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Monday July 22, 2024

Vawda declines to offer unconditional apology over anti-judiciary remarks

Referring to others’ comments in his response, senator claims he is not the only person making such remarks

By Abdul Qayyum Siddiqui
June 04, 2024
PTI leader Faisal Vawda addresses a presser at the National Press Club in Islamabad in this undated photo. — APP/File
PTI leader Faisal Vawda addresses a presser at the National Press Club in Islamabad in this undated photo. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Refusing to offer an unconditional apology over his anti-judiciary tirade, independent Senator Faisal Vawda has urged the Supreme Court to end the matter of contempt of court against him.

Referring to other politicians’ comments in his response submitted to the apex court, he claimed he was not the only person making such remarks.

Over his anti-judiciary remarks during his press conference on May 15, Vawda asked the court to show restraint in the contempt of court proceedings.

In response to the notice, he asked the Supreme Court to withdraw the contempt of court case against him, saying that the purpose behind his allegedly malicious press conference was the country’s wellbeing.

The politico issued the statement a day prior to his appearance in the contempt of court case for his tirade against the judiciary over the Islamabad High Court (IHC) judges’ letter, pointing out the intelligence agency’s meddling in judicial affairs and alleged dual nationality of a senior judge.

The apex court has fixed the hearing of the case against the independent senator and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) senior leader Mustafa Kamal on June 5, as Kamal has also held a similar press conference on May 16.

In the response submitted to the Supreme Court, Senator Vawda submitted transcripts of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Jamiat Ulema e Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Raoof Hasan’s speeches wherein they had made hard-hitting speeches against the judiciary.

He apprised the court that Hasan had threatened judges and the judiciary as well as called a judge “tout”. Whereas, Shehbaz had called judges “black sheep” and Fazl threatened judges in a speech outside the top court's building.

On the other hand, Vawda said he had every respect and regard for the judiciary and could never imagine doing any act which lowered the estimation of the judiciary in any manner.

However, he said: “…highlighting or critique of judgements of the courts deemed to have had a negative impact on the lives of the citizens of Pakistan is not contempt.”

He said the said press conference called upon the need for the judiciary to act on certain matters pertaining to the common public which remained unattended by the judiciary and executive.

Vawda said he highlighted those judgments which caused problems for the people with bona fide intentions and felt that it was a fair criticism.

He also drew the court’s attention to several instances “where the court has not taken notice of a direct threat issued to the judiciary and untoward remarks against the judges. The instances include but are not limited to threats made by Fazl, Hasan and Shehbaz.”

MQM-P's Mustafa Kamal tenders apology

Meanwhile, Kamal has sought an unconditional apology for his remarks against the judiciary he made last month during a press conference.

MNA Kamal has submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court's Karachi Registry, saying that he held "all the judges, in particular, the judges of the superior courts of Pakistan in the highest respect and esteem".

The top MQM-P leader said he could not imagine bringing the reputation or authority of the court or its judges into disrepute.

Now, he has sought an apology over his remarks that were made one day after Vawda had held a similar press conference at the same venue.

“I hereby tender an unconditional and unqualified apology with regard to any of my utterances, in particular my press conference dated May 16, 2024, throwing myself at the mercy of this court, seeking its clemency, pardon, forgiveness and discharge of the notice/proceedings of contempt of court initiated against me,” said Kamal.