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SC seeks report on Zulfiqar Bukhari’s appointment

LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Friday sought a report regarding Special  Assistant to Prime Minister Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari’s qualification and the appointment process.
A two-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib  Nisar, passed these orders while hearing a petition, filed by  Muhammad Adil Chattha and others, seeking disqualification of Zulfiqar Bukhari being a dual national, at the Supreme Court  Lahore Registry.
At the outset of the proceedings, Zulfiqar Bukhari, along with his counsel Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, appeared before the court while Attorney General for Pakistan was also present. To a query, the bench was apprised that the federal government and the Cabinet Division had filed replies in the matter, as per directions.
Zulfiqar Bukhari apprised that he was a businessman and did graduation in political science, in response to a bench query. He submitted that he was recently honored as one of top 100 Muslim influential businessmen in the United Kingdom. He submitted that he had been selected for the office of special assistant due to his overseas connections as he could play a vital role in bringing investment to Pakistan.
At this, the chief justice observed that appointments to important posts were a crucial national duty. “Such issues should be run as per Constitution,” he added. To which, Aitzaz Ahsan submitted that there was no constitutional bar on the appointment of Zulfiqar Bukhari as a
special assistant to the prime minister. His appointment was made under the rules of business and he was not a member of the cabinet, he added. He submitted that a dual national was most suitable for looking after the overseas affairs.
At this, the chief justice observed that the prime minister could take structured decisions. He was not empowered to decide as per his wish, but he had to act as per Constitution and the law. The bench asked Aitzaz to file a detailed reply so  that it could be understood as to why Zulfiqar Bukhari had been
selected for the post.
Subsequently, the bench adjourned further hearing till  December 5 and sought a report regarding Zulfiqar Bukhari’s qualification and appointment process.

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M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.