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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Is ground being set to grant bail to Asif Zardari and Shehbaz Sharif?

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has directed forming a medical board to examine the health condition of former president Asif Ali Zardari who is seeking pre-arrest bail in Rs8 billion suspicious transaction case.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has directed forming a medical board to examine the health condition of former president Asif Ali Zardari who is seeking pre-arrest bail in Rs8 billion suspicious transaction case.

Following Zardari’s pre-arrest bail plea, the high court decided to form a medical board to review his health condition. The court directed relevant authorities to form a medical board besides including the medical superintendent (MS) of Ziauddin Hospital as a member.

It has been directed to submit Zardari’s medical reports within two weeks. The court has also accepted the petitioner’s plea for his exemption of personal appearance in the hearing.

Zardari’s counsel Farooq H Naek told IHC that they filed the bail petition on medical grounds and the court has already granted bail to him in two other cases. He added that a medical board had been constituted earlier in light of court directives.

The lawyer of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) said that they will not oppose the decision to form a medical board comprising medics from the government hospital of Karachi.

Justice Aamer Farooq remarked that the decision will be taken after getting an opinion from the medical board. Justice Farooq said that experts are needed to ascertaining about the disease.

Some sources claim that the ground is being set to grant bail to Shehbaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari in the face of rising tension among various factions of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

Recently, an accountability court on put off the hearing of a money laundering case against PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and members of his family until January 6.

Shehbaz, who is also leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, complained to the judge that a medical board has not yet come. “I am in your custody. You are powerful so you can call the board,” he said, addressing the judge.

He once again requested the court to form a medical board to examine his health. At this, the judge told him to submit a written request, after which he will pass an order as per the law.

Read more: All cases against PML-N are false, if corruption is found I should be hanged: Shehbaz Sharif

Shehbaz asked the judge to use his powers, to which the latter remarked that the PML-N president was given a bulletproof vehicle for his transportation from jail to the court on his orders. “I will use power when the time to do so comes,” he said.

Shehbaz is Establishment’s man?

Shehbaz is known for his pro-establishment in his party. There have been some reports suggesting his differences with Nawaz and Maryam over the nature of the party’s relationship with the country’s powerful establishment. Maryam was leading a segment of the party with the slogan of ‘vote ko izat do.’ She slammed the establishment for political engineering and getting favorable verdicts from courts. However, later on, Shehbaz’s approach appeared to have prevailed as the party not only offered unconditional support to amend the law to give extension in service to the Army Chief but also Maryam went silent.

“Shehbaz Sharif is the establishment’s, next blue-eyed man. PM Imran is likely to remain in his seat but Shehbaz is certain to have an invisible role to reorganize his party to become a new force in Punjab,” a senior official who spoke on the condition of anonymity told GVS. Analysts in Islamabad are mulling over the question; is PM Imran and his government are aware of what is going on in national politics?

Notably, Arif Hameed Bhatti, a prominent journalist and political commentator, revealed in a talk-show, Breaking Point with Malick, that the establishment has “secretly conveyed to Prime Minister Imran Khan to resolve the ongoing political impasse in the country”.

Bhatti also revealed that Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) Secretary General Muhammad Ali Durrani called on PML-N President and National Assembly Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif in Kot Lakhpat jail after he was asked “by the establishment to go to jail”.

“During my meeting with Shehbaz, I conveyed an important message of the party chief Syed Sibghatullah Rashidi [Pir of Pagaro] to him. Mr Shehbaz is asked to play his role in stopping the opposition from resigning from the assemblies as the move could wrap up the democratic system. There is a need to initiate a grand dialogue among the national institutions and politicians, make the parliament functional and gather all Muslim Leagues under one platform,” Mr Durrani told media persons after the meeting.

Read more: Maryam Nawaz get hits by her own security guard outside IHC

There is a strong perception that the PPP and PML-N leaders are likely to get bails and the government, in return, may see an end to the ongoing political processions against the incumbent administration.