News Desk |
Former Senator Nehal Hashmi has been released from Adiala jail on Wednesday after completion of his one-month sentence awarded to him by the Supreme Court (SC) in a contempt of court case. Speaking to the media outside the jail, Hashmi said that this was the height of oppression. “Conspirators! Nothing is in your hands,” he said and declared National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as the most corrupt institution in the country.
Hashmi lamented that prisons were filled with, “75-year-old men, people who needed by-pass surgery and those targeted by NAB.” When asked about whether he had any remorse for his actions, he said, “Only a fraud, thief or a person who took undue advantage of power would be embarrassed”. The PML-N leader further stated that he stood by what he said earlier and declared the SC’s decision to disqualify him as an act of revenge for standing by Nawaz Sharif.
The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan on 1st February sentenced Senator Nehal Hashmi to one month in prison, 50,000 rupees fine and barred him from holding public office for the next five years, in the contempt of court case against the former PML-N member. A three member bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Dost Mohammad gave the verdict.
Hashmi submitted an unconditional apology to the SC for his remarks but the SC rejected his apology and reserved its judgment on the case.
On 28th May 2017, Hashmi had made an incendiary speech in a private gathering against the joint investigation team (JIT) formed by the SC to probe into the Panama Papers case. He threatened to make the lives of the people miserable that held Nawaz Sharif accountable. After his speech, on May 31st, the SC took suo moto notice of the issue and summoned Hashmi.
The PML-N had expelled Hashmi from their party for his remarks against the judiciary and JIT on 12th June 2017. Nehal Hashmi also tendered his resignation to the Senate for his remarks but he later withdrew it. On 24th January, Hashmi submitted an unconditional apology to the SC for his remarks but the SC rejected his apology and reserved its judgment on the case.
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Hashmi further stated that he had filed a review petition in the SC against the contempt of court decision on the same day that the verdict was announced, and even though a month had passed, the case had not been heard yet.
He later thanked the media for their support even though he had condemned the media for exaggerating his statements. The unconditional apology given by him to the SC has also lost its weight now since he has announced that he has no remorse.
Nawaz Sharif on the on the other hand has continued propagating his anti-judiciary rhetoric. While addressing a rally in Kot Momin today, Sharif iterated that there had been contempt against the votes of millions of people and the sanctity of the vote has been reduced to nothing. He pointed out that Imran Khan, who had filed the Panamagate case against him, had also declared the decision ‘weak’ so what was it worth now.
The release of Nehal Hashmi is expected to add new vigor to Nawaz’s anti-judicial tirade. Contempt of court cases are also going on against two other PML-N members, Daniyal Aziz and Tallal Chaudhry. They will also be encouraged by Nehal’s release and continue their attacks on the SC. The question at hand is that whether the new PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif will endorse his brother’s confrontational politics, as it would put the future of the whole PML-N on the line. The SC might also take another notice against Hashmi for his statements outside Adiala jail.