US State Dept’s report on Pakistan judiciary ‘factually incorrect’: FO

Islamabad: Pakistan on Tuesday terming the report of U.S. State Department as “factually incorrect and misleading” said the country’s courts were independent and functioning in accordance with the Constitution.

Responding to media queries regarding the Investment Climate Statements for 2021 released by the US Department of State, the Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said, “We take strong exception to the gratuitous and unwarranted comments made in the report on Pakistan’s judicial system.”

“The judiciary in Pakistan is independent and the Courts are functioning in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the country. The allegations to the contrary are firmly denied as factually incorrect and misleading,” the spokesperson said.

“As a vibrant democracy, the government of Pakistan firmly believes in the separation of powers between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of the state,” he said.

The FO Spokesperson said there was no question of any coercion or pressure on Pakistan’s judiciary.

“The baseless assertions made in the report are contradicted by innumerable decisions by Pakistani courts at all levels that meet the highest standards of judicial independence,” he said.

He mentioned that while the statement acknowledged the progress made and reforms undertaken by Pakistan in improving its business and investment climate despite extremely difficult circumstances due to the pandemic, it “speculated on alleged shortcomings in Pakistan’s regulatory framework and based its conclusions on unverifiable sources”.

He said mutually beneficial cooperation in the areas of economy, trade and investment with the international community including the U.S. was one of the key priorities of the government of Pakistan.

We will continue to take steps to optimally realize Pakistan’s geo-economic potential, he added.