AGP Khalid recuses himself from reference against Justice Isa Seeks autonomy from law, justice ministry

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Observer Report

Islamabad

Newly appointed Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan on Monday refused to represent the government in the presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa, citing a “conflict of interest” and asked the court to accept the government’s application for Additional Attorney General Amir Rehman to argue the case.
“Additional Attorney General Amir Rehman has been preparing this case,” Jawed told the court.
However, the additional attorney general told the court that he would be abroad for some official task till March 20, and so the hearing should be set on a date after that.
Justice Umer Ata Bandial, who was heading the full bench hearing the case, responded to this by setting the next hearing’s date for March 30. “One of the judges on the bench will be away after March 20 and we will hear the case upon his return,” Justice Bandial said. “The hearing would not be moved forward again, the government representative should be present in court on the given date,” Justice Bandial said. Meanwhile. the newly-appointed AGP has written to Prime Minister Imran Khan seeking autonomy for the office of the attorney general. He has proposed that the office of the attorney general of Pakistan should be autonomous from the administrative control of the law and justice ministry.
In a letter addressed to the federal law and justice ministry, Khan has sought clarification from Dr Farogh Naseem over new appointments of law officers. He cited a local newspaper’s report claiming “frantic efforts” to appoint top law officers across the country in a bid to “oblige the legal fraternity” scrutinising Naseem over the law ministry’s decisions including the presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa. “You would recall that during our meeting earlier today you had clarified that no such action is in the offing and therefore no law officers are being terminated/appointed,” reads the AGP’s letter.