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January 13, 2021

SHC dismisses petition against appointment of Pak representative to UN

National

January 13, 2021

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition against appointment of permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations Munir Akram observing that the issues raised in the petition are related to matters of foreign policy, diplomatic missions and security of the country, which are neither justiciable nor they fall within the judicial domain for interference.

Petitioner Anis Haroon and other women rights activists opposed the appointment of permanent representative of Pakistan to the US by the government submitting that criteria in respect of employment of retired diplomat provided under Section 14 of the Civil Servants Act has not been complied with. The court was requested to declare the appointment of Munir Akram as unlawful and restrain him from performing functions of the country’s representative at the UN.

Additional Attorney General Kashif Paracha questioned the maintainability of the petition and submitted that the appointment of Munir Akram as permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, New York, is made on merit by the Prime Minister and given his vast multilateral experience and international ingress, his appointment was made in public and national interest. He argued that the instant petition may be dismissed on the grounds that since such appointments are the matter of policy and the superior courts have shown restraint in policy matters.

SHC’s division bench comprising Justice Nadeem Akhtar and Justice Adnan-ul-Karim Memon after hearing the arguments of the counsel observed that since the appointment was a policy decision and under the foreign policy the court has no jurisdiction to examine the policy decision of the Pakistan’s government. The court observed that it is also settled law that courts ordinarily refrain from interfering in the foreign policy-making domain of the executive.

The court observed that appointment of Munir Akram does not seem to suffer from any inherent defect under the law, besides the petitioners have also failed to point out any legal flaw in the process relating to the appointment of the respondent warranting interference by the court in constitutional jurisdiction.

It is pertinent to mention that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had appointed Munir Akram as country’s permanent representative to UN on October 3, 2019 replacing the Maleeha Lodhi who completed her tenure.