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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Toshakhana case: Will Nawaz Sharif be arrested?

An accountability court (AC) issued non-bailable arrest warrants for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Toshakhana Case. The former premier is in London after an alleged deal signing with the establishment. Will he be arrested?

An accountability court (AC) issued non-bailable arrest warrants for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Toshakhana case, local media reported on Thursday.  Recently, the court issued a warrant against the ex-Prime Minister and directed former President Asif Ali Zardari to appear on June 11 in Toshakhana reference.

Former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani appeared before the court whereas Nawaz and Zardari did not.

An application for exemption from appearance was filed by the Asif Ali Zardari which was granted by the accountability court. The accountability court ordered the foreign office to comply with the warrant through the Pakistani Embassy in the United Kingdom (UK).

Read More: Fawad Ch calls for probe into Nawaz Sharif medical test reports

Issuing non-bailable arrest warrants for the former prime minister, the court issued the summon notice to Zardari and ordered to ensure his attendance in the next hearing on June 30.

Toshakhana case

The NAB had filed a reference with the accountability court against the former heads of the state for not depositing luxury vehicles and valuable gifts received from the foreign leaders in the treasury.

NAB sources said that former president Asif Ali Zardari had only paid 15 per cent of the total cost of the vehicles received as gifts through fake accounts.

Zardari had received expensive cars as a gift from Libya and the UAE as president but did not deposit it in the Tosha Khana, the sources added.

Nawaz Sharif and Yousaf Raza Gillani had also received cars as a gift from different foreign leaders as prime ministers and used it themselves instead of depositing them in the treasury.

Read More: NAB’s order in Toshakhana case: Is Nawaz Sharif going to be arrested soon?

Owners of Omni Group, Khawaja Anwar Majeed and Khawaja Abdul Ghani Majeed were also nominated as accused in the reference.

Nawaz left for London

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 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 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.

Read More: How to bring Nawaz Sharif back to Pakistan?

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.

Nawaz went to London after signing a deal?

There is a growing perception that Nawaz Sharif went to London after signing a deal with the establishment. Those who suspect a deal point towards the past. If the history of Pakistan is any witness to help then it may be true. No politically powerful person in Pakistan’s history has ever been punished in a court of law; 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.