FO rebuffs US statement on Pakistan’s judiciary
Taking strong exception to the Investment Climate Statements for 2021 released by the US Department of State, the Foreign Office on Tuesday said the judiciary in Pakistan is independent and the courts are functioning in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the country.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, in a statement, said that the comments made in the report on Pakistan’s judicial system were unwarranted.
The US report published on July 21 has stated: “Pakistan’s judiciary is influenced by the government and other stakeholders. The lower judiciary is influenced by the executive branch and seen as lacking competence and fairness.”
“The allegations to the contrary are firmly denied as factually incorrect and misleading,” the FO statment maintained.
“As a vibrant democracy, the government of Pakistan firmly believes in the separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the state,” it said, and underscored that there was no question of any coercion or pressure on Pakistan’s judiciary.
“The baseless assertions made in the report are contradicted by innumerable decisions taken by the Pakistani courts at all levels that meet the highest standards of judicial independence,” it stressed.
The statement added that while the report acknowledges the progress made and reforms undertaken by Pakistan in improving its business and investment climate, despite extremely difficult circumstances due to the pandemic, it speculates on alleged shortcomings in Pakistan’s regulatory framework and bases its conclusions on unverifiable sources.
Mutually beneficial cooperation in the areas of economy, trade and investment with the international community, including the US, is one of the key priorities of the government of Pakistan.
“We will continue to take steps to optimally realise Pakistan’s geo-economic potential,” the FO statement concluded.
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