LAHORE: PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz has opposed retrial of her father, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, after purported video of accountability judge who sentenced him, saying she has no confrontation with any institution, otherwise, she may have brought forth other videos which contain names of some ‘incumbent officials’.
Ms Nawaz also does not rule out the option of PML-N lawmakers resigning from all assemblies if her party is further pushed against the wall. She says Imran Khan government has imposed a complete ban on her electronic media coverage, but she will continue her struggle to get her father justice and raise voice for the masses.
Flanked by Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Javed Hashmi and Uzma Bokhari, Ms Nawaz told a press conference in Model Town here on Wednesday that she brought forth the video of accountability judge Arshad Malik just to prove that the three-time premier was innocent.
Alleges Nawaz’s health issues being deliberately mishandled
She said after the judge’s confession that he was blackmailed and presssurised into giving the verdict against Nawaz Sharif (in Al-Azizia Mills reference) and action against Mr Malik by the superior judiciary the former prime minister should have been released from jail without any delay as the verdict now stood null and void.
“There should not be retrial in Nawaz Sharif’s case after the judge’s confession. If there be retrial, what is the guarantee that the judge who will take up the case is not pressurised?” she asked and demanded investigation into the purported video of the judge to know who pressurised him (Arshad Malik) to get verdict against Nawaz Sharif.
“I don’t have any confrontation with any institution. Had I wanted confrontation, I would have brought forth the videos in which there were names of some incumbent officials. I don’t want to cause a turmoil (by making other videos public) in the country. My purpose is not to malign anyone. My purpose is to prove Nawaz Sharif is innocent… and that is my sole purpose,” she said and added: “I reiterate that I do not want to make the remaining videos public. I am not like Imran Khan who tarnishes the name of institutions to hide his incompetence.”
Ms Nawaz said she requested the superior judiciary to take notice of the ‘confessional’ video of judge Malik and give justice to Nawaz Sharif.
“I knew that hardships would be inflicted upon me after I released this video. But I had to bring forward the evidence of Nawaz’s innocence in front of the people of Pakistan,” she said and also disclosed that neither Nawaz, nor she watched the video used to blackmail judge Malik (by someone). “ Mian sahib and I promised to Allah that we won’t use that video against the judge.”
To a question about resigning from assemblies and going for midterm polls, Ms Nawaz said: “Resignation option is there but the joint opposition will decide about it at an appropriate time.”
She chided the government for its “dictatorial steps” aimed to stop the PML-N from holding rallies and blocking its media coverage. “Selected prime minister will get tired of arrests but the PML-N won’t run out of leaders,” she added.
To another question, she said it was US President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate on the Kashmir issue, as “selected” prime minister did not raise this important issue. “Nodding to someone else’s statement does not amount to raising an issue,” she said.
She said Imran Khan was too preoccupied with bashing opposition and teasing imprisoned Nawaz Sharif to understand the sensitivity and intricacies of foreign policy.
She alleged private TV channels were being pressurised to deny coverage to her presser, adding the media should also play its role in bringing forward the truth like the politicians.
Ms Nawaz said she feared for the life of Nawaz Sharif as he was not shifted to hospital despite advice of the government’s own doctors.
“I see intentional and dangerous designs behind mishandling of Nawaz Sharif’s deteriorating health in prison. I will move the court against this criminal act,” she said while reading out a recent evaluation of the medical board assigned to Nawaz Sharif in custody.
She also objected to change in Nawaz’s medicines without consulting his physician. Imran Khan also talked about withdrawing air-conditioning facility from Nawaz which showed that he (Khan) was a “small man”.
Javed Hahmi said when he was in the PTI he had asked Imran Khan to become an elected PM, but he chose to become “selected” one.
Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2019