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Democracy, strong institutions imperative for Pak

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Democracy, strong institutions imperative for Pak

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said on Wednesday said that democracy and strong institutions are imperative for the country’s stability. Photo: TheMeanBlog News file 

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said on Wednesday said that democracy and strong institutions are imperative for the country’s stability.

“I have taken a stance on principle and my struggle will eventually benefit the country and its citizens,” Nawaz said during a meeting with former presidents of the Supreme Court Bar and lawyers associated with the Pakistan Bar Council lawyers earlier today.

The lawyers assured Nawaz of their support to him for the cause of democracy and maintaining the sanctity of votes. The former prime minister, too, said that he will bring the lawyers on board in the struggle to establish the writ of law and sanctity of the vote.

Referring the Movement for the Restoration of Judiciary in 2009 in response to the former president Pervez Musharraf’s actions of March 9, 2007 when he unconstitutionally suspended Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as the chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court, Nawaz said that he had led the Long March to restore the judiciary and establish the writ of law.

He also appreciated the ‘countless sacrifices’ of lawyers and said that their struggle for democracy can never be forgotten.

“We are this close to finishing electricity load shedding and terrorism from the country,” Nawaz said, adding that he has always served Pakistan with sincerity and will continue to do so in the future.  

Earlier today, Nawaz spoke to the media after appearing before an accountability court and said that the “punishment” being meted out to him is being done so at someone’s behest.

He also remarked that the detailed Supreme Court order dismissing his review petition in the Panama Papers case was seemingly written by their political opponents.

“[The review petition] was a message to the accountability court that Nawaz has to be punished at any cost,” alleged the former premier.

He told the media to mark his words, that the “judge will not give the punishment [on his own]” but will be dictated to do so.

Nawaz recalled that he made similar remarks in 1999 [after his government was ousted in a military coup] in the plane-highjacking case, saying he was trapped at the time and the same is being repeated today.

He also said that the principles and criteria of courts differ in his and others’ cases. 

The references

The NAB has in total filed three references against the Sharif family and another against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the accountability court, in light of the Supreme Court’s orders in the Panama Papers case verdict of July 28.

Court approves Maryam, Safdar’s bail; separates cases of Nawaz’s sons

The anti-graft body was given six weeks, from the date of the apex court’s order, to file the reference in an accountability court while the accountability court was granted six months to wrap up the proceedings.

The references against the Sharif family pertain to the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, their London properties and over dozen offshore companies owned by the family.

Maryam and Safdar are only nominated in the London properties reference. At an earlier hearing, the court also approved Maryam and Safdar’s bail in the Avenfiled properties case and ordered them to submit surety bonds worth Rs5 million each.

Safdar was also directed to take the court’s permission before leaving the country from now on. The judge also provided a copy of the reference — spread over 53 volumes — to Maryam and Safdar.

Accountability court accepts all references against Sharifs, Dar: NAB

NAB’s Rawalpindi branch prepared two references regarding the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, and the nearly dozen companies owned by the Sharif family.

Its Lahore branch prepared a reference on the Sharif family’s Avenfield apartments in London and another against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for owning assets beyond his known sources of income.

If convicted, the accused may face up to 14 years imprisonment and lifelong disqualification from holding public office including the freezing of bank accounts and assets.

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