Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday, calling it baseless and politically-motivated, ordered the withdrawal of a curative reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The prime minister instructed Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar to withdraw the reference saying that the government would not pursue the same for it being baseless and politically-motivated, a PM Office statement said. The federal cabinet had already approved the withdrawal of the reference in a meeting chaired by the prime minister. “This was not a reference rather a victimization by revengeful Imran Niazi against an impartial person pursuing the course of constitution and the law. This was a conspiracy to usurp the independence of judiciary and create a division within,” the prime minister remarked. He said while being in opposition, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and other coalition parties had opposed this frivolous reference. The prime minister said Imran Niazi had also made the President of Pakistan “misuse” his office for this “criminal act” who became an accomplice in an attack on the judiciary. He said the lawyers’ bodies including the Pakistan Bar Council had had also opposed the reference and the government valued their opinion. A separate statement issued by the PM Office shared that a cabinet meeting chaired by the premier had already given assent to taking back the reference. It added that Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar has been directed by the PM to take back the curative plea. Last year in July, the federal cabinet had approved the withdrawal of the curative review petition. After the cabinet meeting, which was held under the chair of PM Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had said that there was no precedent for the curative review filed against Justice Isa, adding that “it was only filed to keep” the judge “under pressure”. “Justice Isa is a reputable judge and goons like [former adviser to then prime minister Imran Khan on accountability] Shahzad Akbar treated him unfairly,” he had said. Sanaullah told journalists, back then, that the law secretary had informed the members of the federal cabinet that no prior approval was taken before the submission of the reference. “This ruckus was created by Shahzad Akbar and the then law minister,” he had stated. Back then, the interior minister had mentioned that a sub-committee was formed to take action against all those who made “false references” against Justice Isa. He added that the sub-committee has been asked to submit a report in this regard. It is unclear whether the sub-committee came into effect and whether a report was submitted after it was formed. In 2021, the Imran Khan-led government had filed a curative review petition against the order of the majority in the review petitions of Justice Qazi Faez Isa passed on April 26 of the same year. However, the registrar of the Supreme Court had returned the instant petition after raising objections to it, saying that once the review petition is decided, it cannot be reviewed.