LONDON / ISLAMABAD: PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif has said the case of the apex court judge who was mentioned in the leaked audio must be sent to the Supreme Judicial Council for a discussion of the alleged misconduct of the judge.
“There is nothing more serious than this,” Mr Sharif told reporters outside Stanhope House on Friday.
He was referring to the leaked audio in which former Punjab chief minister Parvez Elahi could be purportedly heard seeking the placement of his former aide’s case before a particular Supreme Court judge.
The nation should note these characters are responsible for the state Pakistan is in today, the PML-N leader said while referring to the sitting Supreme Court judge.
When asked if this case should be sent by bar councils to the SJC, Mr Sharif said, “[After] what they have done … if this won’t be sent to SJC then what will be?”
Says ‘gang of five’ brought country on the verge of devastation
He quipped that if the case of the judge was not sent to the SJC, maybe his name could be sent. “They can blame me for this as well. Already I am facing so many allegations, a new one won’t make a big difference.”
Mr Sharif also hit out at ‘the gang of five’ for pushing the country into economic and political turmoil.
He named former prime minister Imran Khan, former army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, former ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed and former chief justices Asif Saeed Khosa and Saqib Nisar. “I was trapped in fake cases. This gang of five did this to me and to the country.”
Mr Sharif pinned the blame for the worsening economic situation and the rise in energy and food prices on the group. He said those responsible for bringing the country into darkness should be held accountable.
“If even today there will be no accountability of those who attempted to destroy the country, then it will be a huge injustice,” he said. “These characters can never be forgiven.”
Federal Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar said the audio leaks had exposed the entire system. He said cases as trivial as that of bail were being managed.
He requested PTI not to be in a political mode every time and show seriousness. The minister was responding to the speech made by PTI leader and Opposition Leader Dr Shahzad Wasim in the Senate. “The PTI needs introspection.”
Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal has also sought an investigation into Mr Elahi’s alleged audio.
FIA to probe leaked audio
According to news reports, FIA has been given a go-ahead to probe the issue.
In the three audio clips, the man believed to be Mr Elahi could be heard asking two lawyers to get the Rs460 million corruption case against his former principal secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti fixed before a sitting Supreme Court court judge.
On Friday, Samaa TV, while quoting sources, reported that FIA will conduct a forensic audit of the audio after receiving a green signal from the interior minister.
Abid Zuberi, who allegedly was one of the men Mr Elahi was talking to in a clip, has called the audio leaks “doctored”.
Mr Zuberi, who is also the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) said in a statement, he agreed he had a conversation with Mr Elahi.
“My office is doing a case in the Sindh High Court of a ‘missing person’, one Mr Muhammad Khan Bhatti who was a close aide of Mr Elahi and had a conversation in this regard. This case has nothing to do with any pending proceedings in the Supreme Court,” he added. “This audio also amounts to an attack on the independence of the judiciary,” the statement added.
Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2023