LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz left for London from Lahore airport today.
They would reach London via Doha by an International airline, spend Eid-ul-Fitr with Nawaz’s ailing wife, Kulsoom and return to Pakistan next week. While speaking to media before departure to London, Maryam confirmed that she and Nawaz will return to the country next week.
On June 7 Nawaz and Maryam had sought five-day exemption from appearance before accountability court in the corruption references against the Sharif family. Nawaz and Maryam filed petitions seeking exemption from June 11 to June 15.
Relevant pieces published earlier:
Former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif today claimed he was being deprived of fundamental rights. Addressing a news conference, flanked by PML-N President and former Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz, he said he was deliberately being denied, legal counsel. Such an environment was being created where he could not have any legal counsel, he claimed. He said it was impossible for any lawyer to review thousands of pages of the case in order to represent him properly. How a lawyer could take a case at this stage and begin arguments the next day, he questioned. Khawaja Haris filed a petition to formally withdraw himself from the case, he said. Similar news was emanating pertaining to the second legal counsel too, he added. Nawaz Sharif claimed, if it was compulsory to announce verdict in his case before 25th of July, then it would be akin to making a mockery of legal requirements, the law, human rights and judicial norms. Answering a question, Nawaz said, he had appeared 100 times before the court and blamed the prosecution for the delay in proceedings.
ii) Deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif has complained of a campaign against him, as he fights corruption charges in courts ahead of the elections.“This is a battle of democracy versus tyranny,” he said in an interview with WSJ. Meanwhile, Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, president of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency, an independent think tank in Islamabad, said, “If institutions start interfering in each other’s work, it will lead to an anarchic situation. “The Journal also noted that Imran Khan, a cricketer-turned-politician who brought the Supreme Court case that led to the former prime minister’s ouster, was hoping that his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party can break the country’s two-party system in the coming election with a promise to clean up corruption.
The newspaper also pointed out that “A March 2018 survey by Gallup Pakistan, a pollster, showed Nawaz Sharif’s party still enjoyed a double-digit lead over Khan’s party, its nearest rival.” The newspaper quoted Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Saqib Nisar as saying that all the judges on the court would resign if they felt democracy was threatened. “We are totally independent,” Chief Justice Nisar said. “We will fight for your rights.” The newspaper also noted the spokesman for the military, Maj Gen. Asif Ghafoor’s denial of any political interference by the military and added that the army “stands with all state institutions for whatever support is required under the constitution.” It said that the case against Nawaz Sharif is due to conclude by mid-May, before elections expected in late July or August. His daughter and political heir, Maryam, faces the same charge, which she also denies, it pointed out. (25th April 2018)