Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has expressed grave concerns over allegations of blackmailing of a judge through an incriminating video to force him give a desired verdict in a corruption reference against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
The claims were made by Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, flanked by the senior party leadership, in a news conference in Islamabad earlier in the day.
She released a controversial video clip whereby accountability judge Arshad Malik could be heard saying that there was “no proof of corruption against the deposed premier” in the December 24 Al-Azizia reference, and that he was blackmailed into giving a verdict against Sharif.
Reacting to the development, the PPP chairman said this was not the first time that such accusations had been made. “In the past similar allegations of exerting pressure on the judges have also been made. It is indeed a sad commentary on the health of Pakistani democracy that such accusations continue to be made so often and so repeatedly,” he was quoted by his spokesperson Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar as saying.
Khokhar said that the PPP chairman has urged the superior judiciary to take appropriate action in this connection. “If for some reasons the judiciary is not inclined to address such issues then the opposition parties must deliberate on it and formulate a united course of action,” he added.
“It is most unfortunate that even today, political circles are abuzz with pressure reportedly exerted on the judges to deliver preferred verdicts in corruption cases against opposition leaders,” said the PPP chairman.