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Pak govt set for confrontation with judiciary

Published : Aug 20, 2017, 5:38 am IST
Updated : Aug 20, 2017, 5:39 am IST

National assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq prepared a reference against SC Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.

Ousted Pak PM Nawaz Sharif waves to his supporters during a rally in Muridke, Pakistan. (Photo: AP/File)
 Ousted Pak PM Nawaz Sharif waves to his supporters during a rally in Muridke, Pakistan. (Photo: AP/File)

Islamabad: The ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) led government is set to enter a new phase of confrontation with the judiciary and the accountability watchdog — the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) — after the ouster of Nawaz Sharif as the Prime Minister.

Mr Sharif has also been removed as the PML-N chief after the disqualification. Sardar Yqoob Nasar has replaced him as the acting party President.

Officials said National assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq had prepared a reference against Supreme Court Justice Asif Saeed Khosa citing alleged bias. The Speaker will file this reference under Article 209 in the Supreme Judicial Council.

 The reference reads: “Unfortunately Justice Asif Saeed Khosa in his judgment dated 20th April, 2017 has attributed failure on the part of the Speaker to inquire into or to investigate the matter or to refer the matter to the Election Commission of Pakistan against respondent No. 1.”

The reference adds: “That the Speaker of the National Assembly was elected by majority vote of the House comprising of members from both Treasury and the Opposition and to label him as nominee or loyalist of Prime Minister is a mis-statement and contrary to facts.”

 “This clearly smacks of personal grudge or bias of the Judge,” wrote Mr Sadiq in the reference.

“The Judge through his conduct has also tarnished the noble image and reputation enjoyed by the judiciary in Pakistan and comity of nations,” he alleged. Justice Khosa was member of five-member larger bench in Panama leaks case, which ousted former PM Nawaz Sharif in its final judgment.

In his verdict Justice Khosa wrote that, as Speaker’s office did not fulfill its duties hence the applications regarding Panama Leaks were taken up by the court.  Meanwhile, NAB is mulling to take unilateral action against Nawaz Sharif if he continued to remain absent, sources said.

Officials said the non-appearance of ousted premier and his sons was also a contempt of court. NAB has clarified that the notices were received by the security staff of Sharif family.

NAB has also decided to record the statements of the members of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) before filing the reference against the Sharif family. Sources have revealed that a petition has also been submitted in the Supreme Court in this regard.

Nawaz Sharif and his sons Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz were on Friday summoned by NAB to appear in Lahore office to record their statements in Azizia Steel Mills case, but they did not do so.

On July 28, a five-judge larger bench of the Supreme Court while disqualifying Nawaz Sharif under Article 62(1)( f) of the constitution had asked NAB to file four references in the Rawalpindi accountability court within six weeks on the basis of the material collected and referred to by the JIT as well as the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and NAB.

Tags: national accountability bureau, nawaz sharif, panama leaks