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Pakistan

Justice (R) Baqar declines ad hoc Supreme Court appointment

He has become second judge who refused offer to become an ad hoc judge

Published by Hussnain Bhutta

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Islamabad: Amid the criticism of different quarters and pressure of opposition parties in National Assembly, another retired judge of Supreme Court, Justice (retired) Maqbool Baqar on Thursday refused the offer of appointment as an ad hoc judge of the Supreme Court.

He has become the second judge after Justice (retired) Mushir Alam who had declined the offer to become an ad hoc judge for the period of three year.

The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP), headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, is scheduled to meet on Friday to consider the appointment of four retired apex court judges.

While the government strongly believes the need exists for additional judges to clear pending cases, the main opposition party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has termed the move as "dishonesty."

Talking to a news channel, Justice (retired) Baqar said that he was deciding against becoming an ad hoc judge due to "personal reasons." However, he mentioned that the appointment of ad hoc judges to the apex court is in line with the law and that criticism is "baseless."

Backing CJP Isa's decision, Baqar, who also served as the caretaker chief minister of Sindh, said that it was "crucial" to appoint ad hoc judges in light of the backlog of cases.

The development comes after PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub, in conversation with journalists in Islamabad, said hiring three or four judges won't address the issue of thousands of pending cases.

"The motive behind the move is to appoint 'like-minded' judges to the Supreme Court. Political workers and the lawyers' fraternity reject the move," Ayub, the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, said.

Ayub also requested that the ad hoc judges, when appointed, should not be allowed to hear the cases relating to PTI.

For his part, PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar termed the move "dishonesty" and said that all of a sudden, the JCP plans to appoint four ad hoc judges during vacations.

"Appointing these judges for three years is malicious. Ad hoc judges will be harmful to an independent judiciary, we are taking this matter up in the Supreme Judicial Council. Judges should not make this issue controversial."

Meanwhile, Law Minister Azam Azam Nazeer Tarar has said that ad hoc judges should be appointed to the Supreme Court.

"Ad-hoc judges should be appointed. The constitution allows it. Moreover, the Judicial Commission appoints them, not the chief justice," he explained, as the PTI keeps raising concerns about CJP Isa.

It is pertinent to mention here that Baqar and Alam were among four judges, including Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Sardar Tariq Masood, whose names were to be considered in the JCP's Friday meeting.

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Pakistan

'61pc Pakistanis above 10 are illiterate'

PBS in its new Census report says Every house in Pakistan has 6.3 family members

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Islamabad: Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has launched the detailed results of the 7th Population and Housing Census-2023.
According to the Census data, total population of the country stands at 241.49 million with 51.48 percent males and 48.51 percent females showing a gender ratio of 106.12.
The average number of family members in Pakistan is 6.30 while the dominant religion is Islam representing 96 percent of the population.
Age wise enumeration of population shows 36.47 million populace under five years, 97.53 million under 15 years, 62.58 million between 15 to 29 while 190.27 million is below 40 years of age.
Literacy indicators show 61 percent of Pakistan's population aged ten years and above is literate.
The census data shows that current population growth rate is 2.55 percent which is the highest in the region and if it continues, the country's population will be doubled by 2050.
Population growth is adversely affecting the per capita income and standard of living of citizens. There is need to develop an effective strategy for population control for better distribution of resources and economic prosperity.
Addressing the launching ceremony as chief guest in Islamabad today, Ahsan Iqbal said transparency was ensured in the country's first ever digital census through use of technology.
He lauded the PBS, SUPARCO, security forces, field staff for successful conduct of the first digital population and housing census.
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Pakistan

Imran Khan receives 1,653 visitors in Adyala Jail

Sources say PTI founder met different people 1,181 times in jail’s court

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As many as 1,635 visitors met with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf founder Imran Khan in Adyala Jail during September 2023 to July 2024.

These visitors included party leadership, lawyers, friends and family members who met him different times during the days scheduled for meeting.

According to the data released from Adyala Jail, Imran Khan held 454 meetings in the jail’s meeting room. During these meetings, Imran Khan met 88 times with lawyers, 223 political personalities, 119 family members while special doctors visited him 14 times.

“Imran Khan also met different people during court proceedings held in a court within the jail,” said the jail sources. They added that at least PTI head met at least 1181 times during the court proceedings in which he met 591 times with his lawyers, 273 times with family members and 317 times with media correspondents.

Moreover, sources informed that Imran Khan also talked 13 times to his sons on WhatsApp.

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