ISLAMABAD : Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Maryam Nawaz and Captain (r) Safdar on Tuesday have appeared before Islamabad High Court (IHC) for the hearing on the appeals filed by Sharif family and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) regarding Avenfield and Flagship references. During the proceedings, the court has separated Maryam Nawaz and Captain (r) Safdar‘s case from Nawaz Sharif‘s appeal and adjourned the hearing till September 23. Talking to media, Maryam Nawaz said that fake cases were registered against her and Nawaz Sharif. “Opposition parties should work together to take action against the government,” she said. She further told that PML-N will “definitely” attend All Parties Conference (APC). Earlier, before arrival, Maryam Nawaz received warm welcome by the party workers at Bara Kahu. The PML-N vice-president responded to the greetings and love of the people by coming out of her car and waving back at them. IHC has directed PML-N supremo and former Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif to surrender before the court and appear in next hearing at any cost. Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Harris has recorded his arguments on a appeal seeking his client‘s exemption from the hearing. Nawaz Sharif’s bail in Avenfield reference was approved on merit as the diseases the ex-PM was suffering from cannot be treated in Pakistan, he added. Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani remarked that Nawaz Sharif has to appear before the court for hearing. If he is absconder in the reference then he may face additional three-year imprisonment, he went on to say. The judge said that skipping appearance in trial is also a crime over which, the counsel said that Nawaz Sharif is undergoing medical treatment, however, he will return after fully recovering from the illness. The court said that there is no proof of Nawaz Sharif’s treatment. Khawaja Harris responded, “Federal government can investigate whether the ex-premier is telling a lie or not.” Maryam Nawaz and Captain (r) Safdar, who were candidates for the general elections 2018, were also disqualified from contesting elections for 10 years each. The sentence and a fine of 8 million pounds, or $10.6 million, came almost a year after Supreme Court removed Sharif from office and less than five months after the court barred him from holding office for life.
Safdar was arrested by the NAB authorities in Rawalpindi on July 9 while Nawaz Sharif and Maryam were taken into custody by the officials after their flight landed at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport. They were shifted to Adiala Jail. Afterwards, the IHC had suspended sentences of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain (r) Safdar in the Avenfield reference. Justice Athar Minallah, while announcing the verdict, had directed to release ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar over surety bonds worth Rs0.5 million each. On the other hand, an accountability court had handed Nawaz Sharif sentence in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference, and acquitted him in a second reference related to Flagship Investments. In the Flagship reference, NAB had claimed that Sharif and his sons set up Flagship Investment Limited and 15 other companies and used these companies “to manage/acquire expensive properties/any movement of funds to hide the real sources of funds.”