ISLAMABAD (Agencies): In a startling letter addressed to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), six judges from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) have accused the country’s intelligence apparatus of interfering in judicial affairs. The letter highlights attempts to pressure judges through abduction, torture of their relatives, and secret surveillance within their homes.

The letter, dated March 25, has been signed by Justices Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, Babar Sattar, Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, Arbab Muhammad Tahir, and Saman Rafat Imtiaz of the IHC. It raises seven instances of alleged interference and intimidation aimed at influencing the outcome of cases. Notably, when two out of three judges on a bench hearing the plea to disqualify PTI leader Imran Khan for concealing his alleged daughter opined that the case was not maintainable, they faced pressure from “operatives of the ISI” through friends and relatives. The situation became so stressful that one judge had to be admitted to the hospital due to high blood pressure.

The matter was brought to the notice of the IHC chief justice and the then-Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP). The former informed the judges that he had “spoken to the DG-C of ISI and had been assured that no official from ISI would approach the judges of the IHC.” However, interference by intelligence operatives persisted even after the IHC CJ’s assurance.

The letter also revealed an incident where an IHC judge’s brother-in-law was abducted by armed men claiming to be ISI operatives. The victim was subjected to electric shocks and forced to record a video making false allegations against the judge. Subsequently, a complaint was filed against the IHC judge before the SJC, accompanied by an orchestrated media campaign to pressure the judge to resign.

In response, the IHC Bar Association (IHCBA) demanded a transparent inquiry into the matter and legal action against those involved. The association emphasized the need for independent decisions by the judiciary in accordance with the law and the Constitution. It commended the six IHC judges for their courage and bravery and pledged to safeguard the judiciary’s independence. If necessary, the IHCBA is prepared to hold lawyers’ representative conventions, countrywide lawyers’ conventions, strikes, hunger strikes, and run a movement to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution and the law.

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