The government has denounced a Supreme Court judge's statement calling the attorney general a representative of the 'Sicilian mafia', saying that the comments were against the code and conduct of the apex court.
"The comments made by the judge damaged Pakistan's reputation and integrity on an international forum," the statement reads.
During the opening of the case against Senator Nehal Hashmi after 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 in a statement said the SC judge levelled "unfounded allegations" against the government.
Curiously, the handout issued by the government bears no letterhead or signature, while the government spokesperson in mention has not been identified.
"The prime minister's actions against a PML-N member were neglected during the hearing," the government spokesperson 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 also showed that the government's policies were not in line with Hashmi's remarks.
He also noted that the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb clarified that Hashmi's remarks had no link with PML-N and its policies.
It should be noted that during the hearing Justice Ejaz Afzal, while addressing the AG, 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."
The government spokesperson also pointed out that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had been