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Nawaz Demands Suo Moto on ‘Anti-democratic Moves’

Islamabad (April 06, 2018):  Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said all institutions should remain in their domains, ready to have consultation with parties for the betterment of the country.

Endorsing yesterday’s remarks of the Supreme Court chief justice, Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif categorically stated that no delay would be allowed in the general elections.

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Addressing the media alongside political allies from Balochistan outside the accountability court hearing corruption cases against him, the three-time prime minister added that JIT leveled many allegations against him, but not of corruption.

He said that the chief justice should take suo motu notices of ‘anti-democratic’ moves such as the recent no-confidence motion against his party’s chief minister in Balochistan as well as the ‘horse trading’ during the election of the Senate chairman.

He reiterated his appreciation for the chief justice’s remarks, but said that actions should follow words.

“What the Supreme Court’s chief justice said yesterday was absolutely correct and we endorse those remarks. But he should ensure that there is a level-playing field for everyone. There should be no injustice against anyone and the field should be open for everyone. It should not be that someone’s hands are tied while for others an open field is given to do what they want,” the former premier asserted.He explained his comments by comparing his disqualification as prime minister and party president, and the ongoing corruption cases against him, to the “leniency” shown by the judiciary to his political rival Imran Khan.

Talking about the upcoming polls, Nawaz said, “we will not let the elections be postponed at any cost, nor will the civil society [and other segments of society]”.

The Pakistan Muslim League-N supremo revealed that he is meeting Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi tomorrow where he will advise him to make the National Accountability Ordinance ineffective during the caretaker setup [from the dissolution of present government until the elections].

He added that he does not want the law to be struck down in his favour, asserting that the case against him can continue but he does not want the law used as a tool to influence the elections by NAB taking action against politicians so close to the elections.“NAB law is a black law that was made by a dictator to punish politicians, especially me,” said Nawaz, adding that, “God willing, we will finish this law”.

“If the chief justice wants to implement what he said, he should take suo motu on the misuse of NAB law,” he added.

In response to a question, Nawaz hit out at Pakistan Peoples Party chief Asif Zardari, saying the party should first start getting more than 400-500 votes in Punjab and then talk about bringing a government in the province.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Imran Khan confessed everything, but he was spared by the supreme court, but it ordered my removal, even from the party president ship. He said justice should be served without any discrimination.Former Prime Minster said he liked the comments of the Chief Justice of Pakistan for the democracy in the country.

Earlier, the hearing of Avenfield Ref Case adjourned until  April, 9, as judge Muhammad Bashir was unable to reach AC due to health issues on Friday.

According to the details, Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir, who has been conducting corruption proceedings against the Sharif family since September last year, not presided over the hearing as he is unwell. During today’s hearing, Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris was expected to continue his cross-examination of Wajid Zia, the Federal Investigation Agency additional director who headed the Panama case joint investigation team (JIT) which probed the Sharif family’s assets last year.

Today would have been the eighth time Zia was cross-examined after having recorded his statement in the case over six hearings earlier.

Earlier, Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and daughter Maryam have arrived in Islamabad from Lahore to attend the hearing of the Avenfield properties reference against them. At Thursday’s hearing, Zia had informed the court that they obtained the employee records of Capital FZE — Nawaz’s son’s company which had employed the former premier — from Jabal Ali Free Zone Authority.

Zia stated that screenshots of the payment sheets do not contain Nawaz’s name, adding that neither is there a receipt or bank record of receiving a salary.When Haris commented that there is no mention of Nawaz ever having received a salary from the UAE-based company, Zia asserted that though the name is not mentioned the documents are related to the former premier.

The case of the Sharif family’s London flats is based on a reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the Supreme Court’s directives last year.

The cases
The trial against the Sharif family had commenced on September 14, 2017.The corruption references, filed against the Sharifs, pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties of London.

Nawaz and sons Hussain and Hasan are accused in all three references whereas his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Safdar are accused in the Avenfield reference only.

The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court.

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