The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Saturday issued a show cause notice to Deputy Attorney General (DAG) of Pakistan Khurshid Khan at the Peshawar High Court, for ‘defaming’ the country during a recent visit to India.
The notice can only be labeled bizarre, for DAG Khurshid Khan performed a deed which only a handful of politicians would contemplate doing: Polishing shoes, sweeping floors and washing dishes to promote interfaith harmony at the Jamia Masjid in Chandigarh, the Golden Temple in Amritsar and the Birla Temple in New Delhi.
A delegation of 200 members of the SCBA, including President Yasin Azad, Muneer A Malik, Tariq Mahmood, Ali Ahmed Kurd and Asma Jahangir, along with present and former office bearers of bar associations and DAG Khan visited India in March to interact with lawyers from across the border. The visit was meant to enable interaction with the legal fraternity of India and to establish contacts amongst the legal communities of the neighbouring countries.
SCBA President Azad made it clear that Khurshid ‘defamed’ Pakistan by polishing shoes outside the places of worship. “Although it was the government’s duty to issue him the show cause notice, as he is a serving deputy attorney general, we have issued it instead,” he told The Express Tribune.
“Khurshid told us that he did this to be pardoned for all the sins he has committed in his life,” Azad claimed, adding that he should have done it in a more respectable way.
When contacted, Khurshid told The Express Tribune that he was waiting to receive the show cause notice and was prepared to reply to it, adding that since he is the DAG, the attorney general was supposed to issue the notice. He questioned the basis on which the show cause notice was issued. “Have I been charged for violating an Indian law? There was no code of conduct we were told to follow.”
Khurshid stated that he was bestowed the status of a State Guest by Chief Minister of Indian Punjab Parkash Singh Badal and that his mission was to convey a better image of Pakistanis in general and Pakhtuns in particular.
“What is constituted as defaming the country, Ajmal Kasab’s alleged killing of Indians or a Pakistani polishing the shoes of Hindus, Sikhs and Christians outside their places of worship,” he questioned.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2012.