ISLAMABAD: An accountability court here on Monday ordered release of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on parole to attend funeral prayers for his uncle.

On an application filed by Barrister Sadia Abbasi, sister of Mr Abbasi, the accountability court directed the director general of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to enable Mr Abbasi to attend the funeral prayers for his paternal uncle retired Brigadier Taj Mohammad if the district administration of Islamabad and Rawalpindi agreed to provide foolproof security to the under-custody leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and officials of NAB in his ancestral village of Deval Sharif, Murree.

In the application, Barrister Saida Abbasi said that the deceased was a fatherly figure for their family and looked after Mr Abbasi after his father died in 1989.

She requested the court to temporarily release her brother to attend the funeral prayers and Dua of his uncle in his hometown.

NAB prosecutor Sohail Arif opposed the release of Mr Abbasi on parole and said that there was no standard operating procedure (SOP) to allow the accused to attend the funeral ceremony as it might hamper the investigation.

He said there was no precedent in NAB for this purpose.

Accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir, however, observed that the application had been filed on humanitarian grounds and the SOP of NAB was silent on this issue.

The judge then allowed Mr Abbasi to attend the funeral prayers for his uncle and ordered the officials concerned to take certain precautions/measures in this regard.

The court also directed that a copy of the order be sent to the NAB director general for further action.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2019