ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday announced to frame charges against a former Gilgit-Baltistan chief judge — among other suspects — on January 7 in a case pertaining to a news report on an affidavit accusing former chief justice Saqib Nisar of bias against members of the Sharif family.
Rana Muhammad Shamim, long-associated with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), in November claimed in the document notarized in London that Nisar did not want deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz to be released on bail ahead of the general elections in July 2018.
The two were convicted in a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reference related to their ownership of four multi-million-dollar London apartments weeks before the elections on July 25. When their counsels moved the high court for suspension of the conviction, the case was adjourned until the last week of July.
In the last hearing, the high court announced to open the sealed affidavit on December 28 (today). The document was sent from London through a mail courier and received here reportedly on December 19.
Today, Shamim opened the original document on the IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah’s order. Before he did so, the judge asked him if the document was the retired judge’s affidavit and whether he had sealed it himself to which Shamim responded in the affirmative.
Justice Minallah then directed to provide copies of the affidavit to Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan.
According to the contents of the document, made public in a story published in The News, Nisar had travelled to the mountainous region of Gilgit-Baltistan for vacations ahead of the elections. On one occasion, he appeared “very disturbed” while speaking to the Supreme Court registrar on the phone, asking him to get in touch with an unnamed judge of the IHC.
Once able to get in touch with the said judge, Nisar ordered him that “Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz Sharif must remain in jail until the general elections are over”.
“On assurances from the other side, he [Nisar] became calm and happily demanded another cup of tea,” Shamim claimed.
Shamim, reporter Ansar Abbasi, The News Editor Aamir Ghouri and Jang Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mir Shakeel ur-Rehman are now facing a contempt of court case in the court of Justice Minallah.
More details to follow