The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday decided to open a case against PML-N Senator Nehal Hashmi and ordered the attorney general to compile relevant material in connection with Hashmi’s outburst against judiciary.
The chief justice had taken suo motu notice of a video of Hashmi railing against “those investigating” the prime minister’s family and threatening them with “consequences”, and summoned him to appear before the special bench of the apex court overseeing the implementation of the Panama Papers verdict.
“Are you aware of what is going on?” the AG was asked by the bench.
“It seems that the government’s self-proclaimed spokespersons let no opportunity for maligning the courts slip by,” Justice Ejaz Afzal said.
“It is not our custom to bring our children into our fights,” Justice Sheikh Azmat chimed in. “Mr Attorney General, what kind of people involve children in their fights?” he asked.
“The cowardly kind,” responded AG Ashtar Ausaf.
“No, not the cowards — it is terrorists and mafia [members] who do such things,” responded Justice Azmat.
“Congratulations Mr Attorney General: it seems that your government has bested the Sicilian Mafia,” he hit back.
“We have faced military dictatorships, but even they did not dare threaten our children,” Justice Afzal said to the AG. “Now, our children are being threatened under your government,” he added.
“We have constituted the joint investigation team (JIT) and we are not afraid of any type of consequences,” Justice Ejaz Afzal said, responding to rumours that the heads of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and the State Bank were pressured by an unidentified caller into submitting the names of two candidates for the JIT who have recently been accused of ‘bias’ by the ruling Sharif family.
“Your government has been creating problems for us,” he warned.
“Strict action will be taken against whoever mocks the judiciary,” he added.
Hashmi’s video had stirred up a nationwide controversy on Wednesday after it went ‘viral’ on social media. In the video, the senator had warned that those conducting the investigation that they would be “taken to task” for grilling the premier’s family.
Hashmi was subsequently asked to resign from his Senate seat, suspended from the PML-N and issued a show-cause notice to explain his tirade. The chief justice had also summoned him in court on a suo motu notice.