PML-N leader Shehbaz Sharif started the press conference and explained that its purpose was to present some solid and irrefutable proof in favour of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
The former PM was sentenced to seven years in prison after being convicted by an accountability court in the Al Azizia Steel Mills case.
The PML-N president gave Maryam the floor and said she will present the proof. “It is embarrassing that a man who has served as the nation’s prime minister was convicted on charges of corruption and money laundering,” said Maryam.
It was said that they did not submit any evidence in the case, she said of Nawaz’s defence team. “We gave receipts and evidence but it wasn’t accepted,” she clarified.
Everyone knew this was a conspiracy and not accountability, she remarked. “Nawaz still appeared in court, and for the first time a PM’s daughter was also brought into the case. The verdict was decided even before the cases were filed,” she accused.
“The person who gave the sentence said that Nawaz was treated unjustly. He didn’t give the verdict rather it was handed over to him,” she said. Maryam then proceeded to show a clip of Judge Arshad Malik talking to a person at his house. Judge Malik is the accountability court judge who announced the verdict in the Al Aziza Steel Mills case.
“In the video, the judge can be heard explaining that in order to make any instrument work it is necessary to tighten its screws. You can make any sound come out of the instrument as per your will,” Maryam quoted the judge as saying in the video. She then showed another clip in which Judge Malik allegedly claimed that Nawaz did not commit any corruption.
Maryam claimed that the judge has said that “in this case, there are no allegations of financial corruption, illegal gratification, commissions or kickbacks were received by the accused [Nawaz Sharif] or were paid by any person or department.”
Nasir Butt, the man who recorded the video, is an acquaintance of the judge, she said. “He told Nasir that he has been unjust towards an innocent man. The judge told him that he wants to meet him and give him evidence about his innocence,” she claimed. The judge called Nasir to his house and even sent his car to pick him up, she said.
In the video, the judge showed Nasir a video in which he tells Nasir that he was invited for tea to a place and when he reached, the people who invited him left the room, she said. There was a screen there on which a judge was shown a ‘personal’ video, explained Maryam, adding that the people who invited him came back to the room then and told him there was “no problem, such things happen”. They told him that they will take care of it, she said.
In the video showed by Maryam, she claimed that Nasir asked the judge how they got the video and that it would destroy his life. The judge responded that he had no other option but to commit suicide.
The judge even said that there was no evidence that a single penny has been shifted from Pakistan or that Hussain (Nawaz) embezzled money in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, she said. All three cases were from one pipeline but were treated differently, added Maryam.
“In one case made on the basis of the Supreme Court’s decision, the court acquitted the accused. In the second case he was convicted on the same allegations but awarded seven years imprisonment, in the third case court he was awarded a 10-year sentence,” she quoted the judge as saying.
I have shown you the unadulterated and unedited video of the conversation that occured between Nasir saab and the judge, she said.
You must remember that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s sentence was termed as a “judicial murder”, said Maryam. A judge confessed that he was under pressure but thank God the judge hearing Nawaz’s case realised his mistake sooner, she said.
“I don’t care if I have to suffer personally. But I am willing to do anything for Nawaz saab. I am fighting for the rights of all prime ministers who were made the target of any sort of conspiracy,” she said.
Let the law decide if anyone engaged in corrupt practices, urged Maryam. You can’t manipulate and blackmail judges and force them to commit suicide, she said. “This is what happens behind closed doors,” she added.
During my last press conference, I had promised that I won’t let Nawaz Sharif become another Mohamed Morsi, said Maryam. “After today, I know that my life is also in danger since no one has ever said truth in the country before.” PM Imran Khan says that people shouldn’t call him selected, said Maryam. “You are selected so why shouldn’t we call you that?” she asked.
“The world has seen who plays in collusion with the umpire. Not only have they [the PTI leaders] been playing on an uneven playing field but they have targeted their political rivals too,” she said.
They knew that Nawaz had the support of the people, so they targeted electoral candidates, Maryam claimed. It was the worst type of electoral rigging, she said, adding that all the people with her are being picked on now. “What has Hamza Shahbaz done? What has Shehbaz Sharif?” she demanded.
PM Imran’s obsession with wearing sherwani has brought us all to this situation, she said, referring to the sherwanis he started exclusively wearing once he assumed office. He can’t even prove if his house is legal, said Maryam.
I can present more proof, if you want, she offerred, adding that she is not at war with any institution. The cases against Nawaz should be termed null and void, and he should be acquitted, she said.