Published On: Thu, Nov 25th, 2021
Published in Category: Politics

Sentences of the alleged audio tape of Mian Saqib Nisar are charge sheet against him: Maryam Nawaz

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday demanded answers from former chief justice of Pakistan Justice (retd) Mian Saqib Nisar, asking him to come forth and tell the nation who “pressured” him and whom it was that he “could not refuse” regarding her conviction and that of her father, former prime minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, in the Avenfield apartments reference. Maryam Nawaz said that the sentences of the alleged audio tape of Mian Saqib Nisar are charge sheet against him.

Maryam Nawaz Sharif held a detailed press conference at the PML-N Secretariat Islamabad along with former prime minister and Senior Vice President of PML-N Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, PML-N Secretary General and former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhry, PML-N Punjab President and member National Assembly Rana Sanaullah Khan, PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, Mian Javed Latif, Parvez Rashid, Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and other PML-N leaders regarding a recently surfaced audio clip allegedly containing the voice of Mian Saqib Nisar, who has denied influencing the judicial proceedings in the case.

The PML-N leader said that when Mian Saqib 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 Nawaz, addressing the former CJP, said: “Whether today, or tomorrow, you will have to tell the nation the truth. There is still time. Come forth, tell the nation who pressured you to sentence Nawaz Sharif if it was unwarranted? Who pressured you to sentence Maryam Nawaz, if it was without merit. And who told you that Imran Khan needs to be brought to power?”

“Who was it that you could not refuse, despite being the chief justice of Pakistan at the time?” she continued. “Why were you forced to take an illegal, unconstitutional step?” she asked. “You will have to answer all this.”

Referring to the media coverage regarding the leak, she said that she will not name the outlet, but one media outlet “assumed the responsibility” for analysing the clip themselves. She said that first Mian Saqib Nisar denied any connection with the clip and said that it is not him who can be heard in the audio. Then, after the TV channel said that his audio from various occasions had been spliced together to create the clip, “he too stepped forth to agree”.

So the TV channel that led to his “admission” of his voice being part of the clip deserves some “thanks”, she said. Maryam said that as soon as The News journalist Ahmed Noorani outted the clip, “propaganda” regarding the clip began.

“This was despite a very renowned American company doing the forensic analysis of the clip. They have clearly stated that the clip has not been edited in any way. “But a campaign began to prove the clip false.”

She said the TV channel even ran footage showing where he had spoken the same bits that can be heard in the controversial clip.

Maryam said that those bits, however, may just be “catch phrases”, also citing the example of Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is known for often saying in his speeches “ghabrana naheen hai (you must not panic)”.

The PML-N leader, addressing the TV channel directly, 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 went on to ask whether the bombshell allegations made by former Islamabad High Court judge Justice (retd) Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, too, who said “he was asked not to grant bail” to her and to her father, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, are false then.

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.

Maryam said that audio clips and videos may be material that one can be skeptical about “but Justice Siddiqui is very much alive and he must be inquired about his allegations”.

Similarly, ex chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Mohammad Shamim, whose sworn affidavit claims that Mian Saqib Nisar influenced proceedings to prolong Maryam’s and Nawaz’s imprisonment, must be called upon and questioned, she said. “He said he is ready to appear at any forum and testify to the veracity of the statement he gave,” she added.

Counting the statements given by Justice Siddiqui, Muhammad Arshad Malik, Bashir Ahmed Memon, Rana Mohammad Shamim, “and now the audio”, she said it marks the “fifth testimony to have surfaced in Nawaz’s and PML-N’s favour”.

“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.”

“Can anyone deny that the prime minister, who was elected by the people, Nawaz Sharif, was removed from his post under a conspiracy? Is a forensic analysis needed for this?” “Can you deny that Imran Khan was told to bring a petition against Nawaz Sharif and that they will decide the matter?”

“Can you deny this, that Panama Papers named 450 people and nothing was said regarding them, but the one person whose name did not appear in the leaks was sentenced — his name is Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. Is a forensic audit required for this too?”

“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? Can you deny this? And you bring forth the Black’s Law Dictionary? This decision, does it need a forensic audit?”

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 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.

Stressing politicians’ responsibility to protect the prestige of the judiciary, the PML-N leader stated: “Judiciary is bigger than these individuals. We don’t want to take matters beyond a certain point [and] the judiciary should clear its name itself.”

She then quoted former chief justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa as writing in the Panama Papers case judgment that “Behind every great fortune, there is a crime,” and said: “The crime and conspiracy that took place before the 2018 elections also stand exposed before everyone now.”

Earlier in the day, a division bench of the Islamabad High Court, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, resumed hearing on the appeals filed by Maryam Nawaz and her husband retired Captain Mohammad Safdar against their convictions in the Avenfield reference.

The court accepted the request filed by Maryam’s counsel, Advocate Irfan Qadir, to adjourn the hearing without any proceedings because of him being occupied with another case.

Justice Aamer Farooq proposed that the next hearing could be scheduled for December 15, but Safdar informed the court that their son Junaid was getting married on December 17. The court subsequently adjourned the hearing on the appeals till Dec 21.