LAHORE: After the eagerly anticipated decision of Avenfield reference was announced by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Friday, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers and its leadership celebrated the verdict, terming it a victory of the rule of law.
The NAB court in Islamabad announced the verdict after a long hearing which lasted for over nine months.
On Friday, PTI activists gathered in their respective campaign offices since morning. The offices have been established in every constituency of the city for the preparation of the 2018 general elections.
Despite the delayed court decision till 4 pm, most of the activists remained seated in the offices to hear the expected decision.
Soon after the accountability court the decision, PTI workers came on streets and stated celebrate. Prior to the decision, in many parts of the Lahore, the contesting candidates had ordered for the sweets which they started distribute among the people.
In central office of NA-133, Ejaz Chaudhary celebrated the court verdict with people of his constituency. At the occasion, Chaudhary termed it a historic day of the country which will set the future of the country. He said that the decision is a victory of justice and rule of law. He said, “This was the day for which the nation had been waiting for a long time.”
In NA-135, where the party has fielded has Malik Karamat Khokhar while provincial assembly’s constituency PP-173 also falls under this constituency where Maryam Nawaz was contesting against PTI’s Sarfraz Khokhar, PTI workers began their bike rally. They were carrying party flags and placards.
PTI leader Aleem Khan has declared the NAB court verdict as a victory of Imran Khan’s efforts during the last 22 years. Talking to party workers of his constituency, he said that now the nation has realised that the ruling elite cannot be allowed to loot their money. Aleem said that the next turn will be of Zardari and Shehbaz Sharif, and that the nation will see them behind bars very soon. “After today’s decision, it has been proven that the Sharifs started development projects for their corruption.”
Malik Aqeel Aslam, a PTI activist in NA-136, said that nation has realised that the corrupts had been elected previously. He said that the decision was made possible due to Imran Khan’s long-term struggle. “Today, the nation is more sensible and it will reject any corrupt leader,” he added.
After the NAB court’s decision, activists and workers belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) refrained themselves from staging any protest. However, prior to the decision, PML-N leader Waheed Gul reached Lahore Press Club with party workers against the expected court verdict. They chanted slogans in favour of Nawaz Sharif. Gul said that the decision will be politically motivated, and that it would not be accepted. However, he said that they would not let elections be postponed.
Just like in Lahore, jubilant scenes were reported from across the country where people celebrated the decision in their respective areas. In Faisalabad, PTI workers came on roads and started celebrations while expressing their pleasure on the accountability court decision.
In Karachi, a large number of PTI workers reportedly gathered at Mizar-e-Quaid where they distributed sweets and cheered the celebrations.
In Avenfield properties reference, NAB court Judge Mohammad Bashir announced the verdict in which former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to 10 years in prison and slapped a £8 million fine while his daughter Maryam was sentenced to seven years with a £2 million fine.