The PML-N leader Pervaiz Rashid on December 30 appeared before investigators of a agency for his debriefing regarding a press conference in which PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz had publicized a spy cam video of an accountability court judge, Arshad Malik.
Mr. Rashid, had previously served as the information minister, during PML-N’s term and was accompanied by the two other PML-N leaders, Azma Bukhari and Ataullah Tarar who were summoned by the Federal Investigation Agency(FIA) in connection with the case.
In the press conference, Maryam had unveiled a video purportedly showing judge Arshad Malik confessing to a PML-N worker Nasir Butt that he was “pressurized” into convicting former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Al-Azizia case in Dec 2018.
“I told them that the news conference was telecast live on national channels and [the PML-N worker] Nasir Butt has already accepted making the videos,” he said. He said the government is misusing the state institution against political opponents as it cannot beat them through democratic means.
Arshad Malik, former judge of Islamabad Accountability Court-II, was later removed from his position but the FIA lodged an FIR on basis of his statement that claimed that he was actually offered bribe by the PML-N which also tried to blackmail him using another older and compromising video.
The FIA has arrested a number of people in connection with the scandal. Talking to media after the FIA interrogation, Rashid said he was asked as to who participated in the press conference and how the PML-N got hold of the controversial video.
“NAB [National Accountability Bureau] has failed to keep political opponents in jails as the courts have started releasing them. ANF [Anti-Narcotics Force] has failed in the case of [PML-N leaders] Hanif Abbasi and Rana Sanaullah. Now the FIA will also fail,” he said. He asked if it was job of a government to undermine its own institutions. You should compete in politics but actually you cannot compete there. You have nothing. The FIA, NAB and the ANF will not solve issues of the country,” he said.
FIA sources stated that Rashid wasn’t able to provide satisfactory answers to the queries of the investigating officers and he will be summoned again.
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