IHC denies bail to Nawaz


–Jail admin cancels political schedule of Nawaz amid ‘security threats’, only family allowed meeting 

–Maryam vows to end ‘injustice’ till the end 

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday dismissed a plea by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif seeking suspension of sentence in Al-Azizia case on health grounds.

The verdict was announced by a two-member bench, comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, after hearing arguments of Khawaja Haris, counsel for Nawaz, and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor Jahanzaib Bharwana.

Maryam Nawaz took to Twitter against the verdict, saying she would take the case to its logical conclusion. She said she will fight for her father till the end and will get justice for him as he is “the true representative of people”.

As the high court took up the case earlier in the day, Haris apprised the court that former PM was seeking suspension of sentence on health grounds, as “over 60 per cent health condition of the former premier is in danger”.

He said Nawaz needed further treatment [outside jail], which was essential to reduce the mental stress he was facing in jail.

The counsel said the former premier couldn’t be treated in Pakistan, adding that his health was deteriorating owing to his heart ailments as well as diabetes.

Nawaz needs an attendant round the clock to ensure that his blood sugar level remains normal, the counsel said.

Referring to previous relief to the ex-PM wherein he was released for six-weeks on health grounds, Haris said medical tests were carried out during the period. Haris said the diseases have been diagnosed and now his client needs treatment.

Justice Farooq said there were very skilled doctors in the country and several Pakistani doctors are working abroad.

Haris responded with an example, saying that the Pakistani side plays aggressively against others and feel pressure when they face India. Justice Kiyani remarked that it seems the patient has no qualms about being treated in Pakistan but doctors are avoiding responsibility.

Hairs pointed out that courts had provided bail to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Dr Asim Hussain, former president Pervez Musharraf and others on medical grounds as well.

Responding to Haris, NAB prosecutor argued Nawaz had already been given six weeks for medical treatment. He added that the relief was given for treatment and not only lab tests.

On May 20, Sharif had filed in the IHC a fresh petition seeking release from Kot Lakhpat jail on medical grounds in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case.

On Dec 24 last year, an accountability court had convicted Sharif in the Al-Azizia/Hill Metal Establishment reference. The court sentenced him seven-year imprisonment, besides imposing a fine of Rs1.5 billion and $25 million on him. The accountability court, however, acquitted the former premier in an identical case relating to Flagship Investment and other London-based companies owned by his children.


Meanwhile, Kot Lakhpat Jail authorities have canceled the political schedule of Nawaz Sharif, barring him from meeting the party leaders, amid ‘security threats’ to the ex-PM.

IGP Prisons said that the decision was taken amid security threats to the deposed premier. However, he will be allowed to see members of his family.

Thursday has been allotted to the former prime minister as a meeting day with party leaders and family members at the prison.

Prior to the development, the PML-N leaders were expected to call upon Nawaz and update him regarding the All Parties’ Conference (APC).

Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif has termed the ban on party leaders from meeting incarcerated prime minister Nawaz Sharif as “fascist thinking”.

Condemning his decision, the politician claimed that the premier was fearful of federal budget not being approved in the parliament.

“They can do whatever they wish to, but we will not let the IMF’s anti-public federal budget to be passed”, the PML-N president affirmed.