Pakistan condemns the attack on NDS Chief Assadullah Khalid

Islamabad: Pakistan has strongly condemned the attack in Kabul on Thursday that wounded Mr. Assadullah Khalid, Head of the Afghan National Directorate of Security. Our thoughts and prayers are with him. We hope for his early recovery. A spokesman of the Foreign Office said here Friday in a statement that ”Pakistan remains committed to peace and stability in Afghanistan. The two countries face the common threat of terrorism. We will continue to work closely with Afghanistan to eliminate this scourge”,he added.

Court: Law ministry files reference to seek SC opinion on appointment of superior courts’ judges

ISLAMABAD: In compliance with the Prime Minister’s directives, the federal law ministry on Friday filed a presidential reference under Article 186 of the Constitution seeking Supreme Court’s advice on the issue of appointment of superior courts’ judges.

The reference drafted by law ministry was signed by President Asif Ali Zardari. The reference seeks Supreme Court’s advice under Article 186 of the Constitution, inter alia, with regard to the appointment of Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court as well as the confirmation of the additional judges of the same court.

On November 22, a case pertaining to extension in the tenure of two additional judges of the Islamabad High Court had taken a new turn before the Supreme Court after the Attorney General for Pakistan Irfan Qadir had informed it (SC) that the government wanted to file a presidential reference over the issue.
Questioning the composition of judicial commission on judges’ appointments, he had sought two weeks time from the Supreme Court for filing the presidential reference citing the need of seeking legal opinion on all issues related to appointments of IHC judges.

On October 22, the Judicial Commission of Pakistan had recommended the permanent appointment of IHC’s additional judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and a six-month extension in the tenure of IHC’s additional judge Noor ul Haq N. Qureshi.
On Nov 6 the Parliamentary Committee for appointment of superior courts’ judges had also endorsed the recommendations of Judicial Commission. The law ministry, however, had not issued a notification for extension in the tenure of these two judges and the matter is still pending before the Supreme Court for adjudication.

The reference seeks SC’s advice on 13 points. The question have been posed with regard to the role of the judicial commission and parliamentary committee with respect to the appointment of superior courts judges, the criteria for elevation of a judge to the SC, the manner and criteria for nomination of a person as a judge of the superior court and the parameters before the parliamentary committee for confirmation and whether the Constitution prohibits individual members of the JCP to initiate names for appointment of judges of superior courts and whether in-camera proceedings of JCP are in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

The reference also states that the 18th and 19th amendments of the Constitution have designed a three-stage process regarding the appointment of judges of the superior courts and this was done by introducing Article 175-A in the Constitution. “The new procedure envisages a three-stage process for the appointment of a judge whose nomination is made by the JCP, confirmation by a parliamentary committee and appointment by the president of Pakistan. The purpose of making these changes was to making the appointment of judges of superior judiciary a shared responsibility. The SC has been requested by the President to consider the questions raised in the reference and report its opinion to the President.

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