Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Mirza Shahzad Akbar has said it is most likely that self-exiled former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the prime suspect in the Rana Shamim Affidavit case, will be made part of the contempt of court proceedings in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
Former Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Chief Judge Rana Mohammad Shamim in his “sealed” affidavit had accused former Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) of trying to manipulate the outcome of a case involving Nawaz Sharif.
The affidavit in question alleged that former CJP Saqib Nisar had made a phone call to a judge of the IHC asking that Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz should not be released from prison until after the 2018 general elections.
Addressing a press conference in Lahore on Friday, the prime minister’s adviser casted doubts over the timing of unveiling or notarizing of the affidavit saying that it clearly indicates ill intentions of the “beneficiaries” who wanted to “influence” the outcome of appeals filed by ex-premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, requesting the IHC to set aside their convictions in corruption references.
“The timing of notarizing and submission the affidavit was to influence (outcome) of a case pending before the IHC and giving a message to judiciary that they (beneficiaries) could go to any extent to pressurize the senior judges,” he said, adding the time has changed now and the Sharif family can no longer subdue institutions like they had been doing in 90s.
While citing contents of an investigative report of a London-based journalist which was published in an esteemed Pakistani English-language daily, the PM’s aide said it has been proven that the Sharif family “gang” had hatched a conspiracy against the judiciary which was evident from the forensic evidence against Charles D Guthrie – the London-based solicitor who had notarised Shamim’s affidavit.
According to Akbar, the assertion of PML-N has been proven wrong that former GB chief judge Rana Shamim had recorded his statement before the notary public after listening to the voice of his conscience. “I have heard senior PML-N leaders, including Rana Sanaullah and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, emphasizing that it doesn’t matter where the affidavit was signed, but actually it does because it was a ‘conspiracy’,” he added.
As per the revelations of the forensic report, Shahzad Akbar said that Charles Guthrie admitted that the affidavit was notarised in the office of Nawaz Sharif in Stanhope Place at Marble Arch, London. Moreover, Guthrie also confessed that he had been notarizing medical reports of the ex-PM, he added.
“Secondly, Guthrie said everyone was cheering up after notarizing of the affidavit which he hadn’t read,” Shahzad said, adding that Charles further disclosed in the audiotape that the PML-N leaders assured Rana Shamim of appointing him on a top slot when they will come into power in return of this “favour”. “It is imperative to note here that no denial of the forensic has come to fore both from the house of Sharifs and Charles Guthrie.”
He said the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) was actively perusing the case before the IHC and he will uncover the role of all “characters”, including prime suspect Nawaz Sharif, in days to come. “The time of Sharif doctrine has passed and we are well-aware of the fact how they are trying to influence their cases, but we are fully vigilant and will continue to expose them,” he maintained.
Responding to a query, the PM’s aide disclosed that to provide speedy justice to the people, the federal law ministry is bringing amendments to the criminal procedure code (CrPC) and the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). “After the proposed amendments to the CrPC, a trial conference will be called in which the details of a case will be reviewed before setting a timeline for the conclusion of the trials,” he said.
When asked about a systematic and planned campaign behind circulation of rumours about imposition of some kind of an emergency in the country and ongoing talks on social and mainstream media in favour of presidential form of government, the PM’s adviser denied the role of the government in it and accused seasoned journalists of running this campaign on their YouTube channels.
This report was first published in Business Recorder on Jan 22, 2022.