Nawaz Sharif will resort to any tactic to pressurise institutions: Asad – Pakistan

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Saturday said PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif is ready to deploy “every tactic available to pressurise institutions no matter how much it costs the country”.

In a statement on Twitter, the federal minister claimed that the former three-time prime minister wanted a judiciary that decided cases through instructions via phone. He added that Nawaz was dismayed with the army and the judiciary for “not helping him through unconstitutional means”.

“He [Nawaz Sharif] and his facilitators are ready to use every tactic to put pressure on the institutions, no matter how much it costs the country,” he tweeted.

Umar said that the PML-N and its supporters’ “worry is clear” ever since the opposition’s defeat in last week’s joint session of parliament that saw the government bulldozing a record number of 33 bills.

“There is intensity and distress in their attacks on the military leadership and the judiciary [since then],” Umar wrote.

His comments come amid a brewing controversy over the alleged leak of an audio clip of a conversation purportedly involving former chief justice of Pakistan, Saqib Nisar, regarding interference in Maryam (Nawaz Sharif’s daughter) and Nawaz’s corruption trials.

Before that, an affidavit by the former top judge of Gilgit-Baltistan, Rana Shamim, emerged levelling allegations against Nisar that he issued instructions to a high court judge to deny bail to the father-daughter duo before the general elections 2018.

The former CJP rubbished Shamim’s claims and also termed the audio clip as “fabricated”.

Meanwhile, the PML-N had unleashed a barrage of criticism on the former CJP, with Maryam calling on Nisar to tell the truth while party leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi questioning: “If Mian Nawaz Sharif can go to jail, why can’t Mian Saqib Nisar?”

‘Maryam should take the audio clip to court’

Earlier today, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said while talking to the media in Lahore that the underlying motive of the PML-N to make institutions controversial was “to obtain relief in cases against them”.

He said the PML-N generated conspiracy to pressurise national institutions whenever cases against them were opened. “I think the judiciary should take notice of this,” Chaudhry added.

Responding to a question, the information minister said if Maryam thought the alleged audio recording of the former CJP could benefit her case, then she should take it to court.

The Islamabad High Court is currently hearing appeals filed by Maryam and her husband, retired Capt Mohammad Safdar, against their convictions in the Avenfield reference.

Meanwhile, during a ceremony in Lahore, Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib criticised the PML-N for Maryam’s admission that an audio clip of her issuing instructions to refuse advertisements to certain TV channels was genuine.

“I think they should apologise on the admission and also tell in what capacity they were controlling Pakistan’s media and with what face today do they talk about journalistic and media freedom,” Habib said.

Responding to a question on Nisar’s alleged audio leak, Habib said the PML-N should make it a part of judicial record if they believed in the clip’s authenticity.

Additional input by the Associated Press of Pakistan.