Azfar relieved from NRO plea over ‘security concerns’ | Pakistan Today

Azfar relieved from NRO plea over ‘security concerns’

ISLAMABAD – Taking life threats to Kamal Azfar in account seriously, the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the senior lawyer to disassociate himself from the government’s review plea against the SC verdict against the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).
While heading the 17-member full court hearing the federation’s review petition against the NRO verdict, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said he received a note put up by the SC registrar on a faxed complaint from Azfar. The CJP said the complaint said Azfar’s spouse Nahida Jafferi received threatening calls from Abu Bakar Zardari, an advocate practicing in the Sindh High Court, that if her husband (Kamal Azfar) appeared in the NRO review case, he could face dire consequences.
Sardar Zulqarnain, an assistant of Azfar, was also threatened in person as well as over telephone by Abu Bakar Zardari. During the hearing, the chief justice inquired about Abu Bakar Zardari who was present in the courtroom. Abu Bakar said he had only met Azfar’s assistant at the Supreme Court a few days ago. Azfar, however, submitted that Abu Bakar had threatened him on the behest of behind-the-curtain characters.
Additional Attorney General KK Agha, however, contended that the federation was not involved in any such move. Azfar submitted that he had lost his confidence in the federation and requested the court to allow him to disassociate himself from the case. The court accepted his request and relieved him from representing the federation in the case.
KK Agha submitted that since the incident had increased bitterness, Azfar should be relieved form the case and the federation’s request for change of counsel should be accepted. “Should we assume that the federation was responsible for this bitterness?” Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany said. The CJP asked Agha that did “it mean the federation aimed to get rid of Kamal Azfar?” Agha submitted that they wanted the decision of the court on merit.
The chief justice said the court could provide him a lawyer on his choice to assist him in the case, otherwise, Advocate on Record (AOR) Raja Abdul Ghafoor could argue the case. “Rules cannot be changed for a particular case,” the chief justice observed and asked Agha to take instructions from the government in this regard and adjourned proceedings until Monday.
Meanwhile, the court summoned Islamabad IGP Wajid Ali Durani and directed him to conduct an inquiry into the life threats after recording the statement of Nahida Jafferi and submit a report within three days with the SC registrar.

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