Wants accountability of judges, army
Political stalwart and former Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Javed Hashmi on Wednesday questioned accountability for judges and the military at a press conference here on Wednesday.
Hashmi, who has also been a member of the PML-N, believes the Panama Papers probe appears to be a ploy which seeks to oust Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from power, rather than a way to hold him accountable.
“I believe that Nawaz Sharif should be held accountable. I am the first person to say that accountability should exist. But why just Nawaz Sharif?” Hashmi asked.
Javed Hashmi said conspiracies had reached their peak in the country. Hashmi highlighted sacrifices rendered by politicians and said it was politicians who had lost their lives for the country.
Claiming a plot was afoot to take down Nawaz Sharif’s government, Hashmi alleged PTI Chairman Imran Khan had said that after former CJP Tasadduq Hussain Jilani’s tenure would end, the incoming CJP would “break the government and Parliament”.
“I told Imran this would be martial law, but he claimed that it wouldn’t be martial law because the Supreme Court judges would be doing it,” Hashmi alleged.
“Rigging was the issue earlier, but now it is Panamagate since Imran had to create some form of ruckus. He wanted to topple the government in three months. I told him you cannot do this,” Hashmi claimed, adding that “someone else” had saved Nawaz Sharif’s government from toppling.
“Has any judge been punished? Why are judges not caught for their wrongdoings?” he asked. “Is this justice?”
Javed Hashmi suggested Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign and allow someone else to take his position in the light of Panama case Joint Investigation Team report. Hashmi recommended that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan or Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal could take charge of the PM Office. “Nawaz Sharif never wanted to give me election ticket,” he added. Although politicians are constantly held accountable, Hashmi noted, the same does not apply to the military.
Calling out the army’s “lack of accountability”, he questioned, “Where is Raheel Sharif? The entire country is affected when he moves his finger.” he said.
“We can’t speak about Pervez Musharraf. Can anyone punish him?” he questioned, referring to a pending treason case against the former military ruler.
“The situation is such that if the generals say that this rock is not a rock but a god, the judges and politicians will fall in sajda towards the rock,” he claimed.
“Whenever the time for sacrifice comes, politicians make sacrifices. Politicians, whether it was Bhutto or anyone else, have made sacrifices. Can anyone take the name of the SC judge who was named in the Panama Papers?”
“The joint investigation team is being fed lines and actions,” he alleged. “If I say that I know that Nawaz Sharif has not looted money, I would be lying. It is Nawaz Sharif’s responsibility to satisfy the court that he has not looted any money,” Hashmi said.
“When you have said, ‘This is a Sicilian mafia,’ what else remains? You have decided the verdict yourself,” he said, addressing the judges hearing the Panamagate case. “You are a judge. Judges should act with restraint,” Hashmi said.
“I am saying that the bench, these judges should not hear this case [Panamagate]. They do not have the right,” he asserted.
“I have been through a JIT myself. When I did not even have a house, they said that my house is like the Taj Mahal. Justice Azmat Sheikh and all of them know how these things happen,” he said.
“A Supreme Judicial Council exists but can anything happen against the judges?… Has anyone been punished? What is its [SJC’s] standing? Why does it not catch the judges?” he questioned.
“The Supreme Court has made many mistakes in this country’s history. When the Constitution was broken, the judges did nothing,” he said.
Articles 62 and 63, the Sadiq and Amin clauses, were introduced to the Constitution by former military dictator Gen Ziaul Haq, Hashmi said, “to push opponents out”.
“I think nobody can be Sadiq and Amin other than the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him)… No Supreme Court judge is Sadiq and Amin, no general is Sadiq and Amin, and no politician is Sadiq and Amin.”
“They have included clauses like these which you cannot throw out, and you claim that the Constitution is protected,” he said.
“This could be the last press conference of my career,” Hashmi said at the beginning of the conference.
The veteran political leader advised politicians to tread carefully and claimed that he had never embezzled a single penny while serving as an MNA and minister. “I even sold my house to make ends meet.”
Referring to former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, he said he had fled from the country and was now acting as if he were a king. “We can not even speak about him. Can anyone punish him?”
“The country moves when generals wish it, what is the worth of Nawaz Sharif when compared to them?” The political leader also questioned the status of army chiefs after retirement.
Stressing on the need for accountability of politicians, Hashmi asked if anyone could name the judge who had wealth in Panama.
“Can anyone take his name, can anyone hold him accountable, can anyone ask why he hid money in Panama?” Hashmi, critical of the PTI chairman, said Imran had always required an issue to keep relevant.
“During the sit-in, the issue was rigging, and now he [Imran] has Panama as an issue,” said the veteran politician.
Sheikh Rashid used to please Nawaz Sharif and now he is doing the same to Imran Khan, he said. He said, “Out of all politicians and distinguished names, no one is honest.”
“Appearance of Maryam Nawaz before JIT is no big deal as my wife appeared when untrue cases were registered against me, though she had no relation with politics,” he stated. He complained that democracy is only allowed to function for ten years as only politicians are held accountable, asking why the Supreme Court judge with offshore property has not been held accountable until now.