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July 10, 2019

We possess several videos: Shahid Khaqan

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July 10, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Tuesday said his party possess several video evidences, but they did not want differences with national institutions.

He demanded the superior judiciary to take notice of video leak involving a judge of the accountability court and take suo motu action on the conduct of the judge who purportedly said he was under pressure to give a verdict against Nawaz Sharif in Al-Azizia case.

“We feel that the Supreme Court should look into the video leak and take suo motu notice on conduct of the judge,” Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said while addressing a press conference along with party’s Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal and spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb.

To a question, Shahid Khaqan said the 40-minute video released by the PML-N was enough and there was no need to issue anymore videos. “We have released the video after verifying it and let us see what action is taken by the judiciary on it,” he said, adding that the government had also authenticated the video. He said the Supreme Court has the power to take suo motu notice, while the PML-N also reserves the right to take any legal action. “But there should be some action on it,” he said.

Abbasi said the PML-N after verification placed the video before the masses without blaming anybody and left it to the people to decide moral position of Nawaz Sharif’s conviction. He said the video raised many serious questions and allegations on the ongoing accountability and judicial process currently being taking place in the country.

Shahid Khaqan said after the judge of the accountability court in the video confessed that he convicted Nawaz Sharif due to blackmailing and being under pressure, now there was no legal or moral justification of the punishment.

He said there were many other cases under process against former presidents and former prime ministers with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), questioning whether they would be able to get justice.

“The revelations made in the video have exposed the reality of the so-called accountability by the NAB,” he said. He alleged that the Prime Minister Imran Khan took biggest U-turn of his 10 months tenure by saying the government had nothing to do with the video and that the judiciary should take notice of it only after the forensic audit conducted by the government revealed that the video was real.

He said the judge in response never denied the video and conversation in it but he said that it was out of context. “Instead, the judge in the press release said that Nawaz Sharif during hearing of the case threatened him and tried to bribe him,” Abbasi said, adding that following release of the video, the verdict against Nawaz Sharif stands null and void and reality of accountability system is exposed to everybody. The PML-N leader said the judge facing such situation and not informing of the superior courts of any threats, if given to him, was no more qualified to hear the case. “In this way, the judgement given by him also becomes doubtful,” he said.

Shahid Khaqan said they PML-N was not demanding re-trial of Nawaz Sharif and they are raising questions on the morality and legality of his conviction. Ahsan Iqbal said the PML-N leadership was struggling to strengthening institutions like Parliament, armed forces and judiciary and to maintain their dignity, whereas the PTI government was attempting to make those institutions controversial.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan by saying that the government and armed forces were on the same page, is giving credit of its failures and undemocratic tactics to someone else and is making an institution controversial,” he said.

Saying that Imran Khan was principal beneficiary of decisions of the ex-chief justice Saqib Nisar, Ahsan Iqbal urged the Supreme Court to issue show cause notice to him for undertaking visits of UK and US along with MNAs and leaders of the PTI.

“Such conduct raises questions on impartiality of judiciary,” he said. Ahsan Iqbal said the government also made the armed forces controversial by arresting Rana Sanaullah through Anti-Narcotics Force, which is headed by an in service Major General.

“Then a minister along head of the ANF addressed a press conference to justify the arrest,” he said, adding that the next day, the prime minister took U-turn, saying the government had nothing to do with Sanaullah’s arrest.