا “گُڈ ٹو سی یو” اور “وشنگ یو گڈ لک” کا پیغام اسلاآباد ہائی کورٹ تک پہنچ گیا۔ فیصلہ آنے سے پہلے ہی سب کو پتہ ہو کہ فیصلہ کیا ہوگا تو یہ نظام عدل کے لئے لمحہ فکریہ ہونا چاہیے ۔ اعلی عدلیہ سے واضح پیغام مل جائے تو ماتحت عدالت یہ نہ…
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) August 29, 2023
The former Premier also commented on the role of higher judiciary, noting that subordinate courts tend to follow the lead of the higher judiciary’s clear signals. He criticized the Chief Justice for appearing to monitor the situation to protect the “favorite,” referring to Imran Khan. Shehbaz Sharif denounced the courts for granting relief to Khan and his party, considering it unfair leniency. He expressed his belief that history would remember this episode as a dark chapter in the justice system, indicating that justice was being undermined and unfairly skewed.
Shehbaz Sharif further pointed out the apparent powerlessness of the law in the face of those who had engaged in wrongdoing, symbolized by his remark about “those who sold the watches.”
He questioned where ordinary citizens could seek justice if those involved in theft and state terrorism were given preferential treatment.
The former Prime Minister also expressed dismay at the lenient treatment accorded to Khan and his party, even in situations involving attacks on the judicial complex and the police. He concluded by suggesting that everything seemed to be forgiven in such cases.