News Analysis |
Veteran politician Javed Hashmi on Wednesday addressed an unexpected press conference in Multan and questioned the lack of accountability for jurists and generals.
Hashmi who was long associated with PML-N before joining (and later leaving) Imran Khan’s PTI said the Panama Case is apparently a ploy to throw him out of power. he felt that it was less about accountability.”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.
While the jubilant opposition is demanding the PM to resign, the government is defiant with its ministers calling it a conspiracy.
The report of the JIT probing the Panama Case has leveled direct, serious and grave allegations against the PM and his family.While the jubilant opposition is demanding the PM to resign, the government is defiant with its ministers calling it a conspiracy.
Hashmi alluded to such apprehensions. He said that plans to topple the government are afoot.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.
Hashmi, who had left PTI during the peak of the sit-in in 2014 further said that plans to end the government were old.”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.
Justice not being done
Hashmi raised doubts on the bench and the JIT that it instituted. Besides lamenting that judges are not held to account, he said expressed his reservations regarding the probe. He alleged that JIT is being fed with lines and actions.
“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.
“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.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,” he said.
Hashmi further said that the bench has no right to hear this case.”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.
At a time when the judges are being looked up to deliver justice, in this case, these remarks may go on affect the case and the likely reaction to a possible decision against the incumbent premier.
He said that the apex court has made many mistakes in the past and that the Sadiq and Ameen clauses were inducted by General Zia to topple governments.
“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.”At a time when the judges are being looked up to deliver justice, in this case, these remarks may go on affect the case and the likely reaction to a possible decision against the incumbent premier.
The military bogey
Javed Hashmi in his customary style came down hard on the military establishment. He said that politicians have been held to account invariably but the military has evaded accountability.
He said that generals are not punished and sacrifices are only rendered by the politicians.”Where is Raheel Sharif? The entire country is affected when he moves his finger.We can’t speak about Pervez Musharraf. Can anyone punish him?” he said.
Inkling towards the preponderance of the military he said “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.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?”
It is interesting to note that Javed Hashmi has remained politically dormant since 2014. His coming all guns blazing at a critical juncture of the Panama Case. There are fewer buyers of government’s assertions which term this as a conspiracy.
The damning report of the JIT and the lack of corroborating evidence rendered by the Sharif family makes this a tough pill to swallow. Discrediting judges may just go in the favor of the beleaguered family.This will come to the fore in the next few days, which may prove to define the future of the Sharifs.