The PML-N and PPP on Friday rejected the government’s move to appoint retired Supreme Court judge Azmat Saeed Sheikh as head of the Broadsheet inquiry committee, citing his past affiliation with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as creating a “conflict of interest.”
“Handing over investigations to those who should [themselves] be investigated is the murder of justice. [Prime Minister] Imran Khan, have the courage to tell the nation you need an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance),” said PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb.
The statement said the appointment of the retired judge was a “big fraud” and “controversial” since Justice Sheikh had served as deputy prosecutor general of NAB during the original signing of the Broadsheet agreement and was one of the negotiators in the deal along with being a senior legal officer at the time.
The statement further said Justice Sheikh also served as a member of the board of governors of the Shaukat Khanum Hospital, adding that this showed PM Imran’s “ill-intent” behind handing over the Broadsheet inquiry to him.
“How can the investigation conducted by the former deputy prosecutor general be transparent and fair?” questioned the statement, adding that “being a legal officer, he [Justice Sheikh] had fully understood the document of agreement with Broadsheet.”
Meanwhile, PPP Secretary General Nayyar Bukhari said that the appointment of the former judge had exposed the government’s dishonesty, adding that the purpose of appointing Justice Sheikh was to cast all blame “on the opposition and previous governments”.
He said the PPP was also concerned over the appointment due to the ex-judge’s past affiliation with NAB and the Shaukat Khanum hospital. Investigation of the Broadsheet case under such circumstances is tantamount to “throwing dust in the eyes of the people,” he said in a statement.