PML-N leader justifies screening of video a day after brush with FIA

Updated December 29, 2019

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The leaked video was allegedly used to pressurise and blackmail judge Arshad Malik to convict former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference. — DawnNewsTv/File
The leaked video was allegedly used to pressurise and blackmail judge Arshad Malik to convict former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference. — DawnNewsTv/File

LAHORE: PML-N deputy secretary general Attaullah Tarar has said the screening of the purported video of accountability judge Arshad Malik in which he allegedly confessed to have convicted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia Mills reference for seven-year imprisonment under pressure, was necessary to “prove the innocence of the party’s supreme leader.”

The PML-N has also said it has completed the legal consultative process to challenge Federal Investigation Agency chief Wajid Zia’s ‘political’ appointment in a court of law.

Mr Tarar, who recorded his statement to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Friday, said it was his firm belief that any evidence that could be helpful in proving the innocence of Nawaz Sharif should be brought forth. He stated that he sat in the press conference with this resolve and was fully convinced that the video of Arshad Malik should have been made public.

“I told the FIA that this video having evidence of innocence of three-time premier Nawaz Sharif should be brought forth and the public must know the truth,” Mr Tarar told Dawn on Saturday.

Attaullah Tarar says the party is set to challenge Wajid’s appointment as FIA head

As regards the making of the video, he told the investigators that they should contact Nasir Butt in London who had made this video and wanted to record his statement. He also said Nasir Butt’s evidence and affidavit were not being taken by the High Commission on the instructions of the federal government as it was playing foul.

The FIA has also summoned PML-N Senator Pervaiz Rashid and party’s Punjab information secretary MPA Azma Bokhari on Dec 30 to record their statements.

On July 6, PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz had held a press conference at the Model Town secretariat and played a ‘secretly recorded’ video in which judge Arshad Malik was allegedly seen saying that he was pressurised into convicting her father Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference.

“Why the government is reluctant to carry out forensic audit of the original video presented by Nasir Butt. Judge Malik had confided to Mr Butt that he had given the verdict under pressure. Even the apex court observed that judge Malik had disgraced the judiciary,” Mr Tarar said, adding that Nasir Butt had gone to the Pakistan High Commission in London to submit the original video but it did not receive it on the directive from Imran Khan.

He said the PML-N leaders present at the presser had already recorded their statements.

Mr Tarar said: “Legal consultation has been finalised to challenge Wajid Zia’s appointment in court and also filing application in police station for registration of a case against the FIA for raiding its secretariat in Model Town.”

He further said: “Wajid Zia who is seen as having a bent of mind against the PML-N because of his role in the Panama JIT, has been appointed the DG FIA by PM Khan to target it (PML-N). Bashir Memon, the outgoing DG, took early retirement as there was pressure on him to act against political opponents of the PTI.”

The FIA on Thursday last had raided the PML-N secretariat in Model Town and confiscated a computer hardware on which the purported video was played. The FIA had warrants of the raid.

Published in Dawn, December 29th, 2019