Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif appears in court

November 3, 2017 10:05 pm
’s former prime minister speaks during a conference in the capital, Islamabad, on September 26, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has returned from overseas and appeared at a court in the capital, Islamabad, to face allegations of corruption.
The former leader, who had been facing an arrest warrant since early last month, arrived in the Islamabad court along with his daughter, Maryam, and his son-in-law on Friday. His daughter is also on trial over similar charges.
Sharif’s lawyer, Khawaja Haris, said during a brief hearing that the former prime minister had paid two surety bonds of five million rupees (48,000 dollars) each. The court is set to reconvene on November 7.
Sahrif left the court under tight security, without speaking to the media. But his son-in-law, Muhammad Safdar, said outside the court that, “Till the time the courts are… free from the fear of some other people, I can’t expect any fair trial from this court.”
Pakistani security personnel escort a vehicle carrying Nawaz Sharif on his arrival from London in Islamabad, November 2, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Sharif, 67, who still maintains control of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Party, resigned as prime minister in July after Pakistan’s Supreme Court disqualified him for failing to disclose his income.
The court also ordered a criminal investigation into his family’s finances. The Sharifs, however, deny any wrongdoing and say the charges are part of a “political conspiracy.”
Sharif himself left the country for London in early October to join his wife, who is receiving treatment for cancer. While staying there, he summoned top officials from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for a summit on the leadership of the party.
Before leaving London to return to Islamabad on Thursday, Sharif told media that he was “going to Pakistan despite [my wife’s] chemotherapy to appear in a bogus case.”
“Pakistan’s system has contradictions… all this must be changed, now is the time to change it,” he added.
According to reports by Pakistani media, the ruling party plans to keep Sharif a central figure during campaigning for general elections due sometime next year. The Supreme Court, however, has banned him from holding office.
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