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President Alvi confirms Justice Musarrat Hilali as Peshawar High Court’s CJ

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  • Justice Hilali becomes 2nd Pakistani woman elevated to office of CJ of a high court.
  • The most senior judge of PHC was appointed as acting CJ of high court last month.
  • On April 14, JCP recommended her name for appointment as regular CJ of PHC.

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday accorded his approval to the appointment of Justice Musarrat Hilali as the regular Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court (PHC).

Justice Hilali has previously been working as acting chief justice of the PHC.

The president approved her appointment under Article 175A (13) of the Constitution, according to a statement issued by the President’s Secretariat.

After her appointment as the regular CJ, Justice Hilali has become the second female in the country who has been elevated to the office of chief justice of a high court — the first being Justice Syeda Tahir Safdar, the chief justice of the Balochistan High Court.

On April 1, the high court got its first woman chief justice as Justice Hilali took the oath of her office.

Upon the retirement of PHC Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan on March 30, the most senior judge of the court, Justice Noorul Amin Khan was appointed as the acting CJ. But his stint lasted a day only.

After Justice Khan’s retirement on March 31, a day after he took over as the acting CJ, Justice Hilali was appointed as the first woman acting chief justice of the PHC.

The president appointed Justice Hilali as the acting CJ until the appointment of a regular chief justice.

On April 14, the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) unanimously recommended the name of Justice Mussarat Hilali for appointment as the regular chief justice of the high court during a meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial. The commission sent its recommendation to the parliamentary committee for approval.

Who is Justice Musarrat Hilali?

Born in Peshawar on August 08, 1961, Justice Hilali received a law degree from Khyber Law College, Peshawar University and enrolled as an Advocate of District Courts in 1983, as an Advocate of the High Court in 1988 and as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2006.

Being a female she had several achievements in her career including:

  • First female elected office-bearer in the post of secretary at the bar from 1988-1989
  • Vice president at the bar (twice) from 1992 till 1994
  • General Secretary from 1997 till 1998
  • First female twice elected as an executive member of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) from 2007-2008 and 2008-2009

She was also the first female Additional Advocate General of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from November 2001 to March 2004 and was later appointed as the first female Chairperson Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Environmental Protection Tribunal.

Justice Hilali also served as the first female ombudsman for protection against the harassment of women in the workplace.

She was elevated to the bench as an additional judge on March 26, 2013, and confirmed as a permanent judge of the Peshawar High Court on March 13, 2014.

Pakistan

As PM Shehbaz creates committees to address the PPP’s issues, a thaw is evident.

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In response to the issues brought up by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari during their meeting, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has established committees.

The PPP heavyweights and PML-N leaders met after Bilawal did not attend the June 12 National Assembly session when the budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2024–25 was unveiled.

The PPP chief’s concerns were mostly addressed by the prime minister at the meeting, when he also ordered committees to look into his grievances.

Sources claim that on Friday, the committees would undertake discussions to settle the differences between the ruling parties.

Bilawal once voiced concern over the PPP’s lack of faith in the budget. He emphasised that the PML-N is not carrying out the arrangement that the PPP had made to support the government.

Additionally, he charged that the Punjabi government was erecting obstacles in the way of the PPP’s advancement in the region.

For the welfare of the people as well as the growth and prosperity of the nation, Prime Minister Shehbaz urged all political parties to cooperate.

Yousuf Raza Gilani, the Senate Chairman, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Syed Khursheed Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar, and Sherry Rehman were among the PPP delegation members.

Speaking at the event, the premier stated that additional talks over the budget for 2024–2025 were held with the Pakistan Peoples Party. He claimed that although the stock market had seen an unprecedented boom, the economy was exhibiting encouraging signs.

He claimed that the new fiscal year’s budget included measures to help the average person. He promised that committees will continue to be used for further consultation.

Afterwards, the prime minister hosted a dinner reception in honour of the PPP delegation.

In attendance were Speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar, Federal Ministers for Planning and Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb and Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Political Affairs Rana Sanaullah, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Ali Pervez Malik, and former federal minister Khawaja Saad Rafique.

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The court hinted at a June 27 ruling in the Imran-Bushra iddat nikah case.

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Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi filed petitions in the iddat nikah issue, and a municipal court in Islamabad has intimated that it may rule on their cases by June 27.

Beyond this period, the court made it clear that no more time will be granted for arguments. “Even if no party appears, the court will take a decision based on the record of the case,” it said.

Supporters of PTI stood outside the courtroom during today’s hearing to show their support for Bushra Bibi.

Further Meetings Both Bushra Bibi and Imran Khan begged for their sentences to be suspended during the session, which was chaired by Judge Afzal Majoka.

The PTI founder was defended by attorney Salman Akram Raja, and Bushra Bibi was represented by Usman Riaz Gill. Khawar Maneka’s representative, Zahid Asif Chaudhry, wrote a letter.

Attorney Salman Akram Raja fervently pleaded in favour of the sentence suspension. “This case is, in fact, an abhorrent assault on a Pakistani woman’s chastity. Today, the court was presented with this entire discussion. The Supreme Court has issued multiple rulings. Each and every witness has admitted to lying to this court. “It has been made clear in front of the court,” Raja declared outside the building, wishing for the administration of justice.

The court made the observation that a judgement on the applications for sentence suspension needed to be made by June 27 at the latest.

The court stated that Salman Akram Raja’s arguments were only partially heard today in its written ruling for the day. Zahid Asif also sought for more time to prepare, and Usman Riaz Gill, Bushra Bibi’s attorney, asked for more time to make his case.

The next hearing is set for June 25 by the court. Using the available records, the decision about the applications for sentence suspension will be made before June 27, regardless of the attendance of all parties.

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“Awaam Pakistan”: These influential politicians are joining the new party led by Abbasi

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The former finance minister revealed in a statement that Abbasi will be the first convener of Awaam Pakistan, which will begin next month.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a former prime minister, will lead the Awaam Pakistan Party.

Awaam Pakistan will include former PML-N leaders Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan Abbasi, Javed Abbasi, Syed Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Zahid Binnouri, Rana Zahid Tauseef, and Sardar Anwar Soomro, according to Miftah’s announcement.

The former MQM MNA Sheikh Salahuddin and former health minister Dr. Zafar Mirza will also join the Abbasi-led party.

On July 6, the AP launch ceremony will take place in Islamabad.

From August 2017 to May 2018, Abbasi, the former prime minister, held the position.

Given his disagreements with the PML-N’s upper echelons, it is important to note that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had made multiple allusions to the possibility of starting a new party.

The former prime minister filed the necessary paperwork to the poll election commission in April of this year in order to register a new political party. He and the PML-N broke apart after a year of disagreements.

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