Angered by Nehal Hashmi’s absence, SC announces indictment on July 10

  • Nehal's counsel expressed that his client went to perform Umrah
  • Sheikh Azmat Saeed expressed severe displeasure and remarked that the Senator should have informed the bench
  • Apex court dismissed reply of Senator and announced to indict him on July 10.
  • Coincidentally, Panama JIT would also conclude its probe on July 10

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court of Pakistan announced that it would indict Senator Nehal Hashmi on July 10 for his threatening speech after he failed to appear before a three-member bench on Friday.

During today’s hearing, the bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan were expecting the legislator to appear in his personal capacity before them. However, Hashmi’s lawyer disclosed that his client had gone to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah.

To this, Sheikh Azmat Saeed expressed severe displeasure and remarked that he should have informed the bench about his tour.

Aitzaz Ahsan sees Nehal Hashmi as Governor Sindh after two years

Hashmi’s counsel pleaded the centre was meddling in the affairs of the provinces and his client was being victimised but the court that perceived Hashmi’s absence in bad taste dismissed the reply earlier submitted by the PML-N Sindh stalwart and remarked that it would now bring criminal charges against Hashmi on July 10.

Coincidentally, the six-member Joint Investigation Team currently probing offshore assets of Sharif family would also complete its proceedings the same day.

Nehal Hashmi’s Outrageous Speech

Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Nehal Hashmi came under the spotlight in May when a video surfaced in which he can be seen threatening judiciary in a veiled reference.

The video that went viral on the internet shows a disgruntled Senator Nehal warning rivals and ‘some honourable officials associated with top institutions’ of dire consequences if they continued their concerns with the accountability of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

“Whoever is asking for accountability will retire tomorrow and we will deal with them,” insinuated Hashmi in a veiled threat to the top judiciary currently probing the ruling Sharif family in the backdrop of Panama papers.

“Those grilling… [be warned that] we will arrange the day of judgment for you.”

“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.

Party Membership Revoked

Hashmi’s party membership was revoked on May 31 after the prime minister house took notice of his speech.

“A show-cause notice has also been issued to the senator,” said Dr Asif Kirmani, the adviser to Prime Minister on Political Affairs.

“We have also demanded his (Hashmi’s) resignation from Senate,” State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said, in a statement.

Later, Hashmi tendered his resignation to Chairman Senate.

Contempt Notice

The court conducted a hearing of the case and served a contempt of court notice on the PML-N Senator for his threatening speech that surfaced on Wednesday.

The apex court sought Hashmi’s reply regarding the contempt of court notice by Monday and appointed Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf as a prosecutor.

During the last hearing, Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked that the top judiciary knew what it was doing adding that the Joint Investigation Team currently investigating offshore assets of Sharif family was formulated by the Supreme Court.

“No one can scare us,” remarked Justice Ejaz Afzal.

Justice Aijaz Ul Ahsan stated that the members of cabinets issued threats during the proceedings of the Panama case as well.

Nehal’s U-turn

Pakistan Muslim League Senator Nehal Hashmi requested Senate chairman Mian Raza Rabbani on Tuesday not to accept his resignation in what appears to be a policy shift for the lawmaker.

According to Geo News, Nehal who is currently embroiled in a tough situation after his diatribe against top judiciary and members of Joint Investigation Team called on Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani and requested him to put on hold his resignation which he tendered on May 31.

Reacting to the development, Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan of ruling PML-N expressed that Nehal Hashmi should stand by his decision and follow party discipline.

Earlier last week, Nehal appeared before a three-member bench who took notice of his outrageous speech made a week ago and stated that he was being mistreated.

The top court ordered the PML-N stalwart to submit his reply on June 6.

Expulsion from PML-N

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif formally approved the expulsion of Senator Nehal Hashmi from the party on Monday.

According to media reports, the convener of ‘National Ethics and Discipline Committee’ of ruling PML-N Raja Zafar Ul Haq conducted an inquiry into the diatribe of the Senator against the members of Joint Investigation Team and superior judiciary.

The committee forwarded the report to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif confirming that Nehal made a controversial speech after which the prime minister approved the recommendations of the committee.

Raja Zafar Ul Haq confirmed that the speech of PML-N Sindh member was against party discipline and policy and so the premier gave a green light to the recommendations of the committee.