Islamabad: The recent judgment on Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s review petition is a welcome development. The PTI government’s attempt to blackmail, intimidate and harass an honorable judge of the Supreme Court has failed.
It was an assault on the entire judiciary. There must be accountability for those in the PTI government who were part of this conspiracy. The accountability process must start from the Prime Minister who initiated this reference with malafide intent of attacking the Supreme Court and attempted to send a message of fear to every independent judge in the country. Attacks on judiciary are hallmarks of dictatorships. President Arif Alvi acted as the Prime Minister’s accomplice in this illegal, unconstitutional attack and as result lost any moral right to continue in office he and should resign immediately. It has also been established that Shahzad Akbar and Farogh Nasim acted maliciously and in bad faith to threaten the judiciary and they should be immediately removed from their positions and an independent inquiry initiated against them. The entire episode is a scathing indictment of this government, its bullying tactics, and its disregard for rule of law.
The PPP has always been an unwavering advocate of a strong, independent judiciary and even when historically PPP has been a victim of judicial murder and unfair treatment for three generations.
PPP has always stood by constitutional supremacy and has never resorted to intrigues against or attack on the judiciary. Rule of law and not rule of men is the cardinal principle of democracy and the PPP will always be in the frontline to defend judicial independence, constitutional supremacy, and democracy.
The PPP demands that this government respects democratic norms and end its campaign of victimization of judiciary, political opposition, media and all critical and dissenting voices.
In another statement, Bilawal Bhutto strongly criticized the new Pakistan for having a separate law for the rich and the poor, saying that Imran Khan, who raised the slogan of not two but one Pakistan, created a separate Pakistan for the rich and a separate Pakistan for the poor.
He said that in the new Pakistan, there is relief for tax evaders through amnesty schemes and inflation for the salaried class of taxpayers. Imran Khan’s change is only to reward the rich by snatching subsidies from the poor.
Bilawal said that Imran Khan’s economic initiatives are benefiting only certain capitalist families of the country. The Prime Minister on one hand gives amnesty to his capitalist friends to legalize nameless properties and on the other hand issues ordinance for expensive electricity.
Bilawal Bhutto also said that capitalists and industrialists in the new Pakistan are benefiting from amnesty schemes and collecting taxes from consumers. He said that PML-N had given benefits to 135 rich families amounting up to Rs 43 billion during its tenure in government and the PTI government gave amnesty of more than Rs 20 billion to 56 rich families.
Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari raised the question that those who gave amnesty schemes by claiming to bring the rich into the tax net should tell what they did for the common man. Expressing concern, he said that more than 80 million ordinary Pakistanis who do not even come under the ambit of income tax are forced to pay up to 12.5 per cent advance income tax on mobile phones. The common man is called a tax evader even after paying taxes in various ways, he said.
Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the gap between rich and poor is widening due to unequal economic policies in Pakistan. He said that the PPP is the only party which chalks out economic policies keeping in mind the situation of a common man.