ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz said on Wednesday that allowing the US to use Pakistani airbases was against the sovereignty of the country and her party would raise voice against such an act.

Speaking to media persons on the premises of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) where she had come to attend the hearing of her appeal against her conviction in Avenfield reference, Ms Nawaz said that she had learnt through international media that the US had been “allowed” to use Pakistani airbases.

“It is not acceptable for the PML-N, and this matter should be discussed in parliament”, she said.

Responding to a question about the future of the opposition alliance PDM, she said that except the PPP all eight opposition parties were united under the banner of the PDM.

Talking about the independence of judiciary, she said that after the Supreme Court quashed the presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa and dismissed a review petition filed by the government, a smear campaign was launched against the superior judiciary.

Terms Shaukat Siddiqui case a test for judiciary

“We all know who is behind this campaign to malign the judiciary. They should learn a lesson from history and refrain from applying such tactics,” she said. According to her, the case of sacked judge of the IHC Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui was a test case for the judiciary, since he had hurled serious allegations which were required to be probed.

Graft case hearing

A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani resumed hearing the appeals filed against conviction of Sharif family members in corruption references by accountability courts.

Azam Nazir Tarrar, who appeared before the IHC as amicus curiae, said that in such matters where the convict absconded, the superior courts had tended to dismiss the appeal with a tacit permission to the accused for re-filing the appeal after surrender.

On the other hand, Jahanzeb Khan Bharwana, additional prosecutor general of the National Accountability Bureau, argued that since the absconder had lost the right of audience, the appeal of Nawaz Sharif may be dismissed as he was an absconder.

Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2021

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