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Nawaz mocks Imran over ‘orders from the top’

Updated April 26, 2018


FORMER prime minister Nawaz Sharif speaks to media after his hearing at the accountability court on Wednesday.—Online
FORMER prime minister Nawaz Sharif speaks to media after his hearing at the accountability court on Wednesday.—Online

ISLAMABAD: As the controversy triggered by Sirajul Haq deepened on Wednesday with his Jamaat-i-Islami announcing the decision to quit the ruling coalition in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Muslim League-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif took a potshot at Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan, questioning the democratic credentials of his key opponent.

The former prime minister was talking to reporters outside the accountability court after attending proceedings in the Avenfield reference against him and his family.

“Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minis­ter Pervez Khattak, in simplicity or erroneously, spoke the truth while talking to Jamaat-i-Islami emir Sirajul Haq that an order for casting votes for Senate elections had come ‘from the top’. Everyone knows the meaning of ‘from the top’ and certainly the KP CM was not referring to Banigala,” Mr Sharif claimed.

Ex-PM’s counsel alleges NAB official leaks sensitive information to unauthorised person

“The resident of Banigala [Imran Khan] is used to taking orders from the top which has been manifested in the Senate elections where PTI lawmakers stamped on the ‘arrow’ — which is the election symbol of the Pakistan Peoples Party,” he said.

These people were claiming to have brought change, whereas the people who intended to bring about real change never took orders from the top, Mr Sharif said, adding that Imran Khan was bringing shame to politics and misleading the youth.

The ex-prime minister said Imran Khan, who during a visit to Lahore on Tuesday claimed that a big wicket would soon fall, had in fact run away from the pitch as the PTI’s own wicket had fallen a day earlier.

“In fact, [Imran] Khan completed a hat-trick of running away from Lahore in the recent past. He was cold-shouldered in Lahore as the city did not give him any response.”

When a reporter drew his attention to the act of a PTI leader who had used pictures of Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, Imran Khan and other party leaders on a political banner which went viral on social media, Mr Sharif said it showed how the PTI was working.

Court proceedings

During the hearing of corruption references against the Sharif family, lead defence counsel Khawaja Haris pointed out that National Accountability Bureau director general (operations) Zahir Shah, who was the custodian of documents received from the UK Central Authority (UKCA), had allegedly leaked ‘sensitive’ information against two former directors general of NAB to an unauthorised person.

When Mr Haris, the counsel for the Sharif family, asked about the leak of sensitive information and documents to a complainant, Zahir Shah denied that they had done so. He, however, admitted that NAB had the recording of his audio with the complainant.

Mr Haris informed the court that the accused DGs had submitted an audio compact disc (CD) as evidence against Mr Shah to another accountability court in Islamabad.

The counsel said Mr Shah was among 23 NAB officers whose appointments had been under scrutiny by a committee constituted by the Supreme Court.

Wajid Zia’s `whereabouts’

The prosecution requested the court to summon its last witness Imran Dogar, the investigation officer in the Avenfield reference.

Mr Haris objected to it and said the court had summoned JIT head Wajid Zia on Monday (April 23) for recording of testimony in the Al-Azizia reference, but he neither appeared on the next date nor on Wednesday.

“The prosecution may be asked to explain the whereabouts of Wajid Zia; where has he gone as he is not appearing for recording his testimony,” he said.

“We were all ready and prepared to cross-examine Mr Zia, but the prosecution is trying to bring a different witness”, he said.

Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2018