ISLAMABAD: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday showed up for the second time before an accountability court in graft references filed against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in compliance with Supreme Court orders, ARY News reported.
The former prime minister arrived at the court under an extensive protocol. Special security arrangements have been made with around 2000 personnel of the Federal Police, Rangers and Frontier Constabulary deployed outside and along the road leading to the court.
At the outset, Judge Muhammad Bashir asked where the Sharif’s children are. To which, former prime minister’s counsel said they are still in London, tending their ailing mother and requested the judge to grant them exemption from court proceedings.
NAB prosecutor submitted an implementation report, informing the judge that the warrants were duly served on the accused persons. He requested the court to issue non-bailable warrants for their arrest over their failure to turn up before it in defiance of the court orders.
The court had set Oct 2(today) for the indictment of Sharif, but it deferred the framing of charges against him.
It also issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) for the arrest of his children over their perpetual absence from the proceedings.
Sharif appeared before the accountability court for the second time, however, his children – Hussain, Hassan, Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Capt Safdar skipped the third consecutive hearing despite issuance of bailable warrants for their arrest.
The former prime minister’s children are still in London looking after their mother Begum Kulsoom Nawaz undergoing treatment for cancer.
NAB had sent bailable warrants for their arrest to their residences in Lahore and London.
Two states cannot function together: Ahsan Iqbal
Lashing out at security forces, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Monday said that he would conduct a high-level inquiry into the paramilitary troopers abruptly taking over the security of an accountability court.
He had come to witness the court proceedings in graft references against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif when he was denied entry into the court premises.
“I cannot desist from taking notice of this situation. A high-level inquiry would be conducted to determine who has challenged the writ of the government and established a state within state,” the interior minister said.
On Sept 26, Nawaz Sharif had made maiden appearance before the court. It handed over copies of the references along with relevant documents to Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Harris and said it would indict him on Oct 2 (today).
The judge issued bailable warrants for the arrest of Sharif’s children and son-in-law retired Capt Muhammad Safdar after their failure to show up in the court. He warned that if they failed to appear on next hearing, he would issue their non-bailable arrest warrants.
It is apropos to mention here that an accountability court has last Wednesday indicted Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in a reference filed against him by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.
Police releases traffic plan during Sharif’s appearance
Kashmir Highway would remain closed from G-11 signal to Service Road. The citizens could go to Project Morr by turning left from Kashmir Highway.
Service Road, South G-11 and Double Road would remain closed. Road from Tirmizi Chowk to G-11 would also remain closed. Those coming to G-11 center should use route via Project Morr. Service Road West would remain closed from Street 12 to G-11 signal; citizens should travel via G-11 One-Four from Street 2.
The NAB had filed three references against Sharif, and his children in connection with their flats in a posh London neighbourhood, Al Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Company Ltd and other offshore companies.
The fourth reference was filed against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar under Section 14-c for possessing assets beyond the known sources of his income.
The national anti-graft watchdog had filed the references against Sharif family and the finance minister in compliance with the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case.
On July 28, the apex court had disqualified former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and ordered filing of references against him, his children and the finance minister in light of the Panama joint investigation team report.