Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday accused Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz of creating fake videos and leaks to pressurise judiciary, saying that she might be even making videos to control her party leaders.
In the news briefing after the cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, the government spokesperson alleged that PML-N’s former premier Nawaz Sharif and ex-PPP president Asif Ali Zardari used their parties for “money laundering”.
In reference to a recently leaked “fabricated” audio clip of former chief justice of Pakistan, the information minister alleged that “PML-N’s Maryam Nawaz group” had formed teams in the party to make fake video and leaks in an attempt to pressurise judges.
The minister hoped that the judiciary would reject the pressure just like the army generals didn’t succumb when the PML-N started the campaign of “Mujhay kyun nikala” [why was I ousted].
The minister alleged that Maryam was involved in preparing fake clips in the past as well, saying that there was no precedent of the way “Maryam Nawaz group” was behaving.
Whenever the courts took up cases against the Sharif family, such tactics were opted to pressurise the government and courts, he said.
“This issue should not stop here and those involved in this activity should be taken to task,” he added.
He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) strongly condemned this act and hoped that the issue would reach its logical conclusion and the government would follow the courts directives on such matter.
Taking a jibe at the PML-N, he said its leadership should thank the government that now sons of Nawaz Sharif would be able to cast their votes in Pakistan’s elections.
On the PML-N’s demand of a forensic audit of the audio clip, Federal Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar said: "If someone still thinks of the audio clip as not fabricated, then that person should be analysed by a doctor, rather than the analysis of the clip itself."
On Sunday night, journalist Ahmed Noorani had shared the audio clip, claiming that the former CJP had directed his subordinates to send Sharifs to jail “as institutions wanted to bring Imran Khan into power”. Since then, the traditional and social media spaces remained awash with debate over the audio clip.
PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb had said that a US-based firm has verified that the voice in the leaked audio clip matched with the retired CJP’s. However, the former top judge of the country declared it “fabricated”.
However, a private news channel claimed that the alleged remarks had been concocted using chunks of Saqib Nisar's previous statements made on different occasions.
Meanwhile, Noorani said: "Any statement given by anyone in recent times can be matched with the remarks given in the past." Hence, suggestions that the chunks of statements were used to concoct the tape do not make it “fabricated”.
He stated that he didn't hide the audio clip, but released it as per the standard practice, adding that the tape, without further delay, should be checked through forensic to prove whether it was fabricated.
Supporting the narrative, former prime minister and senior PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the government should send the audio for forensic, besides "other measures that it may want, but the fact is that the voice in the clip is of the former chief justice".
"No one has so far said that the voice [in the clip] isn't of the former chief justice," Abbasi told The Express Tribune.
He said that regardless of who made the clip or why, "Nisar should be called in and asked whether or not he made the said remarks".
According to the veteran politician, it was clear that former prime minister Sharif and his daughter were sentenced under a conspiracy.
Nisar, he added, is himself being heard in the clip saying that he had been ordered to send the duo to prison.
"The government's ministers and rented spokespersons will continue to hold pressers on the issue," he said. "The PML-N doesn't have anything to do with [former Gilgit-Baltistan chief justice] Rana Shamim's oath or Nisar's audio, we just demand justice.
"We may be punished if we have fabricated the oath or the clip, but if the oath is correct, then Saqib Nisar must be punished, and if it is wrong, then Rana Shamim should be punished, and if the audio clip is fabricated, then Ahmed Noorani should be taken to book."
Also read: PTI, PML-N bicker over ‘audio clip’
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