Lahore Court Directs PMO: Instruct ISI to Avoid Interfering with Justice

Lahore Court Directs PMO: Instruct ISI to Avoid Interfering with Justice

Lahore High Court directed the Prime Minister’s Office to issue directives to the country’s influential intelligence agencies to refrain from contacting judges or their staff to seek favorable judgments.

Reasons Behind This Move

The directive comes in response to complaints from certain judges alleging interference and pressure from Pakistan’s formidable military and intelligence establishment in their judicial duties. Nearly all judges of the Islamabad High Court—six out of eight—and several judges from anti-terrorism courts in Punjab have formally communicated to the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court, highlighting instances of direct interference by intelligence agencies in judicial affairs and pressuring them to deliver specific verdicts.

Justice Shahid Karim issued the directives following a complaint filed by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) judge in Sargodha. The Sargodha ATC judge, who was set to preside over cases involving PTI leaders, including opposition leaders, faced pressure when a senior ISI officer sought a meeting in his chamber. After declining, the judge and his family subsequently experienced several harassment incidents.

Justice Shahid Karim’s Statement

While writing down his order, Justice Shahid Karim observed that the Prime Minister holds responsibility and accountability for the actions of intelligence agencies. He further said that directives will be issued by the Prime Minister’s Office to all civil and military agencies, including the ISI and IB, explicitly instructing them not to approach or contact any judge of the superior or subordinate judiciary, or any member of their staff, for any reason going forward.

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About the Author: Hemansh Tandon