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PM-CJ meeting paves way for inter-institutional dialogue

March 29, 2018

Islamabad: The meeting between Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar at the Supreme Court on Tuesday has paved way for an inter-institutional dialogue in the wake of tense ties among various power centers.

The meeting’s schedule was worked out suddenly and Prime Minister Abbasi drove to the apex court without usual protocol and bare minimum security although strict security was in place in and outside the Supreme Court.

The political leadership, especially critics of the government, were flabbergasted about the development. Most of the leaders from the opposition PPP and PTI didn’t welcome the move believing that a thaw among the ruling alliance and the institutions could “harm” their interests.

The exceptional meeting became possible at the desire of Prime Minister Abbasi who was regularly in touch with his party Quaid Nawaz Sharif. It was Nawaz Sharif who first floated the idea of dialogue among various centres of power in the wake of July 28 verdict of the apex court in so-called Panama papers case.

Abbasi arrived at the Supreme Court in his official limousine. The two dignitaries discussed the legal reforms.

The sources pointed out that the request for a meeting furnished by the prime minister was pending but it was tied up about two hours before the scheduled time upon return of the prime minister from the KP where he had gone to inaugurate a development project.

The chief justice himself welcomed Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi on the doorsteps of the Supreme Court shortly after 7pm. The chief justice took him to his chamber and saw him off upon conclusion of the meeting back at the same gate.

Earlier, former Senate chairman Mian Raza Rabbani also had a meeting with the chief justice at the Supreme Court to discuss important subjects. Mian Raza Rabbani was the first national leader who raised his voice in support of Nawaz Sharif for an inter-institutional dialogue when he was chairman Senate. The meeting came a day after the court dismissed a contempt petition against Nawaz Sharif on non-compliance of court’s orders in a case of out-of-turn promotions. During the hearing, the chief justice asked about the charges being framed against the accused.

“What do we have in the case against Nawaz Sharif? Did he issue out-of-turn promotions?” He questioned. “Mian sahib is no one now, so what actions can be taken [against him],” he was quoted as saying. Several PML-N leaders, including ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, are facing cases in the country's courts for their remarks about the judiciary. The contempt cases have not deterred Sharif, who has continued his criticism of the judiciary and said judicial reforms will be one of the main items in his party's manifesto for the upcoming general elections.

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