CJP calls Imran Khan an ‘extraordinary’ citizen

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar — while hearing a case regarding illegal felling of trees and encroachment of land in Bani Gala, brought to his notice by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan —termed Khan an ‘extraordinary citizen’ whose influence could help boost the morale of the country.

“Your words can move the nation to look at things positively,” Justice Nisar said. “You are not an ordinary citizen, people look up to you.”

Briefly touching upon the Panamagate verdict while in court, Justice Nisar said, “Dissenting verdicts are given everywhere in the world but nowhere are they discussed as much as in Pakistan.”

“Everyone is supposed to respect the courts and their decisions, including you,” Nisar told Khan.

At this, Khan praised the five-member Panamagate bench, saying that he stood behind the country’s institutions.

“People come to courts looking for an institution they can trust. It is up to us to rid the air of distrust and move forward,” Justice Nisar remarked during the proceedings.

On a lighter note, while reminiscing about their shared past, the chief justice reminded Khan that he had played cricket under Khan’s captaincy during their time at Aitchison College.

“Once you hit the ball so hard that it flew all the way beyond the church premises,” he recounted.

Regarding the matter of the felling of trees, the court ruled that no trees were to be cut in the Bani Gala Botanical Gardens and National Park.

It also said that any buildings set up within the premises of the Botanical Gardens must not be given electricity and gas connections.

Talking to the media after the hearing, Imran Khan said: “I am grateful to the chief justice for taking notice of a matter of public interest, which I wrote about in a letter to him.”

“We stand with the justice system and the nation has high hopes attached to the judiciary,” he added.

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