Tweets, snacks and gossip: Accountability court gives Sharifs ‘preferential treatment’ | Pakistan Today

Tweets, snacks and gossip: Accountability court gives Sharifs ‘preferential treatment’

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his followers are getting a preferential treatment as far as the security officials and support staff of the accountability court hearing the graft cases of the Sharif family are concerned, Pakistan Today has reliably learnt.

Various Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders and ministers are allowed to use their cell phones, talk during the court session and even take a smoke break within the premises of the accountability court, despite a ban on such activities.

Nawaz Sharif, often, during the hearing, passes his time reading newspapers and indulging in small talk with his trusted advisors.

On one occasion, during the cross-examination of prosecution witness Wajid Zia, Maryam Nawaz, Asif Kirmani, Maryam Aurangzeb, Pervez Rashid, Danyal Aziz and Tallal Chaudhry were allowed to carry their mobile phones to the courtroom.

In a violation of court conduct, former premier’s daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif uses her mobile phone and posts various Twitter messages while the graft hearing is underway.

Often times, the security officials and leaders of PML-N eat Samosas and Pakoras as refreshment. Pervez Rashid was also on one occasion observed smoking in the corridor where smoking is prohibited.

On the other hand, the law enforcement agencies scan all the journalists and lawyers before they are allowed to enter the courtroom.

It has also become a norm for Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz to hold informal talks with journalists before the accountability court proceedings which later are shown as headlines in the electronic media.

While talking to Pakistan Today, Supreme Court Advocate Mian Mushtaq said, “Although the behaviour of Sharif family while in the courtroom is inappropriate, it would be very cynical of the court to take action against them. Such comforts and tiny leeways will not hamper the bigger cause at play.”

High court Advocate Chaudhary Badar was of the view that the very protocol and security provided by the state to the accused, who is a former prime minister, makes it clear that the Sharif family are no run-of-the-mill accused and that the behaviour they depict in court is of individuals who consider themselves above law and order.

“On days when the hearings are conducted, roads are blocked, children and patients get stuck in traffic and the whole area around the accountability court turns into a fort. The treatment they get makes us question if indeed the law is equal for everyone,” he said.

The writer is a member of the staff, Islamabad Bureau.

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