Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Monday urged the opposition particularly the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to stop “targeting” the judiciary and the army which he said were two “very important pillars of the state”.
The statement comes amid a controversy surrounding the former chief justice Saqib Nisar’s alleged leaked audio clip with an unidentified person, in which he purportedly passed instructions to sentence former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
The ex-CJP has termed the audio clip as “fabricated”. “I have just listened to this audio … this audio clip is fake which has been attributed to me,” he said in response to the clip while speaking to a local TV channel.
In the dubious leaked conversation, the former chief justice can be heard saying: “Let me be a little blunt about it; unfortunately, here it is the ‘institutions’ which dictate judgments. In this case, we will have to penalise Mian Sahib [Nawaz Sharif].”
The former judge said, “And ‘they’ say ‘we shall bring Khan Sahib’. Regardless of the merit, we will have to do it, and even to his daughter [Maryam].”
The controversy unfolded after a story published in a local newspaper in the past week stated that Nawaz and Maryam were kept in jail till the general elections in 2018 on the orders of Saqib Nisar.
“Whenever there are cases [court hearings] against Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz… some clip is leaked somewhere,” Fawad said while speaking to the media in Islamabad today.
He said that the opposition particularly the PML-N should stop targeting the judiciary and the army it was against the Constitution.
The information minister said that the case against the former prime minister was made after revelations by an international publication and Pakistan or any of its institutes had nothing to do with it.
“Nawaz owns apartments in such posh areas of London where even the prime minister of Britain cannot afford to have one… and Maryam on the other hand says she does not have any properties in Pakistan or UK,” he added.
Fawad said that Nawaz Sharif could not give the money trial during any stage of the investigation against him, during the trial or in the parliament, adding that number of judges and courts were involved but he could not provide any evidence despite having multiple opportunities.
Giving the example of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Fawad said that the premier has given money trial spanning over 40 years.
He said that every child of Pakistan knew how the affairs were conducted during the tenures of Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. “The nation wants to see the receipts of their belongings without getting into the debate whether the [leaked audio clip of ex-CJP] tape is genuine or not.”
Answering a question, he said that the government wanted the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to move forward with the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for the next elections since it was now backed by legislation also. “Millions of overseas Pakistanis are going to vote and we want to make the process easy for them,” he added.
He said Pakistan received multiple good news this week as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) matter was also resolved which would stabilise the economy.