Nawaz questions 'morality lessons from PCO judges'

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif questioned a “morality lesson” from judges who took oath under military dictators.

Nawaz was addressing the media after appearing before the accountability court hearing corruption cases against him and his family following his disqualification by the Supreme Court in July last year.

“What lesson on morality will the PCO [provisional constitutional order] judges give us,” said Nawaz, adding that he is not the one to make a ‘deal’. He added that no Pakistani should accept these ‘lessons’.

Nawaz was referring to judges who took oath when then-army chief General Pervez Musharraf imposed martial law.

“Now they want to remove me from the party presidency,” said Nawaz, referring to the ongoing case in the apex court against his re-election as the Pakistan Muslim League-N following his disqualification.

“I’m not involved in any corruption. I don’t accept such verdicts,” said Nawaz, adding that God is with those whose intentions and heart is pure.

“These people want to construct a 10-storey building on shaky foundations,” said the three-time premier.

In a direct critique at the judiciary and his chief opponent, Nawaz said the language of the chief justice and Imran Khan is the same, adding that “does this not make the whole thing one-sided then”.

Accountability court rejects exemption request

The accountability court during today’s hearing rejected Nawaz Sharif and his family’s request to be exempted from appearance. Nawaz, daughter Maryam and son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar had pleaded the court to be exempted from appearance from 19 February to 5 March.

The three appeared today in the courtroom of Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir.

During proceedings,  Nawaz’s counsel pleaded the court to allow his client to travel to London. However, NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Muzaffar Abbasi opposed the plea citing the nearing of the March deadline by the Supreme Court to wrap up the case.

Abbasi further stated that Nawaz’s two sons are already proclaimed offenders in the case.
Moreover, the accused also signed and received the copies of the two supplementary references filed by NAB against them during the hearing.

The hearing of the case has been adjourned until February 22.

Plea to place, Nawaz family on ECL

On Wednesday, NAB requested the Ministry of Interior to place Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar’s names on the Exit Control List (ECL), observing that the accused have not joined NAB’s investigations despite summons and could flee the country to escape legal process.

Moreover, it requested for placement of Nawaz’s sons, Hussain and Hasan, on the ECP as well so they can be arrested on their return to Pakistan and be made a part of the investigation.

Whereas Nawaz is accused in all three cases, Maryam and Safdar are named in the Avenfield reference only. Moreover, Nawaz’s sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references but have been declared proclaimed offenders due to their continuous no-show.

Supplementary references in Al-Azizia, Flagship

Moreover, on Wednesday, NAB Rawalpindi filed two supplementary references against Nawaz, Hussain and Hasan in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd cases.
At the last hearing of the case on February 13, proceedings were adjourned due to a strike by the legal community. However, during the hearing, the judge had admonished the prosecution for failing to present supplementary references in the Al Azizia and Flagship cases. The court also later issued a notice to NAB’s Rawalpindi director general to furnish an explanation as to why the supplementary references have not been filed so far.