The Shia Cleric Who Threatened Judiciary: Who Is Iftikharuddin Mirza?

The statement from a local religious cleric against Justice Qazi Faez Isa in a viral video, wherein he used abusive, derogatory and slanderous words, took everyone by surprise and compelled Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad to summon him to the court.

Agha Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza, a Rawalpindi-based Shia cleric told those in attendance at a gathering that those who are found guilty of corruption should be subjected to death by firing squad. He made insulting remarks against several high profile individuals in a video regarding an ongoing case in the court of law.

The cleric has a fully functional Facebook page with nearly 800 followers, with his sermons mostly encompassing religious subjects. The account dates back to July 19, 2014, which also shows that he made a visit to Iran in the same year.

The fact that the cleric doesn't have a large following or any previous content related to hate speech makes it rather interesting as to why he resorted to labeling accusations against two political leaders, revered judges and the anchors.

On Wednesday, Justice Isa’s wife Sarina Isa lodged a first information report (FIR) in Islamabad’s Secretariat Police Station against the video and the threats hurled toward the judge in it.

It was on June 19 that the top court quashed the presidential reference against Justice Isa and ordered an end to the proceedings against him in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was asked by the top court to hold inquiry into the properties of Justice Isa’s wife and children and submit the report to the SJC within 75 days.

It is still something to be seen whether the law enforcement agencies take appropriate action against the accused, who has stirred anger among the social media users and the masses in general.