A judge of the Islamabad High Court has alleged that Pakistan’s ISI is making attempts to influence judicial proceedings and general elections in the neighbouring country. According to Pakistan-based Dawn News, the High Court judge said that the security agency wanted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam to remain in jail till the elections in the country, scheduled for July 25, got over.
The report said that the remarks were made by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui during an event organised by the Rawalpindi District Bar Association. He was quoted as saying that the ISI is involved in “manipulating judicial proceedings” and also forming court benches at its will.
Justice Siddiqui further said that the ISI had asked Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi that they do not want Nawaz and Maryam out of prison before elections. They also asked the Chief Justice to keep Siddiqui out of the bench hearing the Avenfield case.
The judge was also quoted as saying that Pakistan judiciary is in the control of “those with guns”. Notably, the same judge had alleged the role of the Pakistan Army in a major protest/sit-in organised by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Rawalpindi in 2017.
Both Nawaz and Maryam are currently lodged in Adiala jail in Rawalpindi following conviction in the Avenfield properties case. They were arrested soon after they arrived in Lahore from London via UAE.
Nawaz’s brother and Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif had earlier alleged that the former prime minister was not provided even basic facilities inside the jail. Alleging that the father-daughter duo were being treated like terrorists, he had claimed that Nawaz was given newspapers and made to use a dilapidated toilet.
Earlier reports also said that Maryam had refused to get additional facilities in the prison. The bail plea of Nawaz and Maryam were last week rejected by the Islamabad High Court.