ISLAMABAD: The PML-N Vice President, Maryam Nawaz, on Wednesday asked former chief justice Saqib Nisar to come forward and tell the nation as to who pressurised for conviction of herself and her father Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in the Avenfield Apartments reference.
“Whom it was that he could not refuse regarding conviction of us in Avenfield reference,” Maryam Nawaz, while addressing a press conference along with party’s senior leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Ahsan Iqbal, said.
Addressing Saqib Nisar, she said, “Today, or tomorrow, he will have to tell the nation the truth. There is still time, come forth, tell the nation who pressurised you to sentence Nawaz Sharif if it was unwarranted and without merit.”
“When Nisar was asked what he plans on doing about the allegations against him, he said he is not mad to pursue the matter in court,” Maryam, while maintaining authenticity of the audio tape, said. Maryam thanked TV channel for analysing the leaked audio clip leading to Nisar’s admission. Referring to the media coverage regarding the leak, she said that she would not name the outlet, but one media outlet “assumed the responsibility” for analysing the clip themselves.
She said that first Nisar denied any connection with the clip and said that it was not him who was heard in the audio. “So the TV channel that led to his admission of his voice being part of the clip deserves some thanks,” she said. Questioning as to why the ministers were defending former chief justice who himself was keeping silence on the issue, she pointed out as soon as the audio clip was released, a propaganda was started. “Someone should have told the ministers that their act of stepping up and vociferously defending Nisar will go against him,” she said, adding that the conspiracy in which Saqib Nisar became a pawn had one beneficiary who is Imran Khan.
Maryam said that Nisar’s affidavit should have come in response to Rana Shamim’s affidavit. “Now that the audio has come with the forensic report, you should present yourself for a forensic audit,” she said. Maryam observed that the ministers feel that if Saqib Nisar is exposed, then they will also stand exposed.
She pointed out that propaganda against the audio was started despite the fact that a very renowned American company doing the forensic analysis of the clip, clearly stated that the clip was not edited in any way. She said the TV channel even ran footage showing where he had spoken the same bits that can be heard in the controversial clip.
The PML-N leader, however, questioned their omission of the bits from the audio clip that are the “real crux of the matter”, that are the “charge sheet against Saqib Nisar” and demanded to know which speech those bits are from then. “So the bits that you like are his voice and the parts that you do not, are not his voice?” she asked. Maryam said that the people are waiting and that they demand to know “When it was that he showed such bravery during his tenure, when he admitted to doing such a thing”.
The PML-N leader also asked whether the allegations made by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, too, who said that “He was asked not to grant bail” to her and to her father former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, are false then. When you commit a sin, when you operate under a conspiracy, you are drunk with power and you are unaware of the evidence you leave behind,” she said. She demanded that the parties involved in the Justice Siddiqui scandal be summoned in court, made to stand in the witness box and a sworn testimony be taken from them, adding that Justice Siddiqui is very much alive and he must be inquired about his allegations”.
Similarly, she said ex-chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Mohammad Shamim, who through his affidavit, claimed that Nisar influenced proceedings to prolong Maryam’s and Nawaz’s imprisonment, must be called and questioned. “This is the ‘fifth testimony to have surfaced in PML-N’s favour,” she said.
She also referred to statements given by Justice Siddiqui, Arshad Malik, Bashir Memon, Rana Mohammad Shamim and now the audio leak of Saqib Nisar is the fifth testimony. “The nation should know these charge sheets and proofs are these events,” she said. “Will the nation be able to forget so soon the incidents that have unfolded over the last five years?” she asked, adding “The biggest charge sheet, the biggest proof are these events, which no one can deny.”
She insisted that a forensic analysis was needed to know that Nawaz Sharif was removed from his post under a conspiracy. “Can you deny that Imran Khan was told to bring a petition against Nawaz Sharif and that they will decide the matter,” she said.
Maryam also pointed out that Panama Papers named 450 people and an elected prime minister was singled out whose name did not appear in the leaks was sentenced. “And then you cried Panama, Panama, Panama, but for merely not taking a salary from his son, a sitting prime minister, an elected prime minister was removed for holding an iqama?. This decision needs forensic audit,” she said. She asked whether a forensic audit is required for the fact that “without any proof” which the Islamabad High Court keeps asking NAB for, she was declared disqualified to hold office for seven years.
Maryam also questioned the appointment of a monitoring judge in National Accountability Bureau references in which Nawaz Sharif and she are named, calling it unprecedented in Pakistan’s 74-year history.
She went on to say that the prime minister “called no meeting on inflation even as prices continued to fluctuate in the morning, afternoon and evening but as soon as the audio surfaced though, a meeting of representatives and ministers was called and they were told to “remind the people of the PMLN era. “If you will ask people to recall our tenure, they will recall a 5.8% growth,” she said, adding the people would also recall motorways, roads, the metro bus, the orange line and lower prices of essential goods. The PML-N leader also called upon the judiciary to disassociate themselves with the incident, maintaining that she has great respect for the institution.