Pakistan News

Presiding judge removed, but Nawaz still in jail, Said Khwaja Asif

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Asif on Tuesday said former prime minsiter Nawaz Sharif was languishing in jail in the Al-Azizia case despite the fact that the presiding judge was removed after questions were raised over the case in the wake of a leaked video.


Speaking in the National Assembly on Tuesday, Khawja Asif while referring to the removal of accountability court judge Arshad Malik over the video leak scandal said that the judge was removed but Nawaz Sharif still remains in prison.


“The video of a judge came forward and questions were raised over his judgment. There was a hearing in the Supreme Court today. I don’t want to comment too much on this issue as it is being heard by the court. I respect and have faith in the courts and the judicial process. The judge was removed but Nawaz Sharif remains in prison,” he said.


The PML-N leader asserted that there was no allegation of corruption against Nawaz Sharif.


Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the attorney general and asked for recommendations in the video scandal case of Judge Arshad Malik as it adjourned the hearing until July 23.


The lawmaker also brought House’s attention to Rana Sanaullah’s arrest on alleged drugs possession. He said. According to ANF officials, a large quantity of drugs was recovered from Sanaullah’s car at the time of the arrest.


“Mr Speaker, if you read the first information report, it is ridiculous,” Asif quipped, adding: “It says that he (Sanaullah) turned around and picked up 20 kilogrammes of heroin; does he look like he can lift 20kgs?” he asked.


“A man who has been an MPA, an MNA; who is a lawyer; who was subjected to the worst kind of torture in 2002-03 […] has been accused of carrying heroin,” Asif said, adding that Sanaullah had told the PML-M not to ask for his production orders.


“You should carry out accountability; we will stand by you. But it should be even-handed. Justice should not be compromised.”


‘Rana Sanaullah shouldn’t play politics’

Responding to the PML-N leader, Minister for Narcotics Shehryar Afridi said that the ANF had “complete evidence” to prove charges levelled against the PML-N leader.


He claimed Sanaullah was caught “red-handed after three weeks of surveillance” by the ANF. He said the evidence, including video footage, will be produced in court. “Rana Sanaullah should not play politics [over this]. He should face the courts,” he said.


Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader and former PM Raja Pervez Ashraf, while speaking about the hefty award of $5.976 billion announced by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes against Pakistan in the Reko Diq case, said that no politician could be blamed for the dispute.


He accused former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry of passing a verdict in the case to “assuage his ego”. He said that the terms of reference of the commission, that is to be formed on the prime minister’s directions, should be finalised and approved by the parliament.

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