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SC issues contempt of court notices to Daniyal Aziz and Talal Chaudhry

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The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan has issued contempt of court notices to PML-N leaders Daniyal Aziz and Talal Chaudhry. Both leaders are ministers in the current federal government of PML-N. Daniyal Aziz is the Federal Minister of Privatization while Talal Chaudhry is the Minister of State for Interior Affairs.

On Friday, the SC issued a notice of contempt to Daniyal Aziz over contemptuous speeches and statements made by the minister against the judiciary on different television talk shows. He is summoned to appear before the SC on 7th February.

These contempt cases have the potential to isolate Nawaz Sharif and he might be following the footsteps of Altaf Hussain according to some analysts.

The SC summoned Talal Chaudhry on Thursday for contemptuous speeches made by him against the judiciary during the PML-N’s Jaranwala rally. While addressing a public gathering in Jaranwala on 27th January, Chaudhry had said, “There was a time when the Kaabah was filled with idols and now the judiciary, the country’s highest institution, is also full of PCO [Provisional Constitution Order] idols.” Chaudhry was ordered to appear before the SC on 6th February.

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Earlier on Wednesday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had issued contempt notices to former premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, over a petition filed by Advocate Azhar Siddiqui.

The petition accused Nawaz, Maryam and Sanaullah of using derogatory and threatening language against the judiciary during the 27th January Jaranwala rally held by the PML-N. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) is also a party in the petition for allowing TV channels to run the contemptuous remarks.

Political experts are of the opinion that Nawaz Sharif’s days in politics are numbered and most politicians wouldn’t like going down with him and ruining their career so it is very likely that some big names in PML-N might jump ship and join another party.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had also issued a contempt of court notice to Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz on 29th January after receiving multiple petitions against them. The petition claimed that Nawaz and Maryam had committed contempt of court in the Kot Momin rally and in Punjab house. PEMRA is also a part of the IHC petition.

Yesterday, the SC had sentenced PML-N senator Nehal Hashmi to one month in prison and fined him Rs. 50,000 for his remarks against the judiciary in May last year. Hashmi was also disqualified from holding public office for 5 years. Even though Hashmi had already been expelled from the PML-N last year, his punishment was criticized by the PML-N leadership.

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Political analysts believe that the Supreme Court of Pakistan has finally produced its trump card, which appeared to be lost for the past year. PML-N had launched a diatribe against the superior judiciary after Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification in the 28th July 2017 Panama Paper’s case but the judiciary didn’t take any notice against them even after multiple petitions urging the SC to take notice of contempt of court.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had issued contempt notices to former premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, over a petition filed by Advocate Azhar Siddiqui.

It was a popular belief among media and political circles that the SC is compensating Nawaz Sharif after his disqualification by not taking notice of his breaches regarding contempt of court. The recent notice of contempt by the SC against two very close aides of Nawaz Sharif appears to be a sign that SC’s patience has dwindled.

Read more: Nawaz versus Shahbaz: A battle for influence within PML-N

The experts believe that Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz will be next in line in the contempt of court cases if they don’t acknowledge the warning and continue their attacks against the judiciary. The contempt cases against Daniyal Aziz and Talal Chaudhry are likely to cause anxiety within PML-N circles.

Political experts are of the opinion that Nawaz Sharif’s days in politics are numbered and most politicians wouldn’t like going down with him and ruining their career so it is very likely that some big names in PML-N might jump ship and join another party. These contempt cases have the potential to isolate Nawaz Sharif and he might be following the footsteps of Altaf Hussain according to some analysts.

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