Pakistan’s Minister for Defence Production Abdul Qayum Jatoi resigned on Saturday evening after being pulled up by the Prime Minister for criticising the Army and the higher judiciary, including the Chief Justice.
Within hours of his outburst in front of the media in Quetta, Mr. Jatoi was summoned by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, after which the Minister tendered his resignation adding his comments against the Army and the judiciary were his personal opinion.
Addressing the media in Quetta along with a son and grandson of the former Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Akbar Bugti — whose assassination under the Pervez Musharraf regime set off the current round of unrest in the province — Mr. Jatoi said all institutions of the state should be scrutinised instead of singling out the political class.
Accuses Chief Justice
While Mr. Jatoi accused the Army of killing the former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, and Nawab Akbar Bugti, he alleged Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry had a “fake” domicile certificate of Balochistan though he was a native of Faislabad in Punjab.
Mr. Jatoi’s remarks came at a time when the government is under siege for its “poor response” to the devastating floods and a possible face-off with the Supreme Court over reopening cases in Swiss courts against President Asif Ali Zardari; triggering speculations of a regime change.