Pakistan: Judge accuses ISI of manipulating proceedings

By Islamuddin Sajid

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA) – A senior judge in Pakistan on Saturday accused the country’s top spy agency of being involved in “manipulating the judicial proceedings” in the country.

“ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] officials approached my chief justice and told him ‘We will not let Nawaz Sharif and his daughter get out of jail prior to the general elections’,” claimed Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court in his speech at Rawalpindi Bar Association.

On July 6, a Pakistani court had handed a 10-year jail term to Sharif and imposed an 8 million pound ($10.58 million) fine in a graft case linked to the illegal purchase of four luxury apartment in London in 1993.

His daughter Maryam Nawaz and her husband Safdar were sentenced to seven years and one year in jail, respectively.

The authorities arrested Sharif and his daughter at Lahore airport after return from London and sent them to Adiala jail on July 13.

On Monday, Sharif’s counsel filed an appeal in Islamabad High Court against the accountability court’s verdict. The court accepted the appeals but it has not fixed the date of hearing yet.

Siddiqui claimed officials of the spy agency asked the chief justice of Islamabad High Court to not include him in the bench hearing Sharif’s appeal.

The judge is currently facing a trial in a reference of misconduct in the Supreme Judicial Council, the body which holds inquiries into allegations of incapacity or misconduct against judges of Supreme Court or a high court.

Inter Services Public Relations, the media wing of Pakistan army, has not yet responded to the allegations.