ISLAMABAD: In a major turn of events, former Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) chief judge Rana Muhammad Shamim has completely disowned his controversial affidavit that accused former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar of manipulating judicial proceeding to delay the release of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz through a judge of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Earlier on Sept 12, Mr Shamim had partially backtracked from the contents of his affidavit executed in Nov 10 last year, stating that not a single sitting judge of the IHC was involved in the controversy and submitted an unconditional apology to the high court. He had however stood by his allegations against former CJP Nisar.

He submitted an unconditional apology in an affidavit submitted on Friday in response to the contempt of court proceedings initiated against him following publication of his earlier affidavit in an English daily in Nov 2021.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah had on Sept 12 directed Mr Shamim to submit an unconditional apology in an affidavit.

Rana Shamim files fresh affidavit withdrawing from contents of ‘incorrect’ document of Nov 2021; submits unconditional apology to IHC

In the document filed on Friday, Mr Shamim again apologised, disowned his own ‘controversial’ affidavit and withdrew from its contents.

It may be mentioned that in the earlier affidavit, Mr Shamim had stated that Justice Nisar made a phone call to a judge of the IHC, asking him to delay the release of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz until the July 2018 general elections.

The affidavit filed on Friday stated: “I tender unconditional apology for an affidavit which was neither correct nor required… I regret rather apologise for an incorrect affidavit where the name of an honorable judge was mistakenly and unintentionally mentioned. I further regret and apologize for my grave mistake which should never have happened.”

It further said: “The wrong and incorrect mention of a judge of this honorable court in affidavit dated 10th Nov 2021 was due to my glaring misunderstanding and unintentional mistake. Hence, I withdraw from the contents of the said affidavit. I profusely apologize for the wrong [and] unnecessary affidavit.”

The ex-GB chief judge placed himself at the mercy of the IHC.

However, in the apology tendered on Sept 12, the former GB chief judge stated: “The contents of the affidavit emanate from the sitting in which myself, my late wife, former CJP Justice Saqib Nisar along with his wife were present at my official residence when I was Chief Judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Supreme Appellate Court... former CJP on the first day of their stay while taking tea in the lawn of my residence, was trying to get connected with someone time and again but when the said person could not be connected he directed his registrar to go and see him at his residence and tell him that Mian Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz Sharif should not come out on bail.”

He had further said: “Since he could not be connected, therefore he directed the registrar to call him on WhatsApp as soon as possible. After some time, the then CJP was connected to the person, he talked for [a] few minutes; thereafter he felt relaxed and said that he has spoken to the senior puisne judge and demanded another cup of tea.”

He called 2021 “annus horribilis for me and my family” owing to the deaths of several close family members, including his wife and youngest brother. “I, while suffering through the extreme stress of loss of my close family members in such quick succession, realized the importance of writing down the incident in my knowledge as soon as possible, as per my beloved late wife’s will; therefore, I chose to do so during my transit stay in London.”

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2022

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