–Accountability court dismisses deposed PM’s plea for weeklong exemption from hearing
–Nawaz to return on Sunday
–Judge entertains NAB’s plea, summons new witness on April 23
ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif on Friday said that Pakistan will continue to descend into anarchy if the country’s elected prime ministers are either sent to the gallows, jail or are forced into exile.
Speaking to media in the British capital, Nawaz said that elected prime ministers have been dislodged from office or the elected governments time and again in the country.
“What kind of Pakistan we want to bequeath to the coming generations. This all is unfortunate and needed careful consideration,” the PML-N leader said. “If this is not stopped, God forbid, Pakistan will keep facing anarchy,” he added.
He continued that Pakistan is not respected in the Commonwealth, adding that when the country moves forward to achieve a respectful place in the world, it is faced with many obstacles.
Nawaz urged everyone to pray for his ailing wife Begum Kulsoom who is undergoing cancer treatment at a hospital in London. He said that he went straight to the hospital from the airport to see her.
He also said that he had requested doctors to allow him to take his wife home on the weekend, which they granted, adding that he will leave for Pakistan on Sunday.
“Life goes through ups and downs, while at times one is surrounded by all difficulties at the same time,” he said.
On April 18, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz left for London to see his wife who is undergoing treatment for throat cancer at a hospital.
NAWAZ, MARYAM GET ONE-DAY EXEMPTION:
Meanwhile, an accountability court in Islamabad allowed Nawaz Sharif and Maryam a one-day exemption from the court while denying the week-long exemption plea. The court observed if the defendants could not appear before the court due to unavoidable circumstances then the counsel may submit another exemption request.
As the hearing went underway, Accountability Court Judge Mohammad Bashir reserved the decision regarding National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) petition to produce fresh evidence in the Avenfield properties reference. National Accountability Bureau NAB Prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi told the court that the bureau’s international cooperation wing has obtained additional documents related to the Avenfield and Flagship investment cases showing the registry record of the London flats, utility bills and council tax.
According to details, NAB Operations Director General Zahir Shah would be the new witness and present the new documents acquired from the British government. The court has ordered to appear on April 23. The NAB investigation officer and the DG operations will be the last two persons to record their statements regarding the case.
According to the documents acquired by Shah, the Sharif family’s London apartments were transferred to the possession of offshore companies Nielson and Nescoll in 1993-1995, and not in 2005-2006.
The prosecutor also told the court that the documents were received in response to the Panamagate joint investigation team’s (JIT) letter and added the NAB also received a response from the UK central authority.
He also claimed that the suspects attempted to conceal these documents. In his arguments, Maryam’s counsel Amjad Pervez said that the witnesses in the case have already been cross-examined with regards to the registry record.
After hearing the arguments, the court allowed making the fresh documents as case record.
Nawaz Sharif, in his previous statements, had said that the Avenfield properties were transferred in the name of the companies in 2005-2006 and that they belonged to his children. Nawaz’s children Hussain and Hasan were young in 1993-95 and did not have any source of income. Therefore, they cannot be considered owners of the properties and thus the former premier was their real owner, the documents state.
NAB’s request to present new evidence came at a time when Sharifs are in London. Last week, the NAB had claimed in a report that the PML-N government had shown reluctance to place the names of Nawaz Sharif and other members of his family on the Exit Control List (ECL) on the bureau’s request.
The bureau had asked the Ministry of Interior to put Nawaz Sharif, his children — Maryam, Hassan and Hussain — and his son-in-law, Muhammad Safdar on a no-fly list; however, the request was shot down by the government.