Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has passed some strong remarks against the former premier, reported local media. “Nawaz Sharif left for London after deceiving the government and the nation,” the judge noted. Justice Kayani also said that “Nawaz mocked the entire system”. “This is very shameful,” the judge lamented.
The IHC is hearing former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s appeals against his conviction in the Al-Azizia and Avenfield cases. A two-judge bench comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Mohsin Akhtar Kayani is hearing the case.
Nawaz Sharif’s lawyers maintained before the court that he was ill and could not appear before the courts. The lawyers, however, failed to furnish any reliable medical report before the courts. Nawaz spent not a single night in any hospital in London. He left for the UK on health grounds and demanded relief from the government as well as the courts.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special assistant on accountability, Shahzad Akbar, said on Sunday that former premier Nawaz Sharif had left the country for treatment on certain conditions and that none of these had been fulfilled, as the National Accountability Bureau stepped up efforts to continue proceedings in the two cases against him.
The issue of Nawaz’s health became more important after he addressed an All Parties Conference (APC) on September 20. Nawaz slammed the establishment and the incumbent government for hijacking the political process and installing an incompetent person as the prime minister.
It is important to note that the federal cabinet granted in-principle “conditional” approval to remove Nawaz’s name from the ECL. The government had asked the Sharif family to pay Rs.7 billion as surety bonds — equivalent to the fines imposed on him by an accountability court in two corruption cases Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Avenfield properties — in which he was convicted.
The PML-N leadership rejected the offer. While addressing a press conference after a consultation meeting of senior party leaders in Lahore, Shehbaz Sharif said that the incumbent government of PTI wanted to take ransom from the Sharif family in the name of an indemnity bond.
The Lahore High Court on Saturday (usually an off day) allowed former premier Nawaz Sharif to travel abroad for four weeks for medical treatment, saying the duration could be extended based on medical reports.
A two-judge bench, comprising Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem, started hearing the petition at 11 am and after multiple breaks and back and forth, delivered the verdict close to 6 pm.
In the court-approved undertaking, Nawaz assured that he would return “within four weeks” ─ a time frame that was missing in the initial handwritten undertaking.
Analysts argue that no politically powerful person in Pakistan’s history has ever been punished in a court of law in a corruption case; convictions even if obtained in lower courts are almost always overturned by superior courts. The system simply does not have the will to punish powerful people- they argue. In this case, powerful sections of media, doctors and other actors active behind the scenes may be making a case to pressurize Prime Minister Imran Khan to let Nawaz go to London under a medical emergency, it’s being said.