Ahmed Noorani, a Pakistani journalist with Fact Focus, has shared an audio clip of a purported phone conversation between former Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar and a judge of an accountability court that was hearing a graft case involving former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz. The voice being attributed to Saqib Nisar in the audio clip mentions that “institutions” want the father-daughter duo to be penalized. According to Fact Focus, ‘institutions’ refers to the Pakistani deep state including rogue elements from the Pak army and the Inter Services Intelligence(ISI).

This has come shortly after the former Chief Justice of Gilgit Baltistan Rana Shamim stated in a notarized affidavit that Saqib Nisar had directed a high court judge to not release the duo on bail before the 2018 general elections in Pakistan. 

 

English translation of the conversation in the audio clip, as published by Fact Focus:

Saqib Nisar: Let me be a little blunt about it; unfortunately, here it is the “institutions” who dictate judgments. In this case, we will have to penalize Mian Sahib. And “they” say “we shall bring Khan Sahib”. Regardless of the merit, we will have to do it, and even to his daughter.

Other person: But, in my view, his daughter doesn’t merit a sentence.

Saqib Nisar: You are absolutely correct. I did talk to “friends” that something be done about this but they did not agree. There will be no independence of the judiciary, so let it be….

 

The report by Fact Focus says that the outlet received the audio clip two months prior to the publication of the news report. According to the media outlet, they had sent the audio clip to Garret Discovery, an American firm specializing in multimedia forensics. As suggested by a snippet of the forensic analysis report included in the news report, the conclusion by the forensic examiner read, “this recording has not been edited in any way.”

Saqib Nisar in his statements to various media outlets has denied the allegations and claimed that the audio clip is fabricated. While speaking to Fact Focus, he said that he never contacted any judge of accountability court to order him to pass any verdict against Nawaz Sharif or his daughter. He further said that no one from the Pakistan Army or the ISI ever contacted him or pressured him on this count.