Upon hearing of the verdict announced by Judge Mohammad Bashir of the accountability court in Islamabad on an application filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), seeking auction of former finance minister and Senate member Ishaq Dar’s immoveable assets and to seize his bank accounts in Pakistan and to appoint a beneficiary of the recovered amount, Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, the three times prime minister of Pakistan, has called a meeting of his party leaders at his Jati Umra residence near Lahore.
Present are his younger brother, Shahbaz Sharif, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, former chief minister of Punjab, and president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N); his daughter Maryam Nawaz Safdar, Sen. Raja Zafar-ul-Haq, leader of the opposition in Senate, and PML-N chairman; Khawaja Muhammad Asif, a PML-N member of the National Assembly and a former defense minister; and the ever-vociferous Rana Sanaullah Khan, a PML-N member of the National Assembly and a former law minister of Punjab.
Nawaz Sharif is cradling his ubiquitous glass of lassi as he starts the discussions, “We all heard the totally unfair, unethical, and immoral action taken against our dear Dar Sahib. I keep hearing from our Asma [Nawaz’s youngest child, and Dar’s daughter-in-law] that he is quite ill and despite that this NAB did not stop at getting him declared an absconder and issuing red warrants against him, but also had this horrific judgment passed against him. I heard that his lawyer Ayesha Hamid put up a very strong defense but we need to do more for our Dar Sahib.
“This morning, I had our lawyer, Khawaja Harris explain this judgment to me. He said that the NAB prosecutor, Imran Shafique told the court that under Section 99 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and subsections (2) and (3), Dar Sahib was declared as an accused person but he fled the country without facing trial and ignored multiple summonses and arrest warrants.
“Did you all hear that, this Imran Shafique is saying that Dar Sahib ‘fled’ the country? I have been educated at the English-medium school, St. Anthony’s in Lahore; I know this much of the language that the word ‘fled’ is when someone is running away. How can you run to London on foot carrying all the suitcases of cash and jewelry? No. They should show some respect! He is a senator and he was the finance minister of Pakistan. He traveled to London honorably in a private jet, large enough to accommodate all the suitcases. This bad language that Imran Khan has promoted is going around everywhere, even in courts.
“God bless all of you have read in the Quran about backbiting. This is a case of blatant backbiting. The man is not even present anywhere in Pakistan and you are calling him an absconder and grabbing his property. I don’t know why Dar Sahib’s lawyer did not remind the judge of the Quranic verse [49:12] that backbiting is like eating the flesh of your dead brother?
“I know that Dar Sahib is ill every day and night Every time he visited me, he showed me the medical certificate that he carries with him all the time that says that he he is suffering from the disease called incarcerophobia. Instead of giving further pain to our dear Dar Sahib, I asked the doctor who was treating our dear Maryam’s late mother Kulsoom in the Harley Street Clinic about this disease. He told me that the word comes from a language called Latin incarcero meaning “jail” and is the fear of going to jail or prison. The doctor said that sufferers usually have obsessive thoughts about what’s the life is like in prison. Many incarcerophobes, which he told me that means the patients of this disease, most worry about spending the rest of their life in the prison.
“You know that Maryam, [son-in-law] Safdar and I can understand this disease better than anyone else.
“Raja [Zafar-ul-Haq] Sahib, you are our leader of the opposition in Senate where we have more seats, you should present a motion that the Council of Islamic Ideology whose responsibility is to advise the legislature whether or not a certain law is repugnant to Islam, should raise its voice on the backbiting issue related to our dear Dar Sahib.
“The NAB told the court that Dar Sahib has six bank accounts in Lahore and Islamabad, 13 assets within Pakistan and seven assets/companies abroad.
“God bless, he has a wife, two sons, and daughters-in-law, including my Asma. So naturally he keeps two Mercedes Benz, and three Land Cruisers.
“His properties in Pakistan include a 1000 sq. ft. lot in Parliament Enclave, another similar lot with Ayaz Builders, six-acres here, a lot there and another in Senate Cooperative Housing Society. In Lahore, he owns a house in Gulberg and three lots in Alfalah Housing Society.
“Aren’t his two boys living in Dubai so naturally he has apartments in Emirates Hill and Jumairah, and a Bentley Arnage and a Mercedes-Benz and two investment accounts in Baraq Holding Ltd and Dar Al Nahayan Ltd.
“Doesn’t he have the responsibility of providing for his family?
“Do Imran and [chief justice of Pakistan] Saqib Nisar think they will auction his properties and get enough money to build some dams?
“I will call Dar Sahib and ask him to share his medical certificate with media, and in the same shows, I will ask that Maulana Fazlur Rehman should talk about the religious commands about backbiting. He knows that only Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif can give him his diesel permits.
“You know that Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq said that one who talks about a believer’s conduct hoping that through this, he is able to lower the other person’s value and worth in the eyes of others will be taken out of the guardianship of God and will be placed in the guardianship of the Satan. Surely our Maulana can put this across more beautifully.
“What more can I say about backbiting and what is being done to our dear Dar Sahib, than what our fourth Caliph, Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘alayhi rahmat) has said that backbiting is like fighting a defenseless person. May God bless and protect our dear Dar Sahib.”