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What is the future of Nawaz Sharif?


News Analysis |

Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry has said that the decision of an accountability court against the ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is commendable. Mr. Chaudhry has maintained that it was a historic day for the whole nation when mafias were being arrested by the authorities.

It is important to mention here that Judge Arshad Malik on Monday in his verdict maintained that Mr. Nawaz was indicted in the Al-Azizia reference under Section 9(a)(v) of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999. The short order said that the burden of proof lies on Nawaz in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif gets 7-year jail term in Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference

The former premier, however, was acquitted in the Flagship Investments reference. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) announced that it would appeal against the verdict.

But the Federal Minister has said that Mr. Sharif has only been acquitted by the accountability court in Flagship Investment corruption case on “technical grounds”. Mr. Chaudhary also asserted that the PML-N supremo has been acquitted in the other reference because his sons didn’t appear before the court. “[Nawaz’s] children proved to be so unworthy that they did not even appear [in court] for their father’s defense,” Chaudhary told reporters.

Moreover, Mr. Chaudhary also mentioned that according to the law it was over to the Sharif family to give a money trail of their businesses which they did not. He stated that “as per the NAB law if a person is unable to justify the sources of his earnings then that amount is considered as corruption,” he said. The minister said that looted money had been laundered abroad through the fake companies and accounts; therefore, the money trail could not be produced.

Read more: Bilawal, Maryam Nawaz can join hands for protest

Mr. Chaudhary said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) under the leadership of Imran Khan carried out a prolonged political struggle to bring the Panama culprits to justice.

It deserves merit to be mentioned here that PML-N is focusing on the civilian supremacy and going forward as an anti-establishment political figure in Pakistan. But his inability to satisfy the court or give judicially acceptable evidence has not shunned his personal credibility.

Interestingly, PMLN leadership and supporters are accusing the court and judges of biases and NAB being a puppet of the government; the same court, to them, is fair when it acquits Nawaz Sharif in Flagship Investment Reference and the very same court is biased when it indicts him in Al-Azizia steel Mills case.