ISLAMABAD .: Urging the judiciary not to make comments that should cause a sense of insecurity in any citizen, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has termed ‘regrettable’ the remarks made about him by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Sunday.
Taking suo motu notice of reports that appointment of the vice chancellor (VC) of the Lahore College for Women University was not made on the merit, the CJP had summoned Dr Uzma Qureshi, the VC.
Appearing before the court, the VC had reportedly said the interior minister had no role in her appointment. However, the CJP had noted that the SC was aware of Iqbal’s role in the matter.
The judge wondered how seniors were sidelined in the appointment process. “The education [sector] has been destroyed,” he had noted.
In a clarification issued on Monday, Iqbal said while discharging his duty he always preferred merit and benefit of academic institutions. He said he did his best to establish universities across the country and make them efficient, and current state of affairs of the universities proved that.
“Record funds were allocated for higher education in the history of Pakistan. I had no role in appointment of the VC in the Lahore College for Women University and I also never favoured anybody while compromising on the merit,” said the interior minister, who also holds the additional portfolio of planning minister.
He said as a citizen of Pakistan, he respected the superior judiciary. At the same time, he added, he also expected that the judiciary would also uphold the justice and the requirements of laws before making negative comments about somebody.
“A person reserves the right to defend himself and give his side of version over a matter before negative comments are made against him. This is the right of every citizen to expect ‘high values’ from the superior judiciary which is the custodian of basic rights of common citizens. The comments of the judiciary should not cause a sense of insecurity in any citizen,” he said.