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Sunday January 29, 2023

Borrowing to pay salaries dangerous, says SC

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad Tuesday remarked that the government departments in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province were overstaffed and now loans were being obtained by the government to pay the employees salaries.

By News Desk
June 02, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad Tuesday remarked that the government departments in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province were overstaffed and now loans were being obtained by the government to pay the employees salaries.

As head of a three-member apex court bench, he was hearing a petition, filed by Fazal Mukhtar, a former forest guard of the KP Forestry, Environment & Wildlife Department, for payment of pension.

While dismissing the petition, the chief justice remarked that it was very dangerous act to acquire loans for payment of salaries to the government employees.

The counsel for the petitioner stated in the court that his client was recruited as a forest guard in 1989 for a project and his services were terminated in 1994. He was recruited again at the same time, but on his retirement, those four years of his service were not included for payment of pension.

The chief justice asked Additional Advocate General (AAG) Qasim Wadood if the KP provincial departments were not in a position to pay employees their salaries and pensions. He remarked that the government departments had been filled to the capacity in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and now it was acquiring loans from the IMF [International Monetary Fund] and the World Bank (WB). It was a dangerous thing that the government employees’ salaries were being paid through loans. “Were there no other sources of income in KP except for the government employment?” asked the chief justice.

However, the AAG replied that no province could get any loan from the IMF and the WB directly. Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar, another member of the bench, remarked that smuggling was the major crime damaging industries and the economy of the KP government currently. He remarked that ending smuggling was crucial for expansion of industries in the province. He said it was utmost necessary to take effective steps for catching the elements involved in smuggling.

Meanwhile, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan Tuesday observed that a conspiracy could be hatched against Pakistan from abroad if the social media was not controlled.

Hearing a case on offensive content on the social media, the chief justice questioned whether a person could be tried in Pakistan for uploading hate material on social media from abroad or a trial could be held in Pakistan if a person was killed in Britain? The petitioner's lawyer said the law existed under which a person could be tried in Pakistan for uploading objectionable material on social media from abroad. The reply enraged the chief justice and he asked the lawyer to come up with arguments after complete preparedness. An amicus curiae informed the court that the accused could be prosecuted under Section 5 of CrPC.

The chief justice observed that people could be incited for rebellion from abroad if social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms were not controlled. "A conspiracy could be hatched against Pakistan through social media from abroad. However, government officials are trying to save the accused without understanding the gravity of the issue," he remarked. The case was adjourned for the next week.

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