BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: Former speaker Gilgit – Baltistan assembly Wazir Baig on Thursday said G-B apex court judges’ perks and privileges ‘fall in the category of judicial corruption’ as their performance is ‘known to all and sundry’.
Baig’s outburst came during a press conference organized by the regional leadership of Pakistan Peoples Party at Press Club. Senior PPP leaders including ex- deputy speaker Jamil Ahmed and ex-member G-B Council Amjad Hussain were also in attendance.
“This is known to all and sundry that how many decisions this apex court has given so far, and in return what their privileges are. This is also a form of corruption and I would call it judicial corruption,” said the former speaker whose hard hitting remarks against his own government earned him a title of ‘opposition leader’ during the previous government.
Supreme Appellate Court is the apex court in G-B where judges are hired on contract for three years but ironically they are entitled to perks and privileges, including salary and lifetime pension, equivalent to a judge of Supreme Court of Pakistan.
“Regrettably in G-B terrorists are awarded sentences only after they make a safe escape,” said Baig, referring to court decision that sentenced a high profile terrorist death penalty after he managed to escape after a jailbreak. The terrorist Shakirullah, involved in the assassination of a prominent cleric in 2005, had escaped from a jail after a jailbreak in 2012.
Quoting another example of judiciary’s performance, he said the police officials involved in the killing of ‘innocent father and son’ in Hunza during 2011 are scot free while those raised voice for them are behind bars for quite sometimes now.
During his emotional speech, Baig also admitted illegal appointments were made during their government in G-B. “But that doesn’t mean you should follow the suit. The corruption must end no matter where it happens and who does it.”
Criticizing the ongoing sports and cultural festivals which the government is organizing to promote tourism, Baig said such events are a means of making money and open up windows for the rulers to make money. “This isn’t the way to promote tourism. If really want to promote, consult those who have waste experience in it.”
Published in Outpost on August 22, 2015