LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) - An unknown gunman shot at a Pakistani Supreme Court judge’s residence on Sunday, a provincial government spokesman said.
Authorities said no one was injured in the shooting outside the residence of Supreme Court Justice Ijazul Ahsan, who was part of a five member bench that last July disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from his job.
“Bullet shells were found outside the residence,” in the central city of Lahore, provincial government spokesman Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan told Reuters.
No suspect has been named for the shooting.
Opposition leader Imran Khan, who was central to starting legal proceedings against Sharif, suggested there may have been a political motive for the shooting to pressurise” the judiciary. He gave no evidence for his view.”Strongly condemn the firing at Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan’s house. These Sicilian-mafia-like tactics to pressurise senior judiciary are unacceptable in any democracy,” he wrote.
The Supreme Court barred Sharif, 67, from politics in July over an undeclared source of income and in a ruling on Friday said he was barred from holding office for life. Sharif is also currently appearing before an accountability court - proceedings ordered by the Supreme Court after his removal from office in July - that could have him jailed if found guilty. Sharif and his family have called the proceedings a conspiracy, hinting at intervention by the military but opponents hail them as a rare example of powerful people being held to account. The military denies any such intervention.
The Supreme Court Bar Association had threatened to go on strike after the shooting but Pakistan’s Chief Justice Saqib Nisar asked for a protest to be called off for the sake of litigants with cases fixed for Monday. The Punjab government, headed by Sharif’s brother Shahbaz, who is seen as his brother’s successor with general elections due this year, has called for immediate action to be taken. “Punjab Government has also beefed up the security around the judge’s residence,” Khan said.
Writing by Saad Sayeed; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg