Saturday Nov 27 2021

IHC moved to form commission to probe alleged Nisar audio leak, allegations against judiciary

The Islamabad High Court building and former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar. — IHC/Reuters/File
The Islamabad High Court building and former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar. — IHC/Reuters/File
  • Plea calls for probe of audiotape, other allegations against courts.
  • Says audiotape allegedly featuring Saqib Nisar "damaged judiciary's integrity".
  • Probe crucial to restoring masses' trust in the country's courts: plea.

A plea has been submitted in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking the formation of a commission to investigate an audio leak allegedly involving former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar and other allegations against the judiciary, Geo News reported Saturday.

Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA) President Salahuddin Ahmed and member judicial commission Syed Haider Imam Rizvi are the two individuals to have moved the court.

The law secretary and secretaries of all the four provinces — Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — have been made parties in the case.

In the petition, Ahmed and Rizvi said after the audio leak, a perception was created that the judiciary appears to operate "under pressure from external powers". Therefore, it is crucial to determine whether the audiotape is authentic or not.

"The audiotape has damaged the judiciary's integrity and raised important questions over the judiciary's independence. It is important to revive the people's trust in an independent and non-partisan judiciary," the plea said.

The plea said that an independent commission, comprising well-respected retired judges, lawyers, journalists, and civil society members, should be set up to probe allegations against the judiciary as well as the leaked audiotape.

The leak

Last week, an audiotape allegedly featuring Nisar was leaked in which the ex-CJP purportedly told another person that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz would have to be punished to make space for Prime Minister Imran Khan in politics.

Nisar, soon after the audio clip was released, denied its authenticity.

In the audio clip, he could allegedly be heard saying that even though there are no cases against Maryam Nawaz, she would still have to be punished.

Who 'pressured' Nisar?

In a detailed press conference on Wednesday, Maryam demanded answers from the former chief justice, asking him to come forth and tell the nation who "pressured" him and whom it was that he "could not refuse" regarding her conviction and that of her father in the Avenfield apartments reference.

The PML-N leader, in a press conference, said that when Nisar was asked what he plans on doing about the allegations against him, he said he is "not mad to pursue the matter in court".

Maryam, addressing the former CJP, said: "Whether today, or tomorrow, you will have to tell the nation the truth. There is still time. Come forth, tell the nation who pressured you to sentence Nawaz Sharif if it was unwarranted? Who pressured you to sentence Maryam Nawaz, if it was without merit. And who told you that Imran Khan needs to be brought to power?"