ISLAMABAD: The foreign secretary was told on Thursday to ensure the appearance of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on September 22 by the assistant registrar of said court.
The assistant registrar stated in a letter to the foreign secretary to “cause the production of the appellant (Nawaz) through the High Commission of Pakistan in the United Kingdom” by 11 am on September 22, added that the IHC had on September 15 issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Nawaz in reply to the former premier’s application seeking exemption from personal appearance in the hearing of appeals in the Al Azizia and Avenfield Properties references.
A copy of the order issued on Tuesday was also attached with the letter. Nawaz will also have to appear on any other dates that might be fixed by the court, it added.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani had heard the appeal of three miscellaneous applications filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo requesting to forgo the requirement of his surrender, pursue the appeal through a legal representative and exemption from a court appearance. The court had issued Nawaz’s arrest warrants during the hearing.
Last week, an accountability court had declared Nawaz a proclaimed offender in the Toshakhana vehicles reference and started the process to seize his properties, directing the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to make his arrest through Interpol.
At a hearing on September 10, the court had asked whether the appeal of a person who has already been declared a proclaimed offender in a separate case could be heard and the OHC subsequently adjourned the hearing.
While separating Nawaz’s case, Judge Mohammad Azam Khan of the accountability court of Islamabad also indicted former president Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani and other accused persons in the Toshakhana reference.
Nawaz had left for London in November 2019 after getting permission to go abroad for medical treatment from the Lahore High Court (LHC).
He was also given bail in the Al Azizia Mills corruption case in which he was serving a seven-year prison sentence in Kot Lakhpat Jail, Lahore before he left for London.