Court asks both sides for assistance in Nawaz’s appeals

Published May 26, 2021
ISLAMABAD: PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz talking to the media outside the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday.—Tanveer Shahzad / White Star
ISLAMABAD: PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz talking to the media outside the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday.—Tanveer Shahzad / White Star

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has sought legal assistance from the prosecution and the counsel for the Sharif family on proceeding on appeals of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani resumed hearing of the appeals of the ex-premier, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired captain Mohammad Safdar against their conviction in the Avenfield reference.

The court was informed that defence counsel Amjad Pervez could not appear before the IHC due to his other commitments. However, senior lawyer Senator Azam Nazir Tarrar was sitting inside courtroom.

On court’s call, Senator Tarrar approached the rostrum and informed the bench that he was there just to observe proceedings.

Tarrar suggests to bench to wait for appellant’s return or dismiss it; prosecution urges dismissal of appeal

The court requested him to suggest a way forward as the ex-premier had been declared proclaimed offender. Justice Farooq asked how the court could proceed in this matter.

Mr Tarrar said that in an identical matter he had filed a petition in the Supreme Court that rejected it. He said there was a political face in the instant case. He suggested the court to either adjourn the hearing till the return of ailing Nawaz Sharif from the UK or dismiss the appeal for non-prosecution.

Additional prosecutor general of NAB Jahanzeb Khan Bharwana said the appeal should be dismissed on merit.

Further hearing in this matter has been adjourned till June 9.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2021

After attending the court’s proceeding, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz said the case should not be proceeded until her father’s return.

She said ex-PM Sharif should be given an opportunity to fight his case. She was of the opinion that the testimonies of the late judge of accountability court Arshad Malik and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui was the proof of unfair trial in the Avenfiled and Al-Azizia references.

On the basis of those testimonies, she said, the conviction in the references should be set aside.

While downplaying her ‘absence’ in the dinner reception hosted by PML-N president and her uncle Shehbaz Sharif, she said since the dinner was hosted in the honour of parliamentarians and as she was not a member of the parliament her presence was not required in such gathering.

In response to a question about the conduct of NAB chairman, Maryam Nawaz said the chairman did not matter, rather what matter was the quarters which controlled the anti-graft body.

Responding to a question about the upcoming budget, she said everyone had a duty to talk about inflation and it was right of every citizen to get relief. She said it was the responsibility of the opposition to raise the issue of inflation and the opposition was fulfilling its responsibilities.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2021

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