Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz said on Monday that “bench-fixing” is a crime similar to “match-fixing” and suo motu notice should be taken over it as a “specific” anti-PML-N bench being constituted for one-sided decisions.

“One or two judges, who have always been anti-PML-N and anti-government, are repeatedly included in the bench. Bench-fixing is a crime just like match-fixing,” said Maryam.

In a joint press conference alongside the coalition government leaders, including Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Maryam Nawaz said, “Institutions are insulted from within, not outside. One wrong decision blows up an entire case. Criticism isn’t needed where the right decisions are taken.”


Referring to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) petition against the chief minister’s July 22 election, Maryam said that the Supreme Court’s (SC) doors were opened late at night and the registrar gave “sufficient time” to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to draft its appeal.

“This is not what happens in our justice system. PTI was given ample time to draft its petition by the registrar, while the common man is given months for the date of hearing.”

‘Have you ever heard of a trustee chief minister?

Maryam gave several examples of the PML-N’s legal woes, claiming that the party’s leaders were being discriminated against.

“Have you ever heard of a trustee chief minister?”

She said that since Hamza was elected chief minister of Punjab, he was not being allowed to work. “He goes from parliament to court, and back and forth. What justice is this?”

‘Did any court take suo motu notice against Khan? Are the suo motus only for the PML-N and its allies?’

Maryam also alleged that court decisions were favouring the PTI even though they were mocking the judicial system. She questioned the state of the judicial system and where the country was headed if decisions were given in favour of those who “abuse and bully institutions”.

Maryam said that during former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tenure, the country witnessed a downfall in all sectors and the courts played “an important” role in that. The PML-N leader asked which crime had Khan not committed — he was involved in inciting violence, attacking property, and in the attack on parliament and PTV.

“Did any court take suo motu notice against Khan? Are the suo motus only for the PML-N and its allies?” she asked.

Criticising the judges for the recent remarks during the “Azadi March” hearing, Maryam said that despite PTI blatantly violating the court’s orders, the party was still given leverage.

“After he blatantly violated the orders, the judge said that maybe he didn’t receive the order; they also said maybe they burnt the green belt to save themselves from tear gas.”

’Three people cannot decide country’s fate’: Bilawal Bhutto

Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari asserted that the country’s democratic parties had only one demand: the formation of a full court bench.

“We all want full court bench. Whatever you decide then will be according to the law and Constitution and we will trust it.”

“It cannot happen that only three people decide this country’s fate. That only they decide whether this country is run through a democratic system, an elected system or a selected system.”

Bilawal said that all the parties in the coalition government wanted a democratic system. “It cannot be possible that three people change Pakistan’s 1973 Constitution with just the stroke of a pen,” said Bilawal.

“And it has been three months and some powers, people, political parties and conspirators are unable to tolerate […] a campaign is being run in the country to keep Imran Khan at the forefront,” said Bhutto.

“We did not let any conspiracy succeed in the past and we will not let it happen now. We want institutions to remain uncontroversial. If only three judges give a decision, then we will not be able to control the political situation that will develop in this country.”

“Institutions meddle in political affairs to protect the state but do they ever think that the state is weakened due to their interference?” Maulana Fazl

“Institutions meddle in political affairs to protect the state but do they ever think that the state is weakened due to their interference?”

“You are sitting behind a wall. You may decide whatever you want […] and make politicians the culprit in the eyes of the public and defame them. But hold yourself accountable,” added Maulana Fazl.

He went on to say that the government supported what Maryam said earlier, saying that this was their “united stance”.

“Don’t take this nation to a point where people rebel against institutions,” he said.

The JUI-F chief said that it was very easy to “create difficulties”.

“If you expect us to not create any difficulties for you, then it is also your obligation to not create difficulties for us […] if there’s support for parliament, institutions and the government, the country will stabilise.”