ISLAMABAD: Former chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Mohammad Shamim on Monday confirmed the contents of his affidavit accusing former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar of delaying the release of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz.

In response to a show-cause notice issued by Chief Justice Athar Minallah of the Islamabad High Court to Rana Shamim and others over the publication of the affidavit in an English language newspaper, the ex-chief judge of GB explained the “compelling force” behind the execution of the statement in the form of an affidavit and expressed his willingness to confront former CJP Nisar to ascertain veracity of the affidavit.

In the statement, Mr Shamim claimed that he had neither circulated nor shared the affidavit with anyone. “The only compelling force behind executing this statement in the form of an affidavit was a promise with my late wife before her death that I must get this fact reduced in writing and preserve the same to set the record straight,” he said, adding: “Statement was recorded in the form of an affidavit because of tremendous emotional pressure and to honour promise made by me to my late wife before her death.”

Willing to confront ex-CJP Nisar to ascertain its veracity; IHC CJ directs Rana Shamim to submit affidavit by 13th

As per the statement, Mr Shamim’s wife died on June 4 this year and after that his first foreign visit was to the United States and while returning home he stayed in London for two days where he recorded the statement, notarised it and handed it over to his grandson for keeping it in a locker.

The former GB judge stated that he “has no clue or knowledge how the affidavit came in the possession of the reporter who actually published it as a news item”. He said that as a practice the copy of such statement was retained by the notary public in London for record. However, he added, this fact could best be answered by those who had released this statement or shared it with Ansar Abbasi — the reporter who published the story.

It may be mentioned that Rana Shamim claimed in the affidavit that Justice Nisar had during his visit to Gilgit-Baltistan called a judge of the IHC and asked him to ensure that Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz were not granted bail before the 2018 general election.

The statement submitted to the IHC said: “The events mentioned in the affidavit occurred on July 15, 2018, around evening time, approximately 6pm while we were having tea and refreshments together at the official rest house of the Supreme Appellate Court of Gilgit-Baltistan.”

Mr Shamim expressed his willingness to testify the affidavit even in front of the former CJP, saying that he is “ready to state the facts mentioned in statement on solemn oath and the answering respondent [Rana Shamim] is ready to confront the person mentioned in the affidavit i.e. former Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar”. The ex-CJ of GB reiterated that he never intended to scandalise or ridicule the judiciary and requested the court to withdraw the show-cause notice.

Advocate Lateef Afridi appeared before the IHC on behalf of Rana Shamim.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah observed that the affidavit had cast serious aspersions on all the judges of the IHC. He asked Mr Afridi to act as amicus curiae, besides representing Mr Shamim.

Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan argued that the timing of executing the affidavit was important as an IHC division bench was supposed to resume hearing on an appeal which was linked with the events narrated in Mr Shamim’s sworn statement.

He informed the court that he had written a letter to the ex-chief judge of GB for swift transportation of the affidavit from the UK through the Pakistan High Commission there.

Justice Minallah directed Mr Shamim to submit the affidavit by December 13 and warned that the court would otherwise frame charges.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2021

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