News Analysis |
The accountability court on Thursday issued bailable arrest warrants for the former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif for his failure to appear in the court. The warrants issued are in relation to two graft references- Avenfield flats reference and the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment reference. The hearing was adjourned until 3rd November.
Nawaz and his family are facing graft references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in-line with the unanimous verdict of the Supreme Court in the Panama Case; Sharif was indicted in all the references last week.
Senator Farrukh Naseem stated that the case against Nawaz Sharif is simple in nature since all he has to do is to prove his money trail.
Maryam Nawaz and her husband, Captain Safdar appeared in the accountability court earlier today; both of them were indicted along with Nawaz Sharif in the Avenfield flats reference. Maryam and Safdar both reached the Judicial complex separately. Upon being questioned about it, Safdar said that the security staff has its own plan.
Federal minister Daniyal Aziz, senators Asif Kirmani and Pervaiz Rasheed and State Interior Minister Tallal Chaudhry were present inside the court. However, contrary to earlier reports, Nawaz did not appear in the court.
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The NAB prosecutor retorted to the plea of Sharif’s counsel, Khawaja Harris by saying that his exemption request had crossed the 15 -day period. Judge Muhammad Bashir accepted NAB’s plea and issued warrants in a bid to ensure Nawaz’s appearance in the next hearing.
Nawaz is unable to do it, then his sons must come forward and present the money trail.
Analysts have observed that Nawaz is in thick soup ever since his indictment. The failure of dilatory tactics has virtually left him with no legal options. Pundits are critical of Nawaz’s tour de Riyadh. Nawaz is on a visit to Saudi Arabia. Sources in the PML-N have described Sharif’s extended stay in the Kingdom as positive.
Nawaz’s strategy: Political?
It is widely believed that the Sharifs can only resort to political options to get out of the conundrum. Saudi Arabia has good ties with the Sharifs; the royal family bailed out Nawaz when it brokered a deal between the then deposed Nawaz and Gen. Musharraf in 2000. Sharif’s bond with the Kingdom is hence high-touted.
The royal family bailed out Nawaz when it brokered a deal between the then deposed Nawaz and Gen.
While the PML-N is finding it hard to draw the support of the PPP, analysts assert that the ruling family is banking on international support, of which the KSA is an important pillar. Speculations have risen because of Sharif, who was poised to come to Islamabad for the hearing today, decided to steer clear.
Observers feel that Nawaz is trying to assess the political pulse before taking further steps to finalize his strategy of survival. However, his strategy at home is facing stiff resistance from within the party. His brother, Shahbaz Sharif is utterly against his confrontational approach; talks of splinter groups are being heard frequently. It would be interesting to see how the 67-year old will grapple with multi-pronged problems.
Federal minister Daniyal Aziz, senators Asif Kirmani and Pervaiz Rasheed and State Interior Minister Tallal Chaudhry were present inside the court.
Also, Nawaz’s position and clout in the party is being challenged from within and outside. Party stalwarts want the pragmatism of Shahbaz to supplant the confrontational politics of Nawaz. Senate has amended the Elections Reform Bill 2017, challenging the reinstatement of Nawaz as the head of the PML-N. Watchers predict interesting times ahead with Sharif being in the thick of things.
Legal Experts & Analysts argue
Meanwhile, Amir Abbas ex-prosecutor NAB, while talking to media opined that the case against Sharif family is strong and NS has to explain whether he owns these companies mentioned in NAB references or not. If Nawaz is unable to do it, then his sons must come forward and present the money trail. He also stated that Nawaz Sharif’s name must be put in ECL to ensure his presence in court hearings.
Nawaz and his family are facing graft references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in-line with the unanimous verdict of the Supreme Court in the Panama Case.
Moreover, Senator Farrukh Naseem, country’s foremost constitutional expert, argued on media, that the case against Nawaz Sharif is simple. And in his opinion, the only reason Nawaz is avoiding court is because he does not have the money trail. Senator also explained that courts always move in steps and stages and Nawaz doesn’t appear, he might be declared “proclaimed offender”