Six sitting judges of the Islamabad High Court in Pakistan accused the country's intelligence agency of interfering in judicial affairs by intimidating judges, abducting at least one their relatives and surveilling the insides of their homes. The judges wrote a letter to the country's Supreme Judicial Council, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa. They asked if there exists a "policy on the part of the executive... implemented by intelligence operatives" to intimidate judges.

The letter recounted seven instances of alleged intimidation by the country's intelligence officials to "influence the outcome of cases of interest". It revealed that two of the three judges who were hearing a plea to disqualify former Prime Minister Imran Khan for concealing his alleged daughter, were pressured by "operatives of the ISI" through friends and relatives. They ask the Supreme Judicial Council to hold a judicial convention on the matter and determine a course of action that judges could take "when they find themselves at the receiving end".

Chinese leader Xi Jinping told Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Beijing that attempts to restrict China's access to technology will not stop the country's advance. The Netherlands imposed export licensing requirements in 2023 on the sale of machinery that can make advanced processor chips. The move came after the United States blocked Chinese access to advanced chips and the equipment to make them, citing security concerns, and urged its allies to follow suit.

During another meeting with top American business leaders, Xi emphasised the mutually beneficial economic ties between the world's two largest economies, despite heavy US tariffs on Chinese imports and Washington's accusations of undue Communist Party influence, unfair trade barriers and theft of intellectual property. "Sino-U.S. relations are one of the most important bilateral relations in the world. Whether China and the United States cooperate or confront each other has a bearing on the well-being of the two peoples and the future and destiny of mankind," Xi was cited as saying.

Senior doctors at major hospitals in South Korea began submitting their resignations en masse in support of medical interns and residents who have been on strike for five weeks over the government's push to sharply increase medical school admissions. The senior doctors' action isn't likely to cause an immediate worsening of hospital operations in South Korea because they have said they would continue to work even after submitting their resignations.

But prospects for an early end to the medical impasse were dim, as the doctors' resignation submissions came after President Yoon Suk Yeol called for talks with doctors while suggesting a possible softening of punitive steps against the striking junior doctors. About 12,000 interns and medical residents have faced impending suspensions of their licences over their refusal to end their strikes, which have caused hundreds of cancelled surgeries and other treatments at their hospitals.

Members of a transitional presidential council in Haiti, who will be responsible for selecting a new prime minister, issued their first official statement, pledging to restore "public and democratic order" in Haiti. The statement, although signed by eight members of what is supposed to be a nine-member council, is still considered a sign that a contentious and drawn-out nomination process is ending and that the council might soon assume its official duties.

"We are determined to alleviate the suffering of the Haitian people, trapped for too long between bad governance, multifaceted violence and disregard for their perspectives and needs," they said. The members noted that as soon as the council is officially installed, they would help "put Haiti back on the path of democratic legitimacy, stability and dignity." Scores of people have been killed, and some 17,000 left homeless, in the violence that broke out on Feb. 29.

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts