Pak govt acting like ‘Sicilian Mafia’, says SC judge

A judge hitting gavel with paper at wooden table. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Pakistan government on Thursday earned the ire of a Supreme Court judge who likened it to ‘Sicilian Mafia’ after a lawmaker of the ruling PML-N made “threatening remarks” against judges and the investigators probing graft allegations against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Senator Nehal Hashmi in a speech threatened those creating trouble for the family of Sharif who is facing a high-level probe for alleged syphoning off money to buy properties in London.

“Listen! You ask the son of Nawaz Sharif to submit his account detail. Who are you to ask him his account details? We are the workers of Nawaz Sharif. We will make an example of those who hold us accountable,” Hashmi told an audience this week in the short video clip.

It has been interpreted as direct threat to judges and a team of investigators probing Sharif and his sons.

The court yesterday took suo moto notice of the threat and today held its hearing.

The three-member panel headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan expressed strong displeasure at the “threatening remarks” used by the lawmaker and directed him submit a written response by June 5.

Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh, a member of the bench, said the incumbent government was acting like “the Sicilian Mafia, which would threaten judges”.

The court also observed that a systematic campaign was being run by the government against judges of the apex court and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

It also appointed Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali as prosecutor and directed him to collect material related to the case.

The court rejected a plea by Ali seeking a ban on talk shows about Panama case and JIT probing Sharif’s family.

PML-N has distanced itself from Hashmi’s remarks and issued him a show cause notice for the outburst.

He has also resigned from Senate after facing criticism.

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