ISLAMABAD: Former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar on Monday said that he never declared Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan as completely Sadiq and Ameen (truthful and honest).
In a statement issued here, the former CJ made a reference to a controversy surrounding rulings during his tenure on Article 62(1) (f) a clause under which former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified in 2017 by the Supreme Court while Imran was not.
Imran was declared Sadiq and Ameen on three points, he clarified. Akram Sheikh had only raised three points in writing when he asked the court to decide on Imran Khan’s case he maintained and on all three of those points he had been proven Sadiq and Ameen.
It may be noted that Sheikh was the senior Supreme Court lawyer who had prosecuted former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf on treason charges and later pleaded a case seeking disqualification of prime minister Imran Khan. I did not declare Imran Khan completely Sadiq and Ameen which was then politicised, he added, saying that his judgment was still available for anyone to verify this.
It may be noted that a three-judge SC bench headed by former Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab December 2017 had found Imran Khan to be honest but disqualified PTI’s general secretary Jahangir Tareen. Abbasi had sought the disqualification of Imran and Tareen on various grounds.
In its verdict, the top court accepted Imran’s stance on the purchase of Banigala land as well as the establishment of his offshore company. The decision remains one of the several controversies that have surrounded the discrepancies found in exercising quo warranto to jurisdiction by the Supreme Court and high courts against lawmakers to examine their qualifications after elections.
Saqib Nisar’s comments come as the PTI chief faces charges of corruption in the Toshakhana case for which a lower court has also issued non-bailable arrest warrants against him.
Saqib Nisar has claimed that his account on the instant messaging platform WhatsApp has been hacked and expressed reservations that his data may be used to twist facts for political purposes.
Previously many videos of mine had been stitched up to make audio and a private channel had proven within six hours that it was fake, he said, adding that recently after hearing such audio I had also [falsely] believed that it was real. He stressed that hacking social media accounts and retrieving data in such a manner fall under theft.
On allegations that former spymaster Lt Gen (retd) Faiz Hamid had pressurised him on the Panama case, Saqib Nisar dismissed the claim, adding that he would speak to former army chief Gen (retd) Bajwa about the accusations. He claimed that those talking about the court verdicts today “do not know anything about the law”.
“The person who is attacking the courts today was a favourite of the courts. Apart from one case, he always got relief from the courts,” the former CJP claimed. The former top judge of the country claimed that even before he had donned the robe of the chief justice, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif used to claim in certain quarters that he was their “chief”.
“I separated myself from the bench in the Panama case and gave an open notice for the duration in the disqualification case that whoever wants to can do so. The duration of the disqualification was determined in light of the law and Constitution,” said Nisar.
Speaking on the political turmoil that persists in the country Saqib Nisar said that he believed the only solution to it all was elections. In 2018 several attempts were made to block polls which were ultimately rendered unsuccessful, he said. “I may have made many wrong decisions but why are those not followed which I had made for the betterment of the country, he questioned as he maintained that the country’s biggest issues were water and clean air. He also said that this would be his last interview and that he was working on a book that would be published posthumously where all facts will be revealed.