LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau appe­ars to be in no hurry to challenge the Islamabad High Court’s verdict to acquit PML-N vice president Mar­yam Nawaz Sharif in the Ave­nfield apartments reference.

The IHC, on Thursday, had acqui­tted Ms Sharif and her spouse Mohammad Safdar of the charges and set aside the convictions.

Replying to a query from Dawn, NAB spokesperson Nadeem Khan said the bur­eau was yet to receive a written copy of the order. “We will decide whether to challenge it or not after getting the written order,” he said.

On July 6, 2018, Ms Sharif, along with her father former premier Nawaz Sharif, was convicted in the Avenfield properties reference.

Mr Sharif was sentenced to 11 years in jail, while Ms Sharif was handed a seven-year prison term for abetment.

Mr Safdar was sentenced to a year in prison for not cooperating with NAB and aiding and abetting Mr Sharif and Ms Sharif.

Subsequently, Ms Sharif was disqualified from conte­s­ting elections for a decade.

A former NAB official told Dawn it appeared that the bureau did not ‘vigorously’ fight the case after the recent amendments to the NAB laws and as a result, the convicts managed to get the relief.

He further said the new NAB Chairman Aftab Sultan might decide to not challenge the IHC’s decision in the Supreme Court as the accountability watchdog ‘has no strong points in the case’.

Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2022

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