A former chief justice of the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Supreme Court Rana Shamim has said, in an affidavit, that the then Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar had asked a high court judge not to release Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz before the 2018 general elections. According to a report in The News, the former CJ of GB court said he had himself witnessed Saqib Nisar’s direction to the high court judge.
Nawaz and Maryam were both sentenced in a corruption case by a lower court before the 2018 elections. They filed an appeal for the sentence to be suspended but the hearing was postponed until after the July 25 elections.
Rana Shamim, the ex-CJ of GB, alleged that he had witnessed Nisar make the call to a high court judge while the latter was on a vacation with his family in GB. Shamim says that when he inquired about the call from the then CJP, he was told to forget about what he had heard.
The Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Fawad Chaudhry, while reacting to the news, called it ‘shocking’. He further said that people should “refrain from spinning conspiracy theories”.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif, while reacting to the report on Twitter, declared that this was an explosive story and “it’s yet another vindication of Nawaz Sharif & Maryam in the court of public opinion”.
Saqib Nisar denied the allegations calling them “white lies” and “contrary to the facts”. He also alleged that Shamim had asked him for an extension in his tenure which he had denied.