Celebrations as ousted Pakistan PM Sharif and daughter freed from jail

20 September, 2018, 08:19 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz- File

Supporters showered Sharif's auto with rose petals after he was freed from Adiala jail in Rawalpindi.

Following the accountability court's judgment, the Sharifs filed separate petitions requesting the high court to suspend sentences and set aside the verdict.

However, analysts see the decision as a definite boost for Sharif's party and supporters.

The court granted bail to Nawaz, Maryam and Capt Safdar and ordered them to pay Rs0.5 million as surety bonds.

A supporter of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif holds his picture and makes a victory sign after a court ruling, outside the Islamabad High Court.

"The prosecution has failed to show the properties belong to Nawaz Sharif", Justice Athar Minallah said, according to Reuters. Hearings in two other corruption cases against Sharif and his family are continuing at an anti-corruption court.

"This is a triumph of justice", said Sharif ally and former foreign minister Khawaja Asif outside the court.

The development is the latest twist in a series of court cases involving the former prime minister, beginning with his ouster from office past year in the Panama Papers verdict to facing multiple corruption references in the accountability court. He was arrested on July 13 upon returning from London, where his wife was receiving treatment before her death this month. They both deny wrongdoing.

The ruling by the Islamabad High Court comes just a week after Sharif's wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, died from cancer in London. The former First Lady's funeral in Pakistan, for which the family were briefly paroled, gripped the nation.

Opposing the suspension of the jail term of Sharifs, NAB special prosecutor Mohammad Akram Qureshi argued that "after the fixation of appeals against the conviction of the Sharif family in the Avenfield reference, the IHC could not have entertained petitions seeking suspension of sentence", the Dawn reported. "Allah will grant justice to me", he said.

"The verdict is a political victory for Nawaz Sharif and he will use it to further assert his narrative that his imprisonment was a political move", political analyst Hassan Askari told AFP. Sharif faced two more cases before the anti-graft tribunal and has been banned for life from public office. Sharif later went into exile after striking a deal with the military and returned in 2007 to contest an election after Musharraf stepped down in the face of mass protests. The judgment came when Khan was in Saudi Arabia on a state visit, apparently seeking financial help to avoid International Monetary Fund bailout.



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