Wednesday December 08, 2021

Allegation of ‘tainted judgment’ against Sharifs: Joint opposition stages walkout from Senate

November 16, 2021
Allegation of ‘tainted judgment’ against Sharifs: Joint opposition stages walkout from Senate

ISLAMABAD: The joint opposition on Monday staged a walkout from the Senate against the latest statement from a former senior judge with regard to the alleged bids made to compromise the political process and the judgment procured against Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and her spouse and to keep them away from the 2018 polls.

"Earlier, this was stated by all and sundry and now statements have started coming from senior judges and one senior judge justice Shaukat Siddiqui made a statement on record in the Supreme Court four months back as to how attempts were made to influence him. Exactly the same happened to three-time premier, his daughter and his son-in-law,” said PML-N parliamentary leader Azam Nazeer Tarar while pointing out the news published by The News about ex-GB CJ, who said then CJP asked a judge of high court not to release Nawaz and his daughter on bail before the 2018 polls. He called for setting up an open commission to investigate the whole matter as to how the judgment was obtained against Nawaz Sharif and then attempts were made to maintain it.

He added four months back, a senior judge had made a similar statement before the apex court and it had been confirmed by former chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan. "We strongly condemn the attempts made to compromise the trial against Nawaz Sharif and his daughter and son-in-law and to compromise the 2018 polls,” he noted. Senator Tarar, himself a lawyer, rose to draw attention to the news report, saying, "A very unfortunate news has exposed the whole matter as to where stands our institutions' impartiality and the superior courts' transparency. It is an exceedingly serious matter and we demand setting up of a commission."

He regretted that while no political leader or a political party had issued any statement on the report based on an affidavit statement by a senior judge, the prime minister, who instead of staying away from such affairs or making a commission, issued a statement that political elements always tried to influence court judgments.

The senior judge, he noted, narrated how a three-time elected prime minister was convicted and this made it abundantly clear that not only the judicial system was compromised but also the 2018 elections were totally compromised. The parliament comes into being on the basis of transparent elections.

Leader of the Opposition Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani also supported Senator Tarar and said the opposition was ready and serious for meaningful talks on reforms. But, he added, there was a report of the government again considering summoning the joint session to bulldoze the controversial legislation.

As Senator Tarar requested the walkout and the opposition senators made exit from the House, PTI Senator Ejaz Chaudhry was on his feet, when the opposition pointed out quorum and the chair asked for ringing bells. Only 24 members were present in the House at that time. However, after a few minutes, the House resumed.

Senator Ejaz said the PML-N leaders were convicted by the apex court for corruption and lying and being dishonest and then their three-time prime minister cheated the whole nation and left the country under the pretext of medical treatment and had not returned so far. He said the one who had given this statement was appointed by the Sharifs and questioned why he remained silent for one and a half years and now when cases were to be heard in the Islamabad High Court against the father and the daughter (Nawaz and Maryam), he spoke.

Leader of the House Dr Shahzad Waseem said that the Sharifs would not be spared and exposed on their baseless allegations. "It is always surprising to hear from them about the supremacy of the judiciary. You remember the judiciary of chamak, those briefcases and dictating on telephone judgments to justice Qayyum, which the history would never forget,” he said.

He continued that when chamak and their networking did not work, they attacked the Supreme Court. He asked had they ever seen in Pakistan’s history that a convicted person would become an absconder after submitting an application in a court. He added none in history was given as much relief by the judiciary as much was given to the Sharifs.

Speaking on his motion, JI Senator Mushtaq Ahmad: "The House may discuss the reasons of enormous cases lying pending with Supreme Court of Pakistan and Islamabad High Court as of July, 31st 2021, and policy steps being taken by the government to ensure early and speedy disposal of said cases." He said that as per the Supreme Court's own survey, there were a total of 2.1 million cases pending in courts. He noted 51,138 cases were pending in the apex court alone.

Senator Rukhsana Zuberi of PPP called for increasing working hours of judges. Senator Azam Tarar proposed setting up a constitutional court to lessen the burden on the superior judiciary and that there must be capacity building of judges, which comes from merit. He said the Senate should come up with a reform package and amendments were needed in laws. Senator Ali Zafar of PTI called for doing way with conflicting provisions in the laws. There must be a parallel system of arbitration and reconciliation and a federal court be set up to deal with constitutional matters and provincial issues.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said that the government would bring a comprehensive package of judicial reforms by 2022. He added the basic decision taken by the government is that no civil case should go beyond three years. The Law of Evidence is being amended and now evidence through video will be made possible. DNA checking is being introduced in Punjab after having being put to use in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The minister asserted that relief would be possible not by following the US or the UK, but by awarding Islamic punishments and this would also help curb the rape cases. Two resolutions were adopted, one was to pay tribute to nuclear scientist late Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan. It reads: "The House expresses deep sorrow and condolences on the demise of the great patriot Pakistan's nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan. The House acknowledges the exemplary role of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program, who made the security of Pakistan invincible by transforming Pakistan into the first nuclear power in the Muslim World. The House appreciates the role of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan as a man of honour for his country and Islam who established many educational institutions, hospitals and mosques throughout the country. In view of his unprecedented and untiring efforts in the security and service of Pakistan, Islam and humanity, the House recommends the following: i) The government may establish a University of Science and Technology in the name of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan; ii) The government may appoint a Chair in the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute in the name of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan; and iii) The life and struggles of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan may be included in the national educational curriculum at Federal and Provincial levels."

The other resolution states, “This House pays tributes to the selfless and relentless sacrifices of Shaheed Wing Commander Nauman Akram who sacrificed his life to save the lives of residents of Islamabad and embraced shahadat on 11th March, 2020 during rehearsal for the Pakistan Day Parade in his F-16 aircraft. This House honors his sacrifice and recommends that Chand Tara Chowk near Shakarparian, Islamabad, be named as Wing Commander Nauman Akram Shaheed, (Sitara-i-Basalat) Chowk”.