Former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar has been mired in another controversy after an alleged audio clip of his conversation with an unidentified person in which he purportedly passed instructions to sentence former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
A Pakistani journalist published a news story in a little-known website that Nisar had instructed his subordinates to sentence the former prime minister and his daughter Maryam Nawaz at the behest of “institutions” in 2018 to “bring Imran Khan into power”.
Journalist Ahmed Noorani also shared the audio clip in which a man could be heard saying that in order to make space for Imran Khan in politics, Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz would have to be jailed.
In the audio clip, the man could also be heard saying that “even though there are no cases against Maryam Nawaz, she would still have to be punished.”
#FactFocus Exclusive :
Saqib Nisar, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, ordered to sentence Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz as “institutions” wanted to bring Imran Khan to power.
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The former chief justice of Pakistan has denied the authenticity of the audio clip attributed to him. Speaking to a private news channel, Nisar refused to accept that it was his voice, saying that the “audio clip is being falsely associated with him.”
“I have just listened to this audio… this audio clip is fake which has been attributed to me,” Justice (retd) Nisar said. When asked if he would take legal action against the audio clip being associated with him, Nisar said he is pondering about “which legal option to go with.”
When the clip was initially leaked, Nisar had said that the report was “contrary to facts” and categorically denied that he had ever directed his subordinate judges in connection with any judicial order whether it pertained to Nawaz Sharif or anyone else.
“Let me be a little blunt about it; unfortunately, here it is the ‘institutions’ which dictate judgments. In this case, we will have to penalise Mian Sahib [Nawaz Sharif,” the former CJP can be allegedly heard saying in the leaked conversation.
“And ‘they’ say ‘we shall bring Khan Sahib’. Regardless of the merit, we will have to do it, and even to his daughter [Maryam],” the judge added.
Responding to Nisar, the other person whose identify has not been revealed in the story said, “But, in my view, his daughter doesn’t merit a sentence”.
“You are absolutely correct. I did talk to ‘friends’ that something be done about this but they did not agree. There will be no independence of the judiciary, so let it be,” Nisar purportedly responded.
The website also published the former CJP’s clarification in which he denied contacting any judge of accountability court and ordering him to pass any verdict against Nawaz or his daughter. “Why I would do that? I have no grudges against Mian Nawaz Sharif,” Nisar was quoted as saying.
The development comes after former top judge of the Gilgit Appellate Court Rana Shamim in an affidavit accused Saqib Nisar of pressuring to keep Nawaz Sharif and his daughter in prison till the general elections of 2018.