Reacting to a report about the alleged involvement of former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar in denying bail to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz ahead of the 2018 general elections, PML-N leader Shahid Khaqab Abbasi demanded that a suo motu notice be taken of the matter and questioned: “If Mian Nawaz Sharif can go to jail, why can’t Mian Saqib Nisar?”
He posed the question during a press conference alongside other PML-N leaders, saying the Supreme Court should take suo motu notice of the matter now that fingers had been pointed at a former top judge in the report.
His comments came after an investigative report, published in The News by journalist Ansar Abbasi, quoted the former top judge of Gilgit-Baltistan, Rana Shamim, as saying in an alleged affidavit that he had witnessed Nasir relaying instructions to a high court judge to not release the father-daughter duo in the corruption references against them.
While Nisar has denied the allegations, dismissing them as “absolutely untrue”, PML-leaders have called for individuals involved in the matter to be brought to justice.
“If Rana Shamim is lying, he should be given stringent punishment, but if he is speaking the truth, then justice Saqib Nisar’s place is in jail,” Abbasi remarked at the press conference.
Sharing the contents of the alleged affidavit, he said Shamim had divulged details under oath about Nisar instructing his registrar to contact an Islamabad High Court judge and ensure that Nawaz and Maryam were not granted bail before the 2018 elections.
“He (Shamim) has not given this statement under any pressure and when he was asked about this on camera, he confirmed that he had given this statement under oath,” Abbasi noted.
Saying that it was important to inform the people of Pakistan about the background of the matter, the PML-N leader alleged that the “Supreme Court had acted like a trial court” in the past and disqualified Nawaz over a matter pertaining to his iqama (work permit of the United Arab Emirates). Consequently, “the federal government was toppled” and Nawaz was later sidelined from politics, he added.
Earlier in the day, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif said the “explosive” news report was yet another vindication for Nawaz and Maryam in the “court of public opinion”.
The report peeled off a “thick layer of a grand scheme employed to target” the PML-N chief and his daughter, he said.
PML-N Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb also said that the “disgusting conspiracy” against the former premier and the characters involved in it were being exposed.
She said that with the latest development, Nawaz and Maryam’s innocence was “clear as day”, adding that the individuals involved in the incident should be brought to justice and punished.
“This conspiracy was not only against Nawaz but also against Pakistan and the people of Pakistan,” she said.
“We always knew it but it has now been made public — how brazenly Nawaz and Maryam were denied justice,” said PML-N leader Mohammad Zubair. He added that the report had proven that the two were “falsely implicated”.
“While Saqib Nisar stands exposed, the cases against Nawaz and Maryam should be set aside,” he said.