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Nawaz Sharif accused superior judiciary of adopting double standards

20 December, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday accused the superior judiciary of adopting ‘double standards’ while dispensation of justice and announced to launch movement for the ‘restoration of justice’ in the country.

Speaking to media after adjournment of his case at the accountability court, Nawaz said there should be same law for everyone. Comparing the Supreme Court’s decision in Panama Paper case against him with the verdict in PTI chief Imran Khan’s disqualification case, he alleged the ‘double standards’ were visible. He said an imaginary income was portrayed as his asset by the court, whereas the assets admitted by Imran Khan were declared to be not his assets.

Urging that there should be same standards of law for everyone, he said a movement for restoration of justice in the country will be started like that initiated for the restoration of judiciary.

The former prime minister said a joke was being made with the people of Pakistan which could not be tolerated anymore. He said he will ensure that true justice is dispensed to everyone. “Without giving any benefit of doubt, a sitting prime minister was removed,” he regretted. “This is murder of justice and is intolerable. Neither PML-N nor nation can ignore it. We will take it to its logical conclusion,” he added.

Nawaz also regretted Supreme Court’s decision of referring petition against PTI’s alleged foreign funding to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) with the direction to check financial records of the last five years instead of deciding the matter by its own.

Earlier, Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar appeared before the accountability court in response to corruption references filed against them by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the Supreme Court’s July 28, 2017, orders in the Panama Papers case.

The NAB produced three of its witnesses before judge Muhammad Bashir, who recorded their statements against Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz. The court directed NAB to produce two more witnesses on the next hearing.

The prosecution witnesses whose statements were recorded are: Shakeel Anjum Nagra, an official of NAB, Afaq Ahmad, a director of the foreign affairs ministry, and Yasir Bashir, an employee of a private bank.

In his statement, Shakeel Anjum Nagra stated that he had received the certified copies of the report of the joint investigation team (JIT), formed on the Supreme Court’s orders to investigate the Panama Papers scam. He stated that he sent the copies of the report to the departments concerned.

In his testimony, Afaq Ahmed stated that Pakistan’s embassy in Qatar had received the letter of Prince of Qatar Hamza Bin Jasim on May 28, 2017. He stated that the letter addressed to JIT head Wajid Zia was handed over to him (Wajid Zia) on May 30, 2017. He stated that he was summoned by the JIT through a letter written to the secretary of foreign affairs ministry on May 31. He said he appeared before the JIT on June 1, 2017, and recorded his statement, besides answering various questions.

In his testimony, Yasir Bashir stated that he had provided the record of bank accounts and transactions of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz to the NAB’s investigators. He also produced before the court the details of bank transactions that took place from the accounts of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz. He stated that the bank had not found any discrepancies in the accounts of Maryam Nawaz.

During the cross-examination of Yasir Bashir, Nawaz Sharif’s senior counsel Khawaja Haris contended that the bank details provided to NAB by Yasir Bashir were not prepared by him thus he could not claim authenticity of these details. He also contended that the documents were inadmissible to the court, being unattested and unverified.

Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing until January 3.

NAB had filed a total of three graft references against the ousted premier and his family members. Nawaz Sharif and his sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz are accused in all the three references – Jeddah based Al- Azizia Steel Company, Avenfield properties in London and Flagship Investments.

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