Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday said that the Supreme Court had not declared Imran Khan “sadiq and ameen” (truthful and honest) unreservedly and in all aspects of his conduct in its 2017 verdict in favour of the PTI chief.

In December 2017, Nisar, who was heading the top court at the time, had rejected PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi’s petition for Imran’s disqualification on allegation of not declaring their assets to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The verdict was seen as an endorsement of Imran’s character by the then Supreme Court bench and worn as a proverbial badge of honour by the PTI chief.

However, in an exclusive conversation with Dawn News, the former top judge said that the verdict did not cover all aspects of Imran’s conduct, clarifying that the judgment was in the context of only that particular case.

Nisar also acknowledged that he may have erred in some of his judgments during his time as chief justice of the apex court. When asked about which judgements he was referring to, he responded by saying that he was a human being and that human beings make mistakes.

He also took exception to the claim made by Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman wherein he claimed the ex-CJP and former spymaster Lt Gen Faiz Hameed were “lobbying” for the PTI chief.

He appeared to be dejected at the assertion and said he was trying to get in touch with the JUI-F chief. He said that nothing of the sort had happened.

Asked whether he was denying the allegation that he was “lobbying” for Imran, Nisar responded by saying that he was not in contact with the PTI chief.

Talking about the former spymaster, he said that the contact between them was reserved to Lt Gen Hameed messaging him to ask about how he was doing.

The ex-CJP was also asked about whether his WhatsApp account was “hacked”, to which Nisar responded in the affirmative. He suspected that his data was being misused.

It is pertinent to mention that Nisar’s remarks come after several politicians, including PML-N’s Maryam Nawaz, have accused the former CJP of “conspiring” against Nawaz and propping up Imran.

In November 2021, Nisar was also the centre of a controversy after an investigative report by The News quoted a former Gilgit-Baltistan chief justice as saying in an affidavit that he witnessed Nisar relaying instructions to a high court judge to not release Maryam and Nawaz in the corruption references against them. Nisar had rubbished the report at the time and in 2022, the former GB judge completely disowned the affidavit and withdrew from its contents.

Day after the investigative report was published, an audio clip had also surfaced, purportedly of a conversation between Nisar and an unidentified man regarding Nawaz and Maryam’s trial. In the alleged clip, the ex-CJP purportedly said that Nawaz would have to be “punished”. However, Nisar had termed the audio clip “fabricated” and said that he had “never spoken to the person in the audio call”.

Panama verdict

Regarding a question on how former army chief Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa allegedly told journalists that the former CJP was used to disqualify PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif in the Panama case and how Nisar was under pressure from Gen Hameed, he responded: “I will first confirm this with Gen Bajwa whether he has said this. If he has said this then it is inappropriate.

“I completely reject this allegation. How can Gen Hameed pressurise me?”

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