The government has denounced a Supreme Court judge’s statement calling the attorney general a representative of the ‘Sicilian mafia’, saying that the comments were against the code and conduct of the apex court.

During the opening of the case against Senator Nehal Hashmi after his outburst against the judiciary, the Supreme Court bench hearing the case had a particularly fiery exchange with Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf.

“Congratulations Mr Attorney General: it seems that your government has joined the Sicilian Mafia,” Justice Sheikh Azmat quipped as he addressed the AG on Thursday.

“We have faced military dictatorships, but even they did not dare threaten our children,” Justice Afzal said to the AG. “Our children are being threatened under your government,” he observed.

Expressing “deep regret” over the remarks, the government spokesperson in a statement said the SC judge levelled “unfounded allegations” against the government

“The prime minister’s actions against a PML-N member were neglected during the hearing,” the government spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that records available in print and social media proved that the government swiftly expressed its anger when Hashmi’s inflammatory speech came to light, which also showed that the government’s policies were not in line with Hashmi’s remarks.

He also noted that the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb clarified that Hashmi’s remarks had no link with PML-N and its policies.