Justice Shaukat Siddiqui, a senior judge who accused the Pakistani spy agency ISI of manipulating elections was removed as judge of a high court in Islamabad. Justice Siddiqi was removed through an order issued overnight by the president of Pakistan, the Law Ministry announced on October 12.
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The Supreme Judicial Council, a body that oversees complaints against judges, had recommended Shaukat Siddiqui’s removal after a secret trial for “defaming a state institution,” the ministry said.
Justice Siddiqui had accused the Pakistani Army’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), of manipulating the elections that brought Prime Minister Imran Khan to power.
The judge’s accusation, just days ahead of the polls, added to questions about the legitimacy of the elections that were raised by the party of former PM Nawaz Sharif, which lost power in the elections.
It is widely understood that Pakistan’s army, which has ruled the country for almost half of its history, did not want Nawaz Sharif to seek another term. Sharif, who was once Pakistan’s most popular politician was removed by the Supreme Court as prime minister on corruption charges.
Sharif has later arrested just days ahead of the elections, a move that is thought to have spoiled his party’s quest for the victory. The dismissed judge claimed that the ISI was involved in Sharif’s arrest and had told the court not to release Sharif and his daughter, Maryam, until after the elections. Pakistan’s military denies interfering in politics and judicial affairs.