Taking exception to a news report alleging involvement of former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar in denying bail to former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz ahead of 2018 general elections, the PML-N Monday demanded a suo motu notice of the matter by the apex court. Maryam Nawaz, responding to the allegations levelled by ex-judge Shamim, said people should be ‘afraid’ of the person who leaves the ‘decisions in the hands of Allah’. “There is a lesson for oppressors in this,” the PML-N vice-president added. Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, ex-prime minister Abbasi said the Supreme Court should take suo motu notice of the matter after a report had pointed a finger at former top judge. “If Mian Nawaz Sharif can go to jail, why can’t ex-CJP Mian Saqib Nisar?” he remarked accompanied by the party leaders. His comments came after a media report quoted the former top judge of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), Rana Shamim as saying on oath that he had witnessed Saqib Nisar passing instructions on to a high court judge to not release Nawaz and Maryam in the corruption references. He said Rana Shamim had recorded his statement before an oath commissioner in London. Shamim had earlier in the day told a local TV channel that he could not say when and to whom the affidavit was given. “If Rana Shamim is lying, he should be get a stringent punishment, but if he is speaking the truth, then Saqib Nisar should be in jail,” Abbasi remarked. Sharing the contents of the affidavit, Abbasi said Shamim had divulged details under oath about Saqib Nisar instructing his registrar to contact an Islamabad High Court judge and ensure that Nawaz and Maryam were not granted bail before the 2018 elections. “He (Shamim) has not given this statement under any pressure and when he was asked about this on camera, he confirmed that he had given this statement under oath,” Abbasi noted. Abbasi alleged that the Supreme Court had acted like a trial court in the past and disqualified Nawaz over a matter pertaining to his iqama. Consequently, “the federal government was toppled” and Nawaz was later sidelined from politics, he added. Then, he recalled, a reference was filed over Panama Papers leaks against the PML-N supremo and later the SC appointed a monitoring judge for the matter, which was an unprecedented occurrence in the country’s history. “There was no mention of Maryam or Nawaz in the case, but when the latter was abroad to tend to his ailing wife, he was convicted by a NAB court,” he said, adding that Nawaz returned to Pakistan thereafter and was taken to jail along with his daughter. “On July 16, 2018, he filed an appeal [for bail] and on July 17, the appeal was listed. The same day, [former] CJP Saqib Nisar went to Gilgit-Baltistan,” he continued, adding that all this had been shared by Shamim under oath. Now, he said, just three people knew the truth – Shamim, Nisar and the IHC judge who was allegedly asked not to grant bail to Maryam and Nawaz. But it is also the right of the people of Pakistan to know the truth, he stressed. “This is not just about maintaining the conviction by the former CJP; it is about meddling in the affairs of elections,” Abbasi said, adding, “Don’t we have the right to ask when these trends [of intervention] will end? For how long will we play with the people’s lives and the future of Pakistan for small gains and our false ego?” Saying that he wished Nisar was actually not involved in the matter, Abbasi asked, “When a CJP commits such an act, who are we to approach [for justice]?” He went on to say that numerous other such “unconstitutional interventions” had been pointed out in the country’s judicial system. “A [former] chief justice has been involved in the matter. A sitting high court judge has been named in the matter. Should I consider this a routine occurrence [and] shouldn’t this matter be taken to the parliament? Shouldn’t parliament question who is responsible for this matter?” he questioned. The PML-N leader further said, “We will have to trust Shamim’s statement, as it was given under oath. But our question is which forum will determine what the truth is? Is there anyone to take notice of this matter?” He added that the report also showed how Prime Minister Imran Imran had come to power, and that it was now the need of the hour to go into the depth of the matter of “the CJP interfering in election affairs”. Abbasi said it was incidents such as these that were the root cause of inflation and the myriad of difficulties being faced by people. “When constitutional institutions exceed their ambits, inflation will increase,” he remarked. Replying to a question, PML-N leader Khawaja Asif said at present, questions were being raised on the country’s institutions. “The constitutional structure of Pakistan has collapsed. Whatever happened in the July 2018 elections is now being exposed gradually.” He announced that the PML-N would raise the matter in the parliament and consult lawyers regarding it.