ISLAMABAD: Continuing his attacks on the judiciary, ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif disclosed on Tuesday that he had written to former chief justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali to complain about the objectionable remarks passed against him by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed during the hearing of a case regarding the promotion of a government officer in 2015.
Talking to a group of lawyers from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) at Punjab House, Mr Sharif said he wrote the letter at a time when he had no “tussle” with the judiciary, and hastened to clarify that even today, he did not have any bad blood with the Supreme Court.
“I have no conflict or tussle with the SC. I do have differences with the judges who had issued the verdict [against me]. I have implemented their decision, but I have not accepted it,” Mr Sharif declared amidst sloganeering by the lawyers.
Mr Sharif flayed the “irresponsible” remarks, such as ‘godfather’ and ‘Sicilian mafia’, which were passed against him by the judges during the hearing of the Panama Papers case, saying that these remarks came from the same judge who had already made controversial statements about him (Nawaz) during a hearing regarding the promotion of an officer from grade 19 to 20.
Claims he wrote to former CJ to complain about SC judge who passed objectionable remarks against him
The PML-N chief recalled that during the course of that hearing, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed had remarked that “Nawaz Sharif should know there is enough space for him in Adiala Jail”.
“If we respect you, then it is compulsory for you to respect the office of the prime minister,” he said, adding that the remarks hurt his feelings because he was totally unaware of the case,
Mr Sharif also regretted incumbent Chief Justice Saqib Nisar’s recent remarks, who had observed that he would wind up the Orange Line Metro Train project if the government did not give any importance to health and education. Without naming the chief justice, he said the people were already suffering “because of you” and due to the delay caused by the protracted hearings in the case.
Mr Sharif noted that the judiciary faced a massive backlog of cases, because of which people were being denied justice, adding that justice had become too expensive for poor people to afford.
He also joked that he has already paid a lot of money in legal fees to his lawyers, adding that had he known justice was this expensive when he was prime minister, he would have taken steps to resolve the issue. He was of the opinion that the state should bear the legal expenses of poor people.
The PML-N chief claimed that judges who had validated the military takeovers, authorised dictators to subvert the Constitution and invented the ‘doctrine of necessity’ were guilty of “treason”. He also mentioned the name of former chief justice Irshad Hassan Khan, who had authorised Gen Pervez Musharraf to amend the Constitution after coming to power in a military coup.
He said that the country was plagued with crises because those who had violated the Constitution had not been held accountable and regretted that the nation had not learnt anything from history.
Likening his plight to that of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman’s in 1971, he said that decisions such as the one against him produced “rebels”. The Awami League chief was a strong supporter of Pakistan, but he was pushed against a wall and turned him into a rebel, Mr Sharif claimed.
Referring to the petitions challenging the passage of the Elections (Amendment) Act 2017, Mr Sharif alleged that after removing him from the office of PM, efforts were afoot to unseat him as the president of PML-N by “undoing” legislation that was passed by parliament.
The former prime minister also deplored the recent statement by US President Donald Trump, terming it an “insult” for the whole nation. He said the country was facing this situation because of its own internal weaknesses.
Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2018