LAHORE - Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar on Friday took up the matter of Zulfi Bukhari’s appointment as prime minister's special assistant.

The CJP observed that the prime minister is a trustee of the people and he should not run the affairs as per his own wishes. “We will decide whether matters are being run as per the Constitution or not," he further remarked.

The chief justice made these observations at SC’s Lahore registry while hearing petitions filed by Muhammad Adil Chattha from Lahore and Mirza Abdul Moiz Baig from Karachi raising objection over Zulfi’s appointment fowr being a dual national. Prime Minister Imran Khan had appointed Zulfiqar Hussain Bukhari, aka Zulfi Bukhari, as his special assistant on overseas Pakistanis affairs and human resource development in September. The London-based businessman is a friend of PM Imran, and he enjoys the status of a minister of state

The apex court sought a detailed report about his appointment and qualifications. The hearing of the case was then adjourned until December 5.

Earlier during the hearing, Justice Saqib remarked that appointments on key posts are an important national duty and such matters should be taken care of in light of the national interest and not on such considerations as personal relations.

Expressing anger over Zulfi’s unbecoming attitude, Justice Saqib told him: “You should leave your anger at home and then come [here in court]. You might be someone’s friend but you are not a friend of the court.”

The CJP then asked the attorney general to apprise the adviser of court decorum.

Afterwards, Ch Aitzaz Ahsan while representing Zulfi Bukhari told the court that the prime minister has the authority to appoint special assistants.

The chief justice remarked that the “prime minister does not have unrestrained authority and is a trustee of the nation”. Personal relations should not play any role and nepotism should not be seen in appointments on higher posts, he added.

The judge asked on what basis Bukhari was appointed and who directed for preparing the summary of his appointment.

The counsel replied he was appointed as per the rules of business. Atizaz argued that his client was not a member of the cabinet and the post of assistant to premier on overseas Pakistanis could be given to a dual national.

He presented the argument that it was better to give this post to a dual national as holding nationality of Pakistan as well as an influential foreign country makes it easier to administer the affair of oversees Pakistanis.

Zulfi Bukhari informed the court that he had done his graduation in Political Science. He also said he maintains excellent relations with overseas Pakistanis. The adviser also claimed to be among the top 100 Pakistanis in the United Kingdom.

When asked about his profession abroad, Zulfi said he is a property developer in the UK and has contacts with wealthy overseas Pakistanis that can help him bring business to Pakistan.

Asked if he ever lived in Pakistan, the adviser replied he studied in Pakistan for five years until the age of 18.

The court directed the counsel to submit a report on his client's credentials, and adjourned the hearing until Dec 5.



PM should not run

affairs as per his wish: CJP