Military, Bar Assocs., Politicians Condemn Firing Incidents at Supreme Court Judge’s Residence in Lahore

(DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — The Director General of Pakistan military’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Sunday strongly condemned the firing incident at the house of Supreme Court judge Justice Ejazul Ahsan in Lahore.

ISPR DG Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said the firing incident at the residence of Justice Ejazul Ahsan is condemnable.

He said it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to ensure secure environment for the effective functioning of the state institutions and continue the efforts to consolidate improving peace and stability.

In two different incidents, unidentified persons opened fire at Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan’s residence in Lahore. First, shots were fired Saturday night and a similar occurrence took place early morning on Sunday.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar arrived at the residence of Justice Ahsan after the incident and is overseeing the situation. Chief Justice Nisar has summoned the IGP Punjab and ordered the investigation into the matter.

The firing incident took place at 10:45 last night local time and at 9:45 AM Sunday morning. The bullet holes are spotted at the main gate of the residence and in the kitchen window.

Security personnel, including Rangers, have been deployed outside the residence of the judge.

Justice Ahsan was part of the five-member bench that delivered the verdict in the high-profile Panamagate case last year, which led to the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif, the then prime minister.

He has been appointed as the monitoring judge to supervize and monitor the implementation of the Panamagate case verdict and is currently overseeing the ongoing proceedings by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and accountability courts against the Sharif family members and Ishaq Dar.

He was also part of the three-member bench hearing 17 petitions against the controversial Elections Act 2017. The bench had ruled that an individual disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution cannot serve as head of a political party, leading to Nawaz Sharif losing his position as the chief of PML-N.

Justice Ahsan is also member of two-judge bench along with CJP Nisar hearing a suo motu case on Pakistan Railways Rs60 billion alleged corruption and mismanagement. On Saturday, the bench ordered complete independent forensic audit of the state-run enterprise.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also condemned the incident, said a press release by the PM Office. “The Prime Minister directed the concerned authorities at the federal and provincial level to bring the culprits to task at the earliest.”

Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has also taken notice of the incident and directed the IGP Punjab to submit the investigation report and arrest the culprits.

Bar associations, politicians condemn incident

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) condemned the firing incidents and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits.

SCBA President Pir Kaleem Khursheed announced a strike and a boycott of court proceedings on Monday. “We will not allow efforts to pressurize the judiciary be successful,” he said, adding that a lawyer’s convention would be called to decide on the future course of action.

“Lawyers of the whole country are standing with the Supreme Court judges,” SCBA Secretary Safdar Tarar said in a statement, while LHCBA President Anwarul Haq said the lawyers were soldiers of the SC judges.

PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari termed the attacks alarming and called for a judicial probe.

PTI chief Imran Khan also “strongly condemned” the incidents, claiming that they were “tactics to pressurize senior judiciary”.

Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani, Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Khursheed Shah, Chaudhry Shujaat and Pervez Ilahi also condemned the incident, demanding an investigation into the matter as well as provision of adequate security to SC judges.

Justice Ahsan’ Law career

After completing his LLB from Punjab University Law College, Justice Ahsan completed his postgraduate studies from Cornell University, New York.

He was elevated to the bench in 2009 and was confirmed as a judge of the Lahore High Court in 2011.

Justice Ahsan has served as inspection judge for Kasur, Gujranwala and Lahore Districts. In 2015, he was appointed as chief justice of Lahore High Court and elevated to the Supreme Court in June 2016.

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