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May 2, 2012

Fraudulent affidavit that Babar Awan refused to sign

May 2, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Details are now emerging as to why the closest legal associate of President Zardari, now disgraced lawyer Babar Awan, refused to defend PM Gilani in the Supreme Court and how he was being forced to tell lies before the apex court under oath, take all the blame on himself, become a scapegoat and face utter humiliation.

The former law minister was asked to sign an affidavit which would have made him a laughing stock, an outright criminal as it contained blatant lies, misstatements and incriminating matter. Naturally, Awan said no to such manipulation and a massive cover-up.

A copy of the draft affidavit, which was meant to be submitted by Awan as a defence witness before the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the PM contempt of court case, started with a scandalous and needless statement: "I (Babar Awan) obtained a Ph D degree in _____ from the University of _____(Monticello)_ USA."

The draft was faxed to him from the office of Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan but it was not signed by Babar Awan and is now available with The News.

Basically, it stated that Babar Awan was the real culprit and PM Gilani knew nothing. The former law minister was supposed to declare on oath that the accused prime minister was never informed by him or by any other official about the SC proceedings with regard to the implementation of the NRO judgment after Sept 2010.

Aitzaz Ahsan had told media in the Supreme Court, during the hearings of the Prime Minister Contempt Case that he had written to Babar Awan to become a witness in this case but he did not oblige. Aitzaz was of the view that if Awan had accepted to become a witness, it could have strengthened the PM's case.

The affidavit sent to Babar Awan was faxed from the Islamabad landline phone number of Aitzaz Ahsan's residence, which everyone in Islamabad knows is located in Sector F-6. On Tuesday, Aitzaz was sent the following question through a text message by The News:

"Aitzaz Ahsan Sb,

AoA, I just want to confirm whether you have faxed a humiliating letter to PPP leader Babar Awan containing some wrong facts on March 5, 2012, also asking him to become a witness in the PM contempt case. This letter was sent from your home fax number (051-2206546). Plz reply. Thanks."

Aitzaz Ahsan replied to the message with only one word, "NO".

But the affidavit available with The News reveals a lot more. Not only Babar Awan was expected to say under oath that the prime minister was completely innocent and that he (Awan) was entirely responsible and took all the decisions with regard to the case, it was also going to recall that Awan had obtained a fake degree from an Internet university, something which has already embarrassed the PPP leader many times.

There is no explanation as to why a PPP leader, who was sought to appear before the Supreme Court as defence witness in the contempt case was expected to declare only his PhD degree, which was fake. In his last assets declaration statement, submitted before the Election Commission of Pakistan, Awan did not use the title of Dr with his name but the draft affidavit introduced him as Dr Zaheeruddin Babar Awan.

It started as, "I, Dr Zaheeruddin Babar Awan, solemnly swear and affirm as under:

1. The affidavit's first para was: "That I was enrolled as an advocate of the Hon'ble Supreme Court on ______ and as a Senior advocate of the Hon'ble Court on _____. I obtained a Ph D degree in ______ from the University of ________ USA."

The two-page affidavit contained 10 paragraphs but the last two paras were full of lies which Babar Awan was expected to state under oath as the truth and nothing but complete truth.

The Para 9 reads as: "The accused/prime minister was never informed thereafter (after 23 Sept 2010) by me or any other official of any further proceedings on order by this Hon'ble Court for the entire period spanning Sept 2010 to January 2012. I had, however, assured him that there was no requirement to write the letter exposing the President to prosecution abroad."

It is interesting to note that Babar Awan had resigned as law minister on April 13, 2011 but in his affidavit he was being asked to testify for a period ending January 2012.

The Para 10 reads: "I am aware that under the Rules of Business, a Federal Minister as well as a Federal Secretary represent and personify, in legal terms, the 'Federal Government'. I was therefore fully competent in law to take all decisions on behalf of the Federal Government and did not seek any further instructions, nor felt the need to inform the accused/Prime Minister about any further direction or order of this Hon'ble Court after the Summary dated 21 September, 2010."

The affidavit concluded with two statements: "The above is true to my knowledge, nothing has been concealed herein and I verify it on oath. DEPONENT"

And : "VERIFICATION: Verified on oath this 6th day of March 2012 at Islamabad that the contents of the above affidavit are true and correct to my knowledge and the facts known to me and nothing has been concealed or suppressed herein. DEPONENT."

The draft affidavit clearly contains details that it had been sent from fax containing the details "AITZAZ AHSAN & ASSOCIATES ISB FAX NO: 00 92 51 2206546 Mar. 05 2012 09:09PM".

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