ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Sunday took a jibe at accountability court judge Arshad Malik over what she termed his helplessness in signing an ‘already drafted’ press release, in which the latter had refuted the controversial claims made by her in a press conference a day earlier.
“To the honorable judge who passed a verdict against his conscience after being subjected to blackmailing and coercion: I can understand that you must have signed on an already drafted press release under compulsion like the verdict. Thank you very much! You have attested the evidence by not denying the video. The rest to be revealed in Mandi Bahauddin…,” Maryam said on Twitter earlier in the day.
Meanwhile, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb has also said that judge Malik did not deny the conversation recorded on tape had taken place and asked why, if he had faced pressure from Sharif’s camp, he had not reported it previously. “Why did he not report to the Supreme Court supervisory judge about threats, bribes and blackmail?” she told reporters.
In the said press release, the judge had said the video was contrary to facts and reality. “It was an attempt to discredit me and my judgments by piecing together snippets of conversations on different topics and at different times.”
He also accused the PML-N leadership of offering him bribes and trying to pressure him ahead of the December 24 Al-Azizia reference verdict against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He also alleged that the party leadership “had gone as far as threatening him to deliver a verdict in Nawaz’s favour”.
Malik clarified his stance and confirmed that the deposed premier was found guilty on the basis of evidence.
Speaking to the media in Islamabad, Aurangzeb demanded the chief justice of Pakistan to take notice of the whole episode. She said those who issue verdicts do not issue clarifications, urging all those involved not to make the matter controversial furthermore.
The PML-N spokesperson claimed the party had more ‘irrefutable evidence’, which would be made public on an appropriate time and forum.
She said Malik’s press release had further authenticated ‘facts’ presented during Saturday’s news conference. “The honourable judge has raised serious questions over himself by not confronting Nawaz Sharif and his daughter [on alleged bribes and pressure tactics] while they were appearing in hearings before the court on a daily basis,” she remarked.
Today’s rebuttal would turn the matter even more controversial, said Aurangzeb, adding that the chief justice and Supreme Court’s supervisory judge must take notice of the issue. She also demanded that forensic audit of the conversation recorded on tape must be carried out to confirm its authenticity.
“Like before, we still believe that the judge in question is innocent and he should not become a party in this issue,” said the PML-N leader.
She said the video contained all evidence and names of those involved and hoped that the apex court would take notice so that the facts can be ascertained.