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July 12, 2019

Whether judge will resign?

Top Story

July 12, 2019

ISLAMABAD: A source has claimed that the Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik may resign anytime but this information could not be confirmed.

The source said that the judge would send his resignation to the Lahore High Court (LHC). Judge Arshad Malik belongs to Punjab judiciary and is presently on deputation as Accountability Court Judge Islamabad.

Judge Arshad Malik Thursday called on the Islamabad High Court (IHC) acting Chief Justice Amir Farooq. No official word has been issued that what was discussed in the meeting. This was second meeting with the IHC CJ ever since the surfacing of alleged video showing the judge disclosing that he was coerced and blackmailed to convict Nawaz Sharif.

Before meeting Judge Arshad Malik, the IHC acting chief justice also held a meeting with Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Asif Saeed Khosa in his chamber a couple of days ago. However, the source said it was a routine meeting as normally any acting or full-time chief justice of the IHC meets the CJP after taking oath.

Earlier, the PML-N senior leaders including Maryam Nawaz, Shahbaz Sharif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and others held a press conference and displayed video of Judge Arshad Malik with one Nasir Butt. According to that presser held by the PML-N leaders, Judge Arshad Malik confirmed that he was coerced and blackmailed to convict Nawaz Sharif.

However, the very next day, Judge Arshad Malik issued a press release and rejected the accusations levelled by Maryam Nawaz. “Video shown in Maryam Nawaz’ press conference was not only contrary to the facts but it was also an attempt to mesh together various instances and topics spoken about and present them out of context,” reads the press release.

Soon after the PML-N leaders’ presser, the ruling PTI members appeared on TV channels and held counter press conference. The PTI leaders announced that government will conduct forensic audit of Judge Arshad’s video shown by PML-N leaders. However, the federal cabinet during its meeting held this week decided that government will not take any action on this issue and left this issue upon judiciary to take any action.

Meanwhile, Maryam Nawaz released two other videos -- one showing Judge Arshad Malik’s official car whereas the other showing Arshad Malik received Nasir Butt at his residence. As if this was not enough, another alleged photo of Judge Arshad Malik with Nasir Butt and two other persons has been released on various social networking websites. The date (19-02-2019) inscribed on the photo can be clearly seen. However no clarification about this photo has been released by Judge Arshad Malik.

Legal experts have already raised some pertinent questions on judge’s admission of coercion and convicting Nawaz Sharif under pressure. However, neither the IHC nor Supreme Court of Pakistan has issued any official statement on this issue.

When sources close to Judge Arshad Malik were contacted, they rejected the impression that he will resign. They said why the judge should resign just on the basis of speculations. They said the judge has already clarified his position on the baseless allegations made against him.

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