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.