Nawaz Sharif objects to 'back to jail' comments of Pakistan info minister

PTI Islamabad, Pakistan Oct 26, 2018, 07.28 PM(IST)

File photo of Nawaz Sharif. Photograph:( Reuters )

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A top Pakistani court last month suspended the jail sentences of Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain (retd) Mohammad Safdar in the

Pakistan's deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif's lawyers on Friday urged an accountability court to take notice of Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry's statement claiming the PML-N party supremo will "definitely go to prison again".

A top Pakistani court last month suspended the jail sentences of Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain (retd) Mohammad Safdar in the Avenfield corruption case, one of the three corruption cases faced by the three-time prime minister. The trio were released from a jail following the court order.

Sharif's lawyers Khawaja Haris and Zubair Khalid asked Accountability Judge Arshad Malik to take cognizance of Chaudhry's remarks on the Hill Metal

Establishment case, in which the minister had stated that the former premier would go to prison again, Dawn newspaper reported.

Haris said that the court should take action against "the minister giving statements about you [the court] and Nawaz Sharif's arrest. This falls in your jurisdiction and you should take action against it."

"If action is not taken against this, it would create problems for the court," he said.

To this, Judge Malik said: "Was Chaudhry's statement general or was it a statement specifically targeting the court?"

He also told Haris and Khalid to file a written petition in court and attach a clipping of the news report that contains the reported statement of Chaudhry.

Speaking on Geo News on Thursday, Chaudhry had said that everyone knows the facts of the Hill Metal Establishment case and that Sharif, chief of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party, will "definitely go to prison again".

After Haris and Khalid's remarks in court were reported, Chaudhry tweeted from his official account and said: "Had Khawaja Haris is a senior lawyer, and had he not taken millions in fees [from Nawaz Sharif's family] even he would have admitted that Nawaz Sharif should be punished. 

It is unfortunate that such fool-proof cases take years to be completed," the minister said.

He added: "The Opposition neither has any leadership nor any vision, they are only playing politics to save their money and more than fifty of them will go to jail."

On the orders of the Supreme Court, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed three corruption cases against the 68-year-old Sharif.

Apart from the Avenfield case, the Sharifs face jail terms if they are convicted in two more corruption cases related to the Al-Azizia and the Flagship Investment cases.

The cases against the family stemmed from the Panama Papers case in April 2016.