LAHORE/ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR - Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday lashed out at the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial for favouring Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended the sentence awarded to him in the Toshakhana case.
In his message on X, formerly Twitter, the former premier also wrote that the IHC had been influenced by the apex court's leniency toward the PTI chief. "The 'favourite's' sentence has been suspended, not terminated.
"Chief Justice's message of 'Good to see you and 'Wishing you good luck' reached Islamabad High Court. If everyone knows what the decision will be before the decision comes, it should be a moment of concern for the justice system," the former premier wrote.
He further stated that when a “clear message” was received from the higher judiciary, the subordinate court would follow suit. “A monitoring judge was appointed to ensure Nawaz Sharif’s punishment, [and now] the chief justice himself [has become] a monitoring judge to save the ‘favourite’,” he wrote, slamming the courts for giving Khan relief. Taking issue with the overturning of the sentence, Shehbaz’s tweet further read: “This role of the justice system will be written as the dark chapter of history. Scales tilted to one side and a justice system that undermines justice is not acceptable. He wrote that the law was powerless before those who “sold the watches”.
“If thieves and state terrorists are facilitated, where will the common man get justice in the country?” The former premier also lamented that Khan and his party were given undue leniency by the courts. “Be it May 9, be it an attack on the judicial complex, be it raining petrol bombs on the police, everything is forgiven,” he concluded. Zahid Khan, a senior leader of Awami National Party (ANP) which was part of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government, termed the IHC verdict as “murder of justice”.
Slamming the IHC verdict, suspending the sentence of Imran Khan’s verdict, Zahid said, “Why humanity does not wake up in the heart in other cases?” He added that Khan had stolen and there was concrete proof of the “theft”, yet he was being given special treatment.
He further slammed the courts for making “wrong decisions”.
“The nation is crying on the streets today because of the wrong decisions of the courts. If there is no writ of the state, how can people live in it?” he asked. The ANP leader termed the IHC decision as “an unprecedented wrong decision” and said if the courts had not made decisions by “looking at social media,” there may have been justice in the country.
“Criticising the [court’s] decision is our right. We don’t abuse [the court],” he said. Reacting to the development in the Toshkhana case, PDM spokesperson Hafiz Hamdullah speculated if the suspension of Khan’s conviction was a result of PTI chief’s wife Bushra Bibi’s meetings with a dignitary from a “friendly Muslim country “.
“Why is Bushra Bibi seeking an NRO [a reference to relief in cases] from a friendly Islamic country? Why did she meet an important personality of an Islamic country in a five-star hotel in Islamabad?” he questioned. Hamdullah said Bushra Bibi told the “personality” that Khan is ready to leave the country.
“Today, I will tell the whole nation that PTI chairman is now begging to go out [of the country],” the PDM spokesperson said. Deputy Secretary General of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Atta Tarar said on Tuesday that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had suspended three-year sentence of PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case, without abolishing it.
During his interaction with the media persons, he clarified that the suspension of Imran Khan’s disqualification was a temporary measure, as his legal team had solely lodged an appeal for the suspension of the sentence.