The release of ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam has been ordered, two months after he began a 10-year jail sentence over corruption, by Islamabad’s high court, as part of an appeals hearing.
Islamabad High Court judge Athar Minallah ruled that the National Accountability Bureau, Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog, was unable to prove a financial link between the former prime minister and the apartments in question.”The prosecution has failed to show the properties belong to Nawaz Sharif. It also failed to prove how was Maryam Nawaz sentenced under the same charge sheet which convicted Nawaz Sharif,” Justice Athar Minallah told the court.
Their convictions remain under appeal within the top court, but a date for a hearing has yet to be fixed. The anti-graft body that launched the case, the National Accountability Bureau, can still appeal to the Supreme Court against the latest ruling.
The Sharifs are expected to be released soon on bail. The decision will come as a blow to Sharif’s bitter political rival Imran Khan, who swept a July general election following Sharif’s conviction and jailing.
Khan, now prime minister, was in Saudi Arabia on a state visit when the decision was announced.
[ Pakistan military trying to swing vote to Imran Khan? ]
ISLAMABAD: At least 65 candidates are contesting for the National Assembly seats in Punjab alone on Jeep symbol, a symbol which has drawn interest among political observers after various PML-N defectors asked for this particular sign for the election 2018. The symbol has widely come to be seen as an umbrella grouping for those plied away from the PMLN by the military. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif asked for defeat the ones “with electoral symbols of bat, jeep and arrow” and a vote for those contesting the polls on ‘lion’ symbol. Disgruntled Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that people should vote for the jeep symbol in the upcoming general elections. He strongly criticised PML-N candidates and said people should not waste their votes on them.
[ July 15 Nawaz Sharif expected court to start hearing the appeal and release him, but no ]
Nawaz Sharif landed in Lahore on Friday, July 13,. Sharif and his daughter were sent straight to jail near Rawalpindi. Sharif’s legal team said they expected the court to start hearing the appeal from Tuesday, July 17. If a judge lets the challenge go ahead, the three-time prime minister could be released on bail, pending his retrial.
[July 6 “I am coming back to Pakistan,” Nawaz Sharif]
Nawaz Sharif and Maryam are currently in London visiting Kulsoom Nawaz, who is suffering from cancer and is undergoing treatment there. On June 14, both Sharif and his daughter left for the United Kingdom after they were granted a brief exemption from the ongoing trial.
Both Sharif and his daughter were supposed supposed to return to Pakistan by June 27.
They both have denied wrongdoing and are expected to appeal.
“I am coming back to Pakistan,” he said at a news conference aired on Pakistani television. “I am not afraid of jail.”
He fell out with powerful generals after Sharif returned as premier in 2013, partly because Sharif challenged the military over control of foreign policy, which the generals have traditionally seen as their domain. The Sharif family steel business was nationalised under the government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the beginning of a long political rivalry between the families.
[ June 28 Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for NA-246 Karachi South Committee formed]
The Pakistan Peoples Party on Karachi June 24 formed a committee for the election campaign of Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for NA-246 Karachi South comprising Lyari and the adjoining areas of the city. [June 5] KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari obtained nomination papers to contest the upcoming elections, the first of his political career, from his party’s traditionally dominant National Assembly constituency in Lyari — NA-246.
Bilawal’s mother, Benazir Bhutto, and his father, Asif Ali Zardari, had emerged victorious in the general elections of 1988 and 1990, respectively, from Lyari.