LAHORE: Supreme Court Bar Association President Asma Jahangir has said the interim order of the Lahore High Court restraining President Asif Ali Zardari from pardoning death convict Aasia
Bibi reflected the “desire of judges to gain easy popularity” in the eyes
of the people.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Asma said courts could not restrain the president from exercising his constitutional powers under the Article 45. “I respect the court order, but judges should not pass odd orders which mock the whole institution of judiciary,” she said, adding that the president had not even exercised his constitutional power in Aasia’s case and it was strange that the LHC passed order directing him not to pardon her. “If the president had used his power, then the court could look into it, but before that, the order looks like a bid to gain popularity,” Asma said.
To a question about pardon in case which was sub judice, the SCBA president said the president could exercise his constitutional power at any stage of the case or conviction. She referred to the case of Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who was granted pardon by the president in the recent past. Asma said the president had used his powers and granted him pardon when his case was pending in the Lahore High Court.
In defence of Aasia, the SCBA president said she was innocent in the sense as she had stated on oath that she did not utter any blasphemous remarks against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and she had no reason to make insulting remarks against the prophet.
Courts trying to gain easy popularity in Aasia case: Asma