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ISLAMABAD: The government should lodge a protest with the United States (US) over the US State Department report which stated that Pakistan’s judiciary is influenced by the government and other stakeholders, said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior vice president and former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on Tuesday.

Talking to reporters after appearing before Accountability Court in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) case, he said that protest should be lodged with American government that under which facts, the US State Department published this report as no one invests in the country where judiciary is not independent and courts could not make decision on their own.

The report raised many questions over Pakistan’s judicial system, he said.

He said that the report says that our courts have been influenced by the Establishment.

“Such kinds of reports create concerns among investors but those people who are facing cases in courts are more concerned because if our judiciary is not independent then what can be expected from these courts,” he said.

Abbasi said that this is a matter of concern for the Supreme Court, High Court and lower judiciary that how they look into these matters and how they will satisfy ordinary public that justice will be provided to them through the judicial system.

Earlier, he and other accused appeared before Accountability Court-II Judge Muhammad Azam Khan in LNG case.

The court marked his attendance and allowed him to leave.

During the hearing, Imran Shafique, counsel for co-accused Aamir Naseem former member Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) cross-examined prosecution witness Fasihuddin, acting senior general manager regulatory affairs Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL).

Shafique asked the witness that under which law, the report regarding profit and loss, which was produced before the court was prepared.

At this, the witness said that this was not a report but a summary, which was prepared as per the NAB requirement.

It is not mentioned on the summary that this is not a report but a summary.

The counsel said that the documents and summary on the basis of which the summary was prepared were not produced before the court. He further said that he will inform the court that financial position is balance sheet and not profit and loss.

To another question, the witness said that the summary has been prepared by his staff and not by him. The defense counsel said that the witness never stated in his statement that the summary was prepared by his staff.

Dr Yasir, counsel for co-accused Saeed Ahmed, former chairman Ogra and Barrister Qasim Nawaz Abbasi, counsel for Sheikh Imran ul Haq, former managing director (MD) Pakistan State Oil (PSO) also crossed examined Fasihuddin.

However, Fauzia Zafar, counsel for co-accused Hussain Dawood and Abdul Samad Dawood adopted cross examination conducted by the other counsels.

The court also recorded statement of prosecution witness Rizwan Mehdi.

The court summoned witness Rizwan Mehdi for cross examination and witness Farhan Umer for recording statement during the next hearing to be held on August 17.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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