Controversial letter seeking protocol for judge’s son withdrawn

LAHORE: A letter that raised eyebrows within Pakistan’s legal circles and the public, seeking special protocol for the son of a sitting judge in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States (US), has been withdrawn.

The letter, dated October 6 and sent from the Lahore High Court (LHC) registrar’s office, requested protocol facilities for Justice Ali Baqar Najafi’s son, Syed Muhammad Ali, at Abu Dhabi and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.


The letter, authored by Iram Ayaz, Senior Additional Registrar of LHC’s Rawalpindi bench, had caused a stir after it was made public on social media. It was subsequently withdrawn, with a fresh letter issued by the Senior Additional Registrar stating, “As per the competent authority, the letter in question is hereby withdrawn and no action in this regard is required.”

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The letter had requested protocol services at both airports for Ali, including immigration briefing and conveyance from JFK International Airport to a specific address in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. Reports indicate that the letter was forwarded to Pakistan’s ambassador in the UAE and the consul general in New York for further action.

However, the foreign ministry reportedly expressed its inability to provide the requested protocol facilities at airports outside Pakistan. An unnamed LHC official referred to a 2017 circular outlining a policy approved by the high court’s administration committee. This policy stipulates protocol services for judges and their immediate family members, including spouses, children, and parents, at various locations, including airports. However, it remains unclear whether this policy covers airports located outside Pakistan.

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