US State Dept criticises Pakistan’s judicial system Govt, other stakeholders influence judiciary

Washington Observer Report

The US State Department has portrayed Pakistan’s judiciary in extremely negative terms, stating that the country’s judicial system theoretically functions independently of the executive branch, but the reality is very different.

In its latest report, 2021 Investment Climate Statements: Pakistan, the State Department said: “Pakistan’s judiciary is influenced by the government and other stakeholders.

The lower judiciary is influenced by the executive branch and viewed as incompetent and fair. It is currently facing a considerable backlog of unsolved cases. “

According to the report, there are doubts about the competence, fairness and reliability of the Pakistani judicial system.

The recently released report states: “In theory, Pakistan’s judicial system functions independently of the executive branch.

The reality is different, however, as the establishment wields a significant influence over the judiciary.

Hence, there are doubts about the competence, fairness and reliability of the Pakistani judicial system.

However, fear of disregard for legal process prevents companies and the public in general from reporting alleged weaknesses in legal process. “

The report adds that Pakistan’s Treaty Act of 1872 is the primary law regulating treaties with Pakistan. British legal decisions may also have been cited in court judgments.

“Although Pakistan’s legal code and economic policy do not discriminate against foreign investment, enforcement of treaties remains problematic due to a weak and inefficient judiciary,” the report said.

Pakistan ranks 124th out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2020.

According to the report, bribes are classified as criminal and criminal under the Pakistani Code, but are widely believed to be granted at all levels of government.

“Although the higher courts are widely seen as more credible, lower courts are often viewed as corrupt, inefficient and subject to pressure from prominent wealthy, religious, political figures and the establishment.

Political involvement in the appointment of judges increases the government’s influence over the judicial system, ”it said.

According to the report, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) suffers from insufficient funding and professionalism and is viewed as politically biased by the Pakistani opposition.

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