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Speaking his mind: Former speaker lambasts G-B judiciary

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GILGIT: Pakistan Peoples Party leader and former Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly speaker Wazir Baig fired broadside at the region’s judiciary, saying its poor performance is known to all.

“Their perks and privileges fall in the category of judicial corruption,” he said.

The outburst came at a press conference at Gilgit Press Club on Thursday. Baig is known for fiery statements and no-holds-barred commentary. During his time as the speaker, he was known as an ‘opposition leader’ due his criticism of the policies of his own party’s government.

Flanked by former G-B deputy speaker Jamil Ahmed and other leaders, Baig said everyone is aware of the efficiency of the Supreme Appellate Court (SAC).

“Given its performance, I fail to understand why the judges receive perks and privileges.”

SAC is the apex court of G-B where judges are appointed on a three-year contract basis and are entitled to facilities like salaries and pensions equal to those provided to Supreme Court of Pakistan judges.

“In our part of the world, terrorists are awarded sentences only after they escape from prisons,” he said, referring to the court’s decision to award a death sentence to the murderer of a prominent Shia cleric.

“Police officials who were involved in the killing of an innocent father and son in Hunza back in 2011 roam free while those who raised a voice against the murder have been behind bars for quite some time now,” he added.

Baig also targeted his own party and admitted illegal appointments were made when PPP was in office in G-B. “But that doesn’t mean you follow suit. Corruption must end no matter where it happens and who does it.”

The former speaker also did not spare the Hafeezur Rahman administration and said sports and cultural festivals will contribute little towards actually promoting tourism. “They are a means of making money and allowing politicians to rake funds in. If the government really want to promote tourism, why not consult professionals,” he questioned

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