Judiciary very conscious of foreign investment: CJP

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has said that the superior judiciary in Pakistan is very conscious of its role in making the country a more attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI).

Speaking to the faculty members and students at East China University Shanghai on Monday, he said the National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC) has issued directions to the civil courts not to issue ex-parte stay orders in respect of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related projects. This initiative, he said, will improve the confidence level of foreign investors on Pakistan’s judicial system and will give a sense of protection, comfort and peace of mind whilst investing in Pakistan.

The CJP said with respect to CPEC investment, there is a need for uniformity in laws, processes and mechanisms and also a forum like IFC Dubai to look after foreign direct investment besides special courts to hear CPEC-related disputes. “This requires further negotiations at state-to-state level and if necessary on the judicial level too. We believe that the judiciaries of both Pakistan and China need to work closely especially with regard to CPEC for developing mechanisms such as smart courts and information centers so that both the countries can progress hand in hand,” he said.

He said the sharing of legal ideas and the use of information technology by Pakistan and China will be materially helpful for the judicial systems of both the countries. He said his visit to China is an attempt to further strengthen the cordial relations between Pakistan and Chinese citizens and their governments by sharing experiences and capabilities in different walks of life, especially in the judicial sector.

“During my visit to China, I have tried to evaluate the potential venues of judicial cooperation between the two countries with the very specific purpose of dealing with any likely legal challenges arising out of the Pak-China economic and commercial ties,” the chief justice said, adding that he believes that the most important element in putting foreign investors at ease in Pakistan is to ensure strict adherence to the rule of law. He said if foreign investors in Pakistan, not only from China but elsewhere in the world, can be assured that any disputes arising out of trade and commercial contracts will be dealt with in a quick and just manner and without endless procedural hurdles and frustrating delays, it will certainly make Pakistan a more attractive destination for investment.

“It is important that our trading partners should know that if and when any dispute arises with respect to any commercial transactions/dealings, it will be dealt with fairly by the courts in Pakistan and even where the other party is the government of Pakistan, the courts will hold their actions to the highest standards possible,” the chief justice sated. He said the Supreme Court of Pakistan has proven itself as the ultimate custodian of the fundamental rights of the citizens, especially by exercising its suo motu jurisdiction for matters involving public interest litigations.

He said the Supreme Court has presently taken suo motu notice of matters involving legal and medical education and various environmental issues such as depletion of water resources by the cement industry and the conditions pertaining in government hospitals.

Extending thanks to East China University, the CJP reiterated the commitment to work in collaboration with all neighboring states to strengthen the rule of law in the region and to build a strong foundation for a modern and progressive Pakistan as envisaged by constitution of Pakistan.

Published in Daily Times, May 29th 2018.