ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Tuesday said former Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar had not only disrespected himself but also his institution with his “controversial verdicts and conduct” which somehow indicated his “direct involvement in the politics”.
“It is not Maryam Nawaz who has disrespected Saqib Nisar, rather he has brought dishonour upon himself. He has admitted his meetings with Imran Khan, who after coming into power looted the national exchequer ruthlessly and plunged the country into an economic quagmire causing high inflation and poverty,” the minister said in a news conference.
She said Maryam Nawaz had bravely exposed the political role played by the former CJP and made the evidence in that regard public. “Maryam Nawaz is a source of respect for her father as being a brave leader she has the courage to expose such people before the people.” It was not merely an allegation as the former chief justice had himself admitted to holding meetings with Imran Khan and nobody had denied it so far, she added, daring Saqib Nisar to respond to those allegations in the courts as he better knew what the law stated in that regard.
Saqib Nisar very well knew that what was being said about him was true, she said, referring to his reported interview with a private TV channel in which, according to the minister, the former CJP had stated that he had not declared Imran Khan as a “full honest and righteous person”. “There is no need to make a hue and cry now and if you think you are being defamed then respond to these allegations in the court,” she said while alleging that Saqib Nisar was directly involved in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s campaign for the 2018 general election.
She said there was no such example in the country’s judicial history that a chief justice was directly involved in politics and exercised his power beyond his mandate. “No law in Pakistan allowed the former chief justice to meet former prime minister Imran Khan who had severely harmed the national interests and diplomatic relations of Pakistan with the friendly countries during his rule.” Marriyum said the former chief justice had compromised the future of upcoming generations with his conduct and “controversial decisions”.
To gain some vested interests, she alleged, he had given a verdict in the case related to the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI), which ultimately led to the suspension of its operations causing severe problems for kidney patients. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif found the PKLI closed during his visit, she added. The minister said the former CJP’s conduct showed that he was somehow part of the nexuses led by Imran Khan, which ultimately resulted into an economic turmoil, extreme inflation, unemployment, and poverty.
She said Imran Khan even after his ouster from power was causing severe damage to the country by creating chaos and unrest. He had exhausted his all political options and now gave a call for a public gathering in Lahore which was also destined to be a flop show as the people fully knew that he was pursuing an anti-state agenda. Imran Khan did not want stability in the country and exploited every opportunity to hamper the government’s efforts aimed at proving relief to the masses, she said while reminding him that he had failed to fulfill even a single promise whether it was related to 10 million jobs or 5 million homes or the elimination of corruption.
She said,”The PTI chief had rather “made history in robbing the national exchequer. On the other hand, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government and its Quaid Nawaz Sharif had a track record of steering the country out every crisis whether it was economic or related to inflation, terrorism, or load-shedding.” The people knew that it was only the PML-N which under its dynamic leadership could provide a state-of-the-art road infrastructure, mass transit systems like metro, laptops, and scholarships, she added.
The minister expressed confidence that the people of Punjab would give a strong response to the PTI for halting the development process in the province. At the time, when PM Shehbaz Sharif being the chief minister was striving to uplift the living standards of the people of Punjab with his sheer hard work and dedication, Imran Khan was hatching a conspiracy to remove a thrice-elected prime minister, she added.
The nation, she said, would no more become part of the conspiracies being hatched by Imran Khan against the country. The government had filed the cases against Imran Khan after thorough investigations and it was time for the law to take its course to punish him for his corruption, loot, and plunder, the minister added. She said Imran Khan did not have any grounds to escape trial for his corruption and misuse of authority during his government’s tenure and that was why he was avoiding the courts. He would have to answer for his wrongdoings, she added.
The minister said the incumbent government was the first in history which had made the record of Toshakhana public but unfortunately, the PTI’s social media trolls were misleading the masses. Imran Khan had stolen gifts from Toshakhana. There was a difference between retaining and stealing a gift, she added. Imran Khan should better appear before the court and submit his reply if he had not committed a crime, Marriyum remarked.
“I received three watches during my official visits to foreign countries and all of them were deposited in Toshakhana,” she said while responding to a query. She said the credit went to the present government which had introduced a new policy barring to retain those presents whose price exceeded $300. The minister recalled that it was Imran Khan who had refused to make the record of Toshakhana gifts public saying that it would damage relations with friendly countries, but ironically he did not care how much the cypher story had damaged the foreign policy.
She also reiterated contradictory narratives crafted by Imran Khan in the backdrop of his removal from the Prime Minister’s Office. He first blamed a foreign country for his ouster and then started accusing the institutions and political leaders, and now the interim Punjab chief minister, she claimed. In fact, she said, it was Imran Khan himself who had hatched the conspiracy against the country by suspending the IMF programme in March 2022 which caused inflation. He even today was pursuing his agenda of creating instability in the country. Many precious lives had been lost as a result of his long marches and rallies.
The minister said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had announced the Ramazan package while the Punjab Government had already been providing free of charge flour through the Utility Stores to provide relief to the poor people. About 80 million poor people in Punjab would benefit from the Ramazan Package and for transparency, its implementation would be closely monitored by a committee, she added. The prime minister, she said, had instructed other provinces also to arrange the supply of free-of-cost flour to the poor in the month of Ramazan. “Such a good package is being given to the people by the government despite the restrictions imposed by the IMF programme, which was started by Imran Khan.” As regards the death of Ali Bilal alias Zille Shah, the minister said his dead body was brought to the hospital in the double cabin vehicle of PTI leader Raja Shakeel, whose driver escaped after leaving the body and got refuge at Zaamn Park.
Ex-CJP brought dishonour upon himself through ‘his verdicts’: Marriyum