Govt asks CJ to name head

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has written a letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan seeking nomination of a Supreme Court judge to head an inquiry commission on US raid in Abbottabad in which Osama bin Laden was killed.According to official sources, Federal Law and Justice Secretary Masood Chishti sent a letter to Supreme Court (SC) registrar in this connection late Saturday night.The government had earlier constituted a five-member commission headed by SC judge Justice Javed Iqbal to probe the Abbottabad incident in the light of the joint resolution passed in the in-camera session of the parliament. The other members of the commission were Justice (r) Fakhruddin G Ibrahim, Lt Gen (r) Nadeem Ahmed, Abbas Khan and Ashraf Jahnagir Qazi.However, the panel appointed by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in late May faced controversy even before it could become operational, with the head of the commission and a member, Justice (r) Fakhruddin, dropping out on the grounds that the government had not conducted consultations before naming them. Justice Javed Iqbal also said Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was not consulted before he was named the chief of the panel. Legal experts insisted that a judge cannot be made the head of an investigation panel unless permission is sought from the chief justice of the Supreme Court.Supreme Court Bar Association chairperson Asma Jehangir had raised objections regarding the commission and said the chief justice should have been informed prior to Justice Javed’s nomination as the head.

Opposition leader and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif asked the government to form an independent and powerful commission to unveil all mysteries surrounding bin Laden’s presence in the country and the failure of intelligence agencies to detect the US military helicopters used in the raid against the al-Qaeda chief. The unilateral US raid that killed bin Laden in the garrison city of Abbottabad on May 2 had sparked widespread protests across the country as the air force’s radar system did not detect the movement of the American helicopters that participated in the 40-minute operation.Officials said that the commission’s mandate includes establishing “full facts” regarding Osama’s presence in Pakistan and details about the US incursion. The commission will determine the nature, background and causes of lapses of authorities, if any. It will also make consequential recommendations. – Nation