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Saqib Nisar’s audio clip has Imran Khan cornered. Pakistanis don’t know who to trust

An audio clip of Nisar purportedly instructing former PM Sharif and his daughter to be put in jail has been made public and Pakistanis are enraged.

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New Delhi: An audio clip has emerged in Pakistani media that has people questioning their faith in the judiciary and former chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar. People are debating if mysterious “institutions” did indeed dictate that Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, be sent to jail months before the 2018 elections that brought Imran Khan to power. The incriminating evidence has dealt another blow to PM Khan and his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

Ahmad Noorani, a reporter with Fact Focus, broke the story with the headline: “Saqib Nisar CJ ordered Nawaz jailed as ‘institutions’ wanted Imran in power”.

The audio, which has been made public by Noorani, had recordings of Nisar purportedly passing instructions to put former PM Sharif and his daughter in jail to a judge. The clip was first accessed by Fact Focus — a portal for factual, data-driven investigative stories to empower Pakistani citizens — two months ago and was sent for examination of authenticity.

The audio was forensically examined by Garrett Discovery, a leading American firm specialising in multimedia forensics. The Fact Focus report said that the firm’s analysis certified the integrity of the audio file and stated that “this audio has not been edited in any way”.

Former chief justice Nisar, speaking to Geo News on Sunday, denied the allegations, saying the audio was fabricated. When contacted by Fact Focus, he said that he had never contacted any judge of accountability court to order him to pass any verdict against Nawaz Sharif or his daughter. “Why I would do that. I have no grudges against Mian Nawaz Sharif”, he said. He added that no one from the Pakistan Army or the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) ever contacted him or pressured him on this count.

According to Fact Focus, the conversation, after translation, reads:

Nisar: “Let me be a little blunt about it; unfortunately, here it is the ‘institutions’ who dictate judgments. In this case, we will have to penalize Mian Sahib. And ‘they’ say we shall bring Khan Sahib. Regardless of the merit, we will have to do it, and even to his daughter”.

To which, the other person responds, “But, in my view, his daughter doesn’t merit a sentence”.

Nisar then adds, “You are absolutely correct. I did talk to ‘friends’ that something be done about this but they did not agree. There will be no independence of the judiciary, so let it be…”


Also Read: Dear Pakistanis, don’t get swayed by Nawaz Sharif. Think of all I do for PM Imran Khan


Demand for judicial inquiry

The news led to the trending of #SaqibNisarExposed on Pakistani Twitter.

Pakistan’s former minister for Interior & Planning and Secretary-General of Pakistan Muslim League (N), Ahsan Iqbal, said that Nisar had to “explain his position” after the clip exposed an “open secret in Islamabad”.

Tahir Bhatti, who claims to be the Vice President of PML-N’s Social Media Wing, called for a “treason case” to be registered against Nisar. Researcher and columnist Mian Mujeeb UR Rehman, similarly called for “dreadful punishment”.

Journalist and anchor Hamid Mir took to Twitter saying that “the current Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad must initiate a judicial inquiry in this case”, while columnist and anchor Saleem Safi mockingly wrote, “The judiciary is completely independent”.


Also Read: Pakistan Army can’t risk controversy with Nawaz Sharif, sacrificing Imran Khan easier


Nisar’s open support of Imran Khan

The revelation also had Pakistani media pointing out how Nisar was open about his support for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Twitter user Mubeen Memon posted a video of Nisar presenting Imran Khan an “honorary shield”.

Another Geo TV journalist Murtaza Ali Shah shared an old clip of former Samaa TV journalist Syed Kousar Kazmi asking Nisar “how he would respond to people who are slamming him for openly siding with a political party despite being the country’s chief justice”.

In fact, many took the speculation further, asking why Nisar was seen accepting flowers from a “multi billionaire property investor” and where he sourced the “2.5 crore” spent on his “daughter weedings [sic]”.

 

The clip and Fact Focus report was released after an explosive report by Pakistani journalist Ansar Abbasi earlier this month, where he alleged that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were deliberately put in jail to help PTI’s Imran Khan win the election in 2018.

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