Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, in a heated press conference in Islamabad, called upon former Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar and asked him to come forth and tell the nation the truth.
“Come forth, tell the nation who pressurised you?” Maryam Nawaz
“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 [Prime Minister (PM)] Imran Khan needs to be brought to power?”
“If Nawaz didn’t deserve the punishment, then why did you play with the justice system? You were sitting in the highest forum and why could you not refuse orders to convict Nawaz Sharif?”
Maryam also asked Nisar why he allowed himself to be “forced to take an unconstitutional and illegal [step]”.
“You will have to answer all this,” said Maryam.
“After the TV channel said that [Nisar’s] audio had been pieced together to create the clip, Nisar too stepped forth to agree. So the TV channel deserves thanks,” Maryam Nawaz
Addressing the media coverage regarding the leaked audio, without naming the channel, Maryam said that earlier Nisar denied any connection with the clip and said that it is not him who can be heard in the audio.
“After the TV channel said that his [Nisar’s] audio had been pieced together from two of his previous speeches to create the alleged audio, he [Nisar] too stepped forth to agree,” said Maryam, adding, “So the TV channel that led to his [Nisar’s] admission of his voice being part of the clip deserves some thanks.”
Addressing the TV channel directly, Maryam questioned the choice of the channel to omit specific bits from the audio clip that are the “real crux of the matter”.
She also added that those words 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.
“Audio clips and videos may be material, but Justice Siddiqui is very much alive, he must be inquired about his allegations,” Maryam Nawaz
“Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui also made a startling statement, while [former accountability judge] Arshad Malik was punished for speaking the truth,” Maryam said, adding that although the two judges had been punished, “nobody dared to come forward to provide justice to Nawaz Sharif.”
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”.
“Fifth testimony in favour of Nawaz Sharif”: Maryam Nawaz
“You (Nisar) will have to give its answer to the people. Leave the audio, leave [the former top] Gilgit-Baltistan judge’s affidavit, and the statements of former judges and FIA’s Bashir Memon. This is the fifth testimony in favour of Nawaz Sharif. Will the nation forget these testimonies? Can you deny that an elected prime minister (Nawaz Sharif) was removed from power unjustly?”
She continued: “There is no proof against me and I was [sentenced to prison] for seven years. Now National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has no evidence to furnish in the IHC (Islamabad High Court).”
She said it was “ridiculous” that Nisar was not saying anything in his defence, while government ministers were defending the ex-CJP “haphazardly”.
“Imran Khan never called a meeting to discuss inflation, but after the audio leak he called a meeting,” Maryam Nawaz
“[PM] Imran Khan never called a meeting to discuss inflation, but after the audio leak he called a meeting asking his party men to discuss the PML-N tenure in public,” she alleged, saying the ministers and the premier were actually saving themselves “because they know they will suffer badly once Saqib Nisar is proved guilty”.
“Saqib Nisar get a forensic audit conducted, face the law and build a dam from the money he gets after winning the case,” Maryam Nawaz
“I want Saqib Nisar to get a forensic audit conducted, face the law and build a dam from the money he gets after winning the case,” she said, calling upon the judiciary “not to bear the burden of someone whose truth is now out”.
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 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 are also exposed before everyone now.”