Defense Minister Khawaja Asif has claimed that the government has strengthened the judiciary, and denied any confrontation with the institution. Talking to a private television channel Wednesday, the defense minister said three judges, instead of one, will consider suo motu notices, adding there is nothing confrontational about it.
“We did not overstep our boundaries nor did we intrude into the boundaries of others,” he maintained, adding the judiciary is expected to deliver justice. To a question about who will win in case of a constitutional conflict, Khawaja Asif said the Constitution should be the victor, and not institutions.
He further stated that the Constitution will emerge victorious from the current crisis, adding the primary source of power is the people and parliament, and parliament is becoming powerful with time.
The minister further said suo motu was taken, but no right to appeal was given. Nawaz Sharif was scapegoated to punish him, and the subordinate and high courts neglected. The basic right to appeal was withdrawn only to punish the PML-N supremo, he added.
Without mentioning former prime minister Imran Khan, Khawaja Asif said the nation paid a heavy price for bringing one person into power. To ensure justice, the scales must be equal, he remarked.
The minister stressed that it has been decided that the response will be given in the same coin that the conversation will take place in. He added that respect has to be given to earn it for oneself.
The PML-N leader claimed senior lawyer and PTI leader Hamid Khan praised the Supreme Court bill. Khawaja Asif also sought a review of the law under which former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani of the PPP was disqualified.
Meanwhile, participating in the debate on the judicial reforms bill in the National Assembly on Wednesday, the minister claimed parliament was not usurping the powers of the Supreme Court, but rather the House was legislating as per its constitutional right.
He further added that a bill resembling the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023 was drafted 15 years ago, but was resisted by a bench of the apex court. “We are diluting the powers of one individual and dividing it among three judges, which needs to be understood,” he added.
The minister also noted that parliament was making this process transparent and taking the initiative empowered by the Constitution. “We are the architects of the Constitution and all other institutions are its extensions.”
The minister emphasized that the tone of the House should not be apologetic, as all requirements were fulfilled for this legislation. “Our actions are being scrutinized by the judiciary. They have the right to do so but cannot enact legislation,” he maintained.
Govt has strengthened judiciary with legislation, no conflict with it: Kh Asif