LAHORE: A Lahore High Court full bench adjourned the hearing of a petition seeking treason proceedings against two former prime ministers — Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi — and Cyril Almeida, a Dawn staffer, as counsel for the petitioner remained absent for the second consecutive hearing.
As soon as the bench, headed by Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, resumed the hearing, an application for adjournment was filed on behalf of the petitioner’s counsel, saying that his presence was needed for a hearing at the Supreme Court.
The counsel was supposed to open his arguments on the maintainability of the petition as directed by the bench during two previous hearings.
Meanwhile, the bench allowed Mr Almeida to go abroad before the next hearing. Advocate Ahmad Rauf filed an application before the bench and pleaded that his client wanted to go abroad.
The bench accepted the application and allowed Mr Almeida to go abroad.
Advocate Naseer Ahmad Bhutta filed an application on behalf of Nawaz Sharif seeking permanent exemption from personal appearance in the proceedings. The bench adjourned further hearing till Dec 11. In this case, all the three respondents have already submitted their written replies denying the allegations against them.
The petitioner said that a meeting of the National Security Council was held to discuss a “misleading” statement by Mr Sharif. After the meeting, she added, then prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met Mr Sharif only to convey to him the concerns of the military leadership and minutes of the meeting. She contended Mr Abbasi’s action was a violation of his oath as he was bound not to allow his personal interest to influence his official conduct. She pleaded that Nawaz Sharif be tried for treason under Article 6 of the constitution as well as the Pakistan Penal Code.
Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018
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