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Chief Justice Asserts Supreme Court’s Neutrality: ‘We are Not Running Anyone’s Political Campaign,’ in Response to PTI Plea

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa emphasized on Monday that the Supreme Court is not involved in running any particular campaign, making the statement during a hearing on a plea filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The PTI sought contempt proceedings against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), alleging a lack of a level-playing field for the party leading up to the February 8 elections.

Chief Justice

The Chief Justice responded to complaints from PTI counsel Latif Khosa about the political victimization of party members, asserting, “We are the Supreme Court, not the government; we are not running anyone’s campaign.” He clarified that Section 144 and Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) would apply universally and not target any specific political party.

The three-member bench, led by CJP Isa and including Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Musrat Hilali, presided over the hearing. The proceedings were broadcast live on the Supreme Court’s website and YouTube channel.

PTI lawyer Latif Khosa presented arguments on behalf of Advocate Shoaib Shaheen, who filed the appeal. The SC had previously issued notices to the Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP), chief secretary, and advocate general following PTI’s allegations of harassment against their candidates and leaders.

On December 22, the Supreme Court directed the ECP to address PTI’s concerns regarding a level-playing field, leading to a meeting between ECP representatives and the PTI delegation. Despite assurances, the PTI filed another petition on December 26, seeking contempt proceedings against the ECP for alleged failure to ensure a fair electoral environment.

ECP Special Secretary Dr. Syed Asif Hussain rejected PTI’s claims, urging the Supreme Court to dismiss the contempt petition with a penalty. He emphasized that the ECP had addressed PTI’s complaints and assured equal opportunities for all parties and candidates.

Hussain stated that the ECP had issued instructions to relevant authorities and took action on the PTI’s complaints, with reports submitted by the IGP, chief secretary, and returning officers.

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