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Justice (R) Saqib Nisar ‘Unfairly Targeted’ My Business Interests: Sir Anwar Pervez

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LONDON: British Pakistani billionaire and owner of Bestway Group Sir Anwar Pervez has said that former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar still haunts him in his dreams and alleged that the now retired chief justice had incurred huge losses on his business interests in Pakistan by taking suo moto actions, according to an interview published in The News.

During the interview, Sir Pervez said that Justice (r) Saqib Nisar not only targeted his cement factory but also took action against his bank, namely United Bank Limited (UBL). He said he was “unfairly targeted” by the former CJP in different cases.

Speaking in connection with the negative media coverage received over a period of months following the harsh statements made by the court, Pervez said, “Honestly, the [former] chief justice and press appear in my nightmares.”

The British Pakistani businessman was talking about the 2018 Katas Raj temple case in which cement factories were accused by the apex court for misusing fresh groundwater reserves.

The ex-CJP had said back then that these cement factories were “destroying the ecosystem” while especially focusing his criticism towards Bestway Cement factory. The case was resolved after the cement factories arranged their own water supply.

It merits mention here that the Bestway Group is a major shareholder in UBL due to which this bank was also dragged into court cases by the former CJP.

Further, Pervez said, “He [Saqib Nisar] has publicly apologised to me since then. But the mess that he put on us has caused huge losses. We were targeted and it was unfair.”

He also revealed that he had held a high-level meeting with an influential and powerful personality in Pakistan, which he refused to name. He said the meeting was held so that he could convey his displeasure at being “unfairly targeted” by Nisar.

He said, “In Pakistan, if someone’s stomach is hurting, there is only one doctor to go to. I did the same, but nothing really came out of it. I was told that my message would be conveyed but the case is still pending in court.”

Moreover, Pervez said that initially he thought that his message had not been conveyed to the judge, but came to know that it had in fact been delivered when Justice (r) Nisar met him at an event and hinted that he had received the complaint. But i have yet to get any relief, he added.

He said that suo moto notices should only be used under special circumstances by the Supreme Court (SC), adding that Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan should make efforts to strengthen the institutions.

Suggesting a way forward, the businessman said, “Make a system that doesn’t depend on a personality.” Although, there may be outside interference at times, but systems must be created to withstand such pressure, he added. He also said he had complete faith in PM Khan’s “good intentions” to steer the country towards peace and prosperity.

In November 2018, former CJP Nisar praised the owners of Bestway Group at a dam fundraising event in London, and hailed the role played by Pervez and Lord Zameer Choudrey to make the SC’s water preservation drive a success.

He had publicly said: “I apologise to the Bestway Group who were unfortunate victims of my judicial activism. You have been very gracious and I am thankful for that. We set a deadline of November 6 and you assured me that you will modernise your plants and not take water from the tube wells.”

“You also gave one billion rupees and have performed exceptionally well and delivered exactly what you had committed well before the deadline. This is the kind of pure love and passion that I have received from overseas Pakistanis,” he added.

Speaking at the same event, Choudrey had announced to donate £600,000 to the former CJP’s dam fund. A meeting was held between the Bestway Group and the Justice (r) Nisar before the event. Meanwhile, the Bestway Group in Pakistan had also donated around £300,000 for the construction of the dam.

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