ISLAMABAD: Former attorney general Justice (retd) Malik Muhammad Qayyum, without negating other contents of deposed chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s black day speech, admitted on Monday to have made three failed attempts to contact Chaudhry before the Nov 3, 2007 proclamation of emergency.
“Yes, Chaudhry Sahib’s disclosure about my abortive contacts to call on him is correct as I will not contradict him,” the former attorney general confessed when The News approached him. Qayyum, a close legal wizard of former president Pervez Musharraf, did not contest the contents of Chaudhryís speech and disclosures about the days and weeks before the Nov 3 emergency.
He explained that he tried to have a meeting with Chaudhry twice through official channels by sending messages and once through a deputy attorney general namely Raja Irshad. “Yes, every time the response was that the CJ will give time to me when he desires but it never happened,” he said.
“My deputy attorney Raja Irshad, whom I had personally favoured in reappointment after he was sacked before my taking over the responsibilities, had close relations with Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry,” Qayyum said. When asked about other sources of contacts between the Aiwan-e-Sadr and the CJ office before Nov 3, Qayyum claimed that Musharraf’s chief of staff General Hamid Javed was constantly in touch with Chaudhry.
About Steel Mills’ privatization and Shaukat Aziz’s conversation with the then CJ conveying Musharraf’s annoyance, Qayyum said these events took place when he was president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA).
“I would like to further clarify my position that I approached the CJ for a meeting in my capacity as the attorney general and I had no message to deliver from General Musharraf as an emissary,” he said.
“Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and General Musharraf had interactions, though of purely formal nature, even after the announcement of the Steel Mills decision. As I remember, they had met at a function at the Convention Centre as well as on the occasion of the Supreme Court celebrations. Chaudhry Iftikhar also attended a reception at the presidency,” he added.