In search of a scapegoat - Pakistan Today

In search of a scapegoat

  • PTI govt throws AGP  under the bus

On Tuesday Attorney General Anwar Masood Khan made a statement before the full bench of the SC that was dubbed by the judges as “uncalled for” and “too serious”. Law Minister Farogh Nasim, who was present during the hearing, maintained silence, leading many to believe the government stood behind its Attorney General. On the next hearing on Wednesday the court ordered the Attorney General to tender an apology or come up with the material on the basis of which he had made the statement. The Law Minister again kept mum the whole day, confirming the perception that the government was in confrontational mode. On Thursday the Attorney General announced his resignation and submitted an apology to the apex court avowedly on the demand of Pakistan Bar Council, for which he said he had great regard. Within hours the government distanced itself from Mr Anwar Masood Khan’s statement, maintaining that it had been made without the instructions and knowledge of the federal government. Further that the performance of the Attorney General was not up to the mark in the Justice Faez Isa case, for which he was asked to resign.

Mr Khan insists that both Senator Naseem and PM’s Special Assistant Shahzad Akbar were aware of what he was going to say in the court about the judges and had also appreciated his statement when the proceedings concluded that day. Senator Naseem maintains that Mr Khan’s version was based on lies and the government had no idea about the allegations against the apex court judges.

If Senator Naseem is right, why did he keep tightlipped over the issue for two days while PBC and SCBA issued statements condemning the government? Did the government want to gauge the public reaction to the stand taken by the Attorney General and, finding it highly negative, decided to distance itself from Mr Khan’s statement? Or did it want to deliver a message to the apex court and still maintain that the government had nothing to do with it? Mr Khan too cannot claim to be innocent in the affair. He is a former High Court judge and twice an Attorney General. He should have resigned earlier instead if agreeing to do the hatchet job.