Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that an attempt was made to tarnish the image of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) through an affidavit, which alleged that former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar had attempted to manipulate judicial proceedings against ex-premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz.
Speaking in the National Assembly on Friday, Qureshi said that it was stated in the affidavit that the former CJP had issued orders to the subordinate judges.
He questioned the motive behind the affidavit which he said came to light after three years through a story that was published in a newspaper.
The minister said that it was surprising that the judge who had been alleged in the affidavit was not part of that bench.
“The authenticity of the fact can be judged from the fact,” he added. “All of us should take notice of this, this is a dangerous matter.”
He said facts were before the public as to where the affidavit was notarized and in whose presence. He said an audiotape also came to the light that later proved fraudulent.
“On the one hand, everyone is calling for the independence of the judiciary, but they do entirely the opposite to it,” he said.
Highlighting the achievement in the foreign policy domain, Qureshi said the present government had given a new direction from geopolitics to geoeconomics for the welfare of people.
He said the country’s economy has now touched a 5.37 per cent growth rate regardless of the contraction caused by COVID-19 to the international economies.
About the depreciation of rupees against the dollar, he said the currency of various countries — including Turkey, Argentina Colombia, Japan and the European Union — had depreciated due to international factors.
He said according to a survey of the World Bank, Pakistan’s agriculture sector is growing by 3.3 per cent. He said the country’s exports and remittances also hit record levels, while the statistics show that per capita income was also on the rise.
The foreign minister said despite a gas shortage, urea production has witnessed an increase, adding that the government was providing urea to the farmers at much lower rates than the international market and warned that action would be taken against those hoarding the commodity.
Qureshi also condemned Thursday’s blast in Lahore, saying that some anti-peace forces were playing the spoiler role to disrupt Pakistan’s economic stability.
Meanwhile, taking over the floor of the National Assembly, PML-N Secretary-General Ahsan Iqbal said judging by the foreign minister’s speech, it seems like he works for every other ministry except for his own.
“It felt like Qureshi was giving an interview to someone during his speech […] I saw Shaukat Tarin, Dr Hafeez Sheikh, and some others in Shah Mahmood,” he said.
The PML-N leader said the foreign minister had to tell the house about the students who are stranded in Pakistan and want to go back to China for their studies– and the foreign minister did not answer.