AGP says endorsed Justice Tariq Masood's views in JCP meet on merit of nominees.

ISLAMABAD -- Attorney-General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf Ali has expressed regret over the ongoing controversy regarding the issue of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan's (JCP) proceedings. According to a letter issued late last night by the AGP office, he said all appointments to the higher judiciary should be made on merit.

The letter stated that during the aforementioned JCP meeting, the AGP fully supported the viewpoint expressed by Justice Sardar Tariq Masood who raised objections to all the five nominations proposed for elevation to the Supreme Court of Pakistan by the chief justice of Pakistan, Justice Umar Ata Bandial.

The AGP refrained from commenting on the merits of nominees, the letter said. However, he stressed the need to keep merit in view during the upcoming meeting.

The main contents of the AGP letter to the JCP are:

I am dismayed by the controversy emanating from the recent proceedings of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan ('Judicial Commission'). My consistent position has been that appointments to high judicial office must be premised on merit, and in light of Articles 175 and 177 of the Constitution of Pakistan: it is thus imperative that the requisite criteria be structured for such appointments. This will ensure not only that elevations are made in the public interest, but also that the members of the Judicial Commission may confirm appointments in an atmosphere of collaboration and mutual goodwill.

I had put the same recommendation to the worthy Members during the Judicial Commission's proceedings of July 28, 2022. While appreciating the hard work put in by Honourable Justice Mr Sardar Tariq Masood and endorsing his stance, I categorically stated that I agree with him. In the interest of propriety, I refrained from commenting on the merits of each nominee.

I, however, observed, and continue to maintain, that the Honourable...

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