December 01, 2016Latest : National
ISLAMABAD: Finally, PTI’s strategy to change its lead Counsel worked out. Naeem Bokhari lived up to Imran Khan’s expectations. Mr Khan apparently sprung up with a trump card again on Thursday. May be?
But it depends upon how Sharifs’ legal team responds to the opponents on December 06. It, at least, saved the moment for PTI Chairman who constantly kept whispering and helping to his lead lawyer Naeem Bokhari in the courtroom. But danger has not over yet. Both, the complainants and the respondents, would have to show their hidden best cards. Worthy judges and PTI’s legal team posed more than a dozen tough and tricky questions to Akram Sheikh and Salmaan Butt, Counsels for Sharifs.
As clock stroke 9:30 am silence engulfed the atmosphere. Next moment judges took over their seats at 9:32 am. Proceedings started with usual enthusiasm about some decisive move in the most significant case of the country’s history. The crew of media, diplomats, politicians, civil servants, and lawyers flooded the heavily guarded court premises in foothills of Margala Mountains on a slightly cold morning.
Soon after judges took their seats, it was Naeem Bokhari who came up with solid arguments, taking over the rostrum. Then he abruptly started posing tough questions to its opponents. Even at many points judges also endorsed his arguments and told the respondents’ counsels to get prepared to answer all these complicated questions.
It happened first time since Panama Leaks case started when faces of PTI’ top leaders, sitting in the courtroom blossomed. But this special moment found the Sharifs’ legal team and scores of cabinet members in melancholy. Mr Bokhari with his assistant corporate lawyer Maleeka Bokhari continued his arguments for 208 long minutes. During these moments, Imran Khan left his chair many times and went to rostrum, whispering time and again into his ears. He continued encouraging Mr Bokhari and sometimes himself handed over the relevant documents to his legal team.
During the course of hearing, everybody looked super serious while a lawyer whispered into my ears and said "MNA Talal Chaudhry sitting behind Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi and looked like a 'naughty boy'." While sitting next to Mr Chaudhry, MNA Munaza Hassan was enjoying cough lozenge. Another lawyer predicted, "Case will likely to be handed over to the proposed judicial commission now."
As Mr Bokhari engaged the courtroom with his prolonged arguments a few of top court's ushers wearing green long uppers were found napping. Some people were even focusing the portraits, name boards of all the chief justices, hundreds of law books with one of ushers recalling days of former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry who dismissed the then Premier Yousaf Raza Gilani. Exchange of arguments between Naeem Bokhari and worthy judges continued but many guys from special branch kept occupying seats for government’s legislatures while PTI’s tigers also followed their footsteps to secure slightly reddish-brown comfortable chairs for their leaders installed in the courtroom.
Sitting in front row, just three chairs away from PTI Chairman, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also gave some instructions to Salmaan Butt during the tea break. All PML-N leaders were seen in a state of awe when one of judges asked Bokhari to prove trust deed of Maryam Nawaz and then the burden of proof will shift to the respondents to get away with it.
Mr Bokhari took all the questions from a plethora of documents submitted by Mr Sheikh and Mr Butt in support of their clients—PM Sharif’s three children—Hussain, Hassan and Maryam. Silence dropped in the courtroom again where light twinkled all the time. Imran Khan left the seat time and again, even stood near to rostrum when judges questioned how had PM`s daughter become a beneficiary of Nielsen and Nescoll, the companies registered by Minerva Trust & Corporate Services Ltd? “Sheikh Sb you will have to answer all tricky questions posed by Mr Bokhari,” Justice Azmat Saeed conveyed to Sharifs’ Counsels. “My lords I’ll,” responded Akram Sheikh who looked very friendly to the opponents. Mr Bokhari looked serious, except he amused judges as saying, “I’m not a prince but look like a prince.”
Mr Sheikh stood up three times and guided his colleagues involved in debate while journalists continued to put their ears on badly disturbed sound system, reserved for them, to hear well-articulated arguments presented by Mr Bokhari who made good of the damage many in PTI believe done by their first lead lawyer Hamid Khan.
But Hamid told a different story. “We presented these documents and yes we have the answer,” Akram Sheikh told this correspondent. It was the moment when PTI Chairman had a good interaction with a couple of journalists inside the courtroom. “When will change come to Pakistan? Social media and journalists could pay their due role in this process.
US 2016 Presidential elections and Brexit is bright example of it,” Khan told this correspondent. Some said it was PTI’s day but majority believed because Sharifs’ counsels are waiting their turn to argue with next Tuesday in the courtroom. Interestingly, many witnessed Minister of States for Science and Technology of taking notes on her official diary with a pen having green inks soon after Khawaja Asif left the courtroom at 11:35am. “Submitted documents, PM’s speeches and his kids’ different interviews contradicted each other,” the court observed.
Once again a heated moment came when judges observed the respondents were hiding some documents from the court. With this pledge a smiling moment revisited the sober courtroom when a narration of some interesting stories about personal life of a political leader standing in-front of judges came across. Then judges asked Naeem Bokhari to resume his argument on Dec 06 and the proceeding adjourned. Ends: