Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Nehal Hashmi on Wednesday triggered a political storm by threatening the members of the joint investigation team (JIT) and Supreme Court judges of “dire consequences” after their retirement for probing Sharif family in connection with Panama Papers case.
Nehal Hashmi, warning those who are conducting accountability of Sharif family, said in a public rally, “We will make this land (Pakistan) narrow for you and your children. You are now in service, but will retire one day. We will not leave you then.”
“You are making the life of the prime minister difficult. The Pakistani nation will make it difficult for you to live,” he added, without taking any names.
“We are the workers of Nawaz Sharif… We will make an example of those who hold us accountable,” Hashmi can be heard saying in a video which has gone viral on social media. “We will not spare those who have held us accountable and who are making us accountable,” he continued. The video was reportedly shot as Hashmi addressing a gathering on May 28.
Hashmi also threatened Imran Khan and said, “The nation will also make this land narrow for those who live in Bani Gala.”
NEHAL’S THREATS PART OF PML-N POLITICAL CULTURE, SAYS IMRAN
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) strongly reacted to statements given by PML-N senator, and said it will not let any conspiracy of government successful against the judiciary or Panama JIT.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Twitter criticised Nehal Hashmi’s statements.
“Nehal Hashmi’s shameful threats to superior judiciary & JIT [are] part of PMLN [political] culture. They either buy people or try to scare them,” he said in a tweet.
PTI leader Asad Umar, while criticising Hashmi’s comments, questioned if Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan will take notice of the issue. “So when does the dabang guardian of Pakistani institutions Chaudhry Nisar issue orders to arrest Nihal Hashmi for threatening the judiciary / JIT?” he tweeted.
PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry held a media talk outside Election Commission of Pakistan and said Supreme Court should take notice of the speech of Nehal Hashmi, and made it clear that people of Pakistan will not tolerate any behaviour of such kind.
Fawad Chaudhry said the government is trying to hinder the investigations and scandalise the judges. He said the chief justice should take strict notice of this matter.
He told that Imran Khan has summoned the party meeting on an emergency basis to discuss the matter of pressurising Panama JIT and judiciary. The coming weeks are very significant for Pakistan’s politics, remarked Chaudhry.
Opposition leader Khursheed Shah said that in the National Assembly session on Thursday, the opposition would demand that Nehal Hashmi should be de-seated.
Shah said that the institutions have been threatened.
“Will not allow the president to speak a word tomorrow in the house,” said the Opposition leader.
The threatening of the JIT members is beyond reason, he said, adding that “hooliganism would not be allowed”.
PM NAWAZ SEEKS CLARIFICATION:
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after taking notice of Hashmi’s fiery speech, sought a clarification from the senior leader over his remarks. “The remarks issued by Nihal Hashmi are extremely irresponsible and highly regrettable,” Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb said while speaking to a private news channel.
The information minister said the prime minister has called for a clarification by the PML-N lawmaker and summoned him in person. “PML-N believes in the supremacy of the country’s Constitution and the sanctity of national institutions,” she said, adding Hashmi’s remarks did not reflect the party’s policy.
She said the party does not support what Hashmi said, and that it was his “personal opinion”.
She said the prime minister believes in accountability, adding that he has sought an explanation from Hashmi.
Earlier, the PM’s elder son had objected to the inclusion of two members—Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s Bilal Rasool and State Bank of Pakistan’s Amer Aziz—in the JIT, accusing them of being close to the PML-N’s political rivals. However, his objections were turned down by the Supreme Court.
“We are not going to remove any JIT member on mere conjecture unless something concrete comes up because the prime minister is the one being investigated,” Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, who heads the three-judge implementation bench of the Supreme Court, said.
Watch the video here: