ISLAMABAD: Deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif said on Wednesday he was opposed to horse-trading in the Senate elections, adding that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is ready to evolve a strategy to deal with this issue in consultation with the affected parties.
Talking to reporters after appearing before the accountability judge hearing the Flagship and Al-Azizia references, Nawaz said that his party had never indulged in horse-trading.
Earlier, the judge exempted Nawaz from Wednesday’s proceedings on account of ill health.
Soon after the hearing began, Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Harris asked the court to exempt his client from appearance owing to ill health. Judge Mohammad Bashir agreed to the request and allowed Nawaz to leave the court after marking his attendance.
The court had granted a similar exemption to the former premier last Monday while hearing the Flagship reference. After the court allowed Nawaz to skip the proceedings, Harris completed his cross-examination of witness Abdul Hannan, who had recorded his statements at the last hearing.
However, the witness failed to satisfy the court regarding the documents submitted as the land registry documents were without any signature or official stamp.
Another person, Shahid Mahmood, who is a witness in the Flagship reference provided copies of Nawaz’s speeches in parliament and to the nation. The speeches were played in the court.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has filed three corruption references against Nawaz – Avenfield Properties, Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investments – in September last year after the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case to disqualify him from the office. The NAB had also filed supplementary references in all three cases.