From Abid Usman
LAHORE: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif was released from Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat central jail after nearly seven months on Friday.
Sharif was granted post-arrest bail in a money laundering reference by a full bench of the Lahore High Court on Thursday.
His release orders were furnished before the jail authorities on Friday after the PML-N leader submitted surety bonds required by the court order. He was then released immediately. Kot Lakhpat jail Superintendent Asad Warraich also confirmed the release of Sharif who left for his Model Town residence. PML-N leaders had announced that they would not carry out any protest or rally to celebrate Sharif’s release due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The party’s vice president and Sharif’s niece Maryam Nawaz tweeted: “Welcome back home officially too dearest Uncle.” On Thursday, Justice Ali Baqar Najafi, who headed the bench, announced a short order in the open court with Justice Aalia Neelum and Justice Syed Shahbaz Ali Rizvi also present.
“For the reasons to be recorded later and with consensus, we admit the petitioner to post-arrest bail subject to his furnishing bail bonds in the sum of Rs5 million with two sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the learned trial court,” read the short order signed by all the three judges.
At the outset of the hearing, NAB special prosecutor Syed Faisal Raza Bokhari referred to a statement of Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar, the counsel for Sharif, about a split decision previously issued by a division bench in the bail petition of the opposition leader. Tarar had stated the other day that it was unfortunate that a division bench initially allowed the bail petition and later issued a split decision.