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SC judges' Sicilian Mafia remark 'regretful', govt says

SC judges' Sicilian Mafia remark 'regretful', govt says

The government has denounced a Supreme Court judge's statement likening the attorney general to a representative of the 'Sicilian mafia', saying that the comments were "against the code of conduct" of the apex court.

"The comments made by the judge damaged Pakistan's reputation and integrity on an international forum," read a statement attributed to a government spokesperson, issued Thursday evening.

During the opening of a case against PML-N Senator Nehal Hashmi regarding his outburst against the judiciary, the Supreme Court bench hearing the case had a particularly fiery exchange with Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf.

"Congratulations Mr Attorney General: it seems that your government has joined the Sicilian Mafia," Justice Sheikh Azmat quipped as he addressed the AG on Thursday.

"We have faced military dictatorships, but even they did not dare threaten our children," Justice Afzal said to the AG. "Our children are being threatened under your government," he observed.

Expressing "deep regret" over the remarks, the government spokesperson said the SC judges levelled "unfounded allegations" against the government.

Curiously, the handout issued by the government bore no letterhead or signature, while the government spokesperson in mention was not identified with a name.

"The prime minister's actions against a PML-N member were neglected during the hearing," the spokesperson's? statement said.

The spokesperson added that records available in print and social media 'proved' that the government swiftly expressed its anger when Hashmi's inflammatory speech came to light, which showed that the government's policies were not in line with Hashmi's remarks.

The spokesperson also noted that Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb had clarified that Hashmi's remarks had no link with PML-N and its policies.

It should be noted that, during the hearing of the case, Justice Ejaz Afzal, while addressing the AG, had said: "You stayed quiet for two days after Hashmi's speech and then sprung into action [once it made headlines] fearing the Supreme Court's retribution."

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