News Analysis |
On Tuesday, an accountability court adjourned the hearing of the graft references against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter, Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt. Safdar till 4th December. The trio appeared in the anti-graft court earlier and sought the suspensions of hearings until the Islamabad High Court (IHC) gives its verdict on clubbing the three references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in-line with the Supreme Court’s unanimous verdict in the Panama Case.
After the accountability court rejected clubbing the references earlier this month, Nawaz filed a petition in the IHC. The court reserved its verdict on clubbing references in its last hearing on 23rd November. The petition had sought the suspension of proceedings in the accountability court.
Many assert that the sit-in was a severe blow to the government’s authority and will likely have an impact on the PML-N in the days to come
The NAB prosecutor Sardar Muzzafar opposed Nawaz’s request of suspending proceedings contending that witnesses had appeared on behalf of the Bureau for the hearing and should be allowed to record their statement. The prosecutor said that one of the witnesses had only recorded half of his testimony in the previous hearing and should be allowed to record it completely today. However, the court turned down the objections and adjourned the hearing.
After the indictment and the initiation of the trial, the Sharif family has tried to push the courts to club the references; something that many assert is being done in a bid to delay the somewhat impending conviction. While briefly talking to the media, Nawaz said that he would take on the Faizabad sit-in soon.
After the hearing, Nawaz was taken to the Punjab House in a heavy protocol. A meeting is underway under the stewardship of Nawaz and is being attended by the big wigs of the government to include Federal Ministers Ahsan Iqbal, Daniyal Aziz and others.
According to sources, the future strategy to deal with graft proceedings and Nawaz’s possible return to London are the topics under discussion.
The NAB prosecutor Sardar Muzzafar opposed Nawaz’s request of suspending proceedings contending that witnesses had appeared on behalf of the Bureau for the hearing and should be allowed to record their statement.
The NAB references had been off-limelight due to the explosive situation that emanated from the Faizabad sit-in. The end of the standoff is being seen differently by analysts across the aisles. Regardless of the ultimate beneficiary of the sit-in, it is abundantly clear that once again the accountability proceedings are back as main news in the media. It would be interesting to see as to how the Sharifs will impede or delay the process now. With the trial well underway, many feel that conviction may not be far away.
Many assert that the sit-in was a severe blow to the government’s authority and will likely have an impact on the PML-N in the days to come. Under such circumstances, it will be intriguing to see how much support the party will lend to the Sharifs.