‘Justice Asif Saeed Khosa asked me to approach SC instead of agitation’, Imran Khan’s shocking disclosure jolts Pakistan

  • Justice Asif Saeed Khosa told Khan 'the apex court is the supreme forum to resolve conflicts'
  • 'A deliberate attempt being made to distort what I said in interview', Khan clarifies
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Days after the Supreme Court sent Nawaz Sharif packing for not being honest to the nation, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has made a shocking claim concerning Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who headed the five-member bench that handed down the Panamagate case verdict.

During an interview with ARY’s current affairs programme, ‘Power Play’, the PTI chief revealed it was the SC judge “who asked him to bring the case (against former PM Nawaz Sharif) to the apex court”.

When asked by the show host Arshad Sharif whether his faith in Pakistani judiciary restored after the landmark ruling, Imran Khan detailed, “When we (PTI) decided not to lock down Islamabad with a million supporters on November 1, 2016, we faced severe criticism from the media and inside the party cadres, many calling it a ‘U-turn’.”

Highlighting his true belief in Constitution and democracy, Khan recalled former CJP Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Asif Saeed Khosa calling him and asking to approach the court instead of agitation.

“We have to save the country from unrest and crisis,” Khan quoted Justice Jamali as saying who added that the Panama Papers issue was affecting the entire country.

“Asif Saeed Khosa added that the apex court is the supreme forum to resolve conflicts,” Khan said in the TV show.

In an impassioned appeal, the judge asked both parties to consider standing down from their rigid positions, especially as the highest legal forum in the land had taken it upon itself to resolve the dispute. “The entire country is agitating and the citizens are perturbed,” Imran Khan was told by Justice Khosa.

A five-member apex court bench comprising former CJP Answar Zaheer Jamali, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Amir Hani Muslim, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, and Justice Ijazul Hassan then heard the case just a day ahead of Islamabad’s anticipated lockdown by the PTI.

The Supreme Court also asked counsels on both sides to seek written statements of their clients’ respective stance, so there was no grievance.

The court said that it would use these to reach a broad-based understanding that the parties would honour the decision of the commission, as they had done with the 2015 inquiry commission to probe into alleged malpractices in the general elections.

Khan added during the show that as there was no other way left for his party to take their case after the National Assembly speaker had thrown away his reference against Nawaz Sharif, “it was the right decision to knock at the court’s doors.”

However, soon after the show went on air, Khan started facing criticism from all quarters alleging him of seeking SC support in an undemocratic way.

The PTI chief then took to Twitter to clear any misunderstanding and clarified that he was only referring the Justice Khosa’s statements.