Lawyers, PML-N workers clash with security at court, indictment postponed

October 13, 2017

NEWS DESK: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter and son-in-law, Maryam Nawaz and Captain (retd) Safdar, arrived at the accountability court on Friday for the hearing of the three graft cases against the Sharif family. Charges were to be framed in today’s hearing on Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar. However, that could not happen as lawyers and PML-N workers clashed with police and FC officials deployed on security at the Federal Judicial Complex and chaos erupted.

Lawyers and PML-N workers demanded that they be allowed to attend the hearing of the cases against their leaders. Security personnel resisted that and clashes erupted inside the courtroom. As a result, the hearing was postponed till October 19 without indicting Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law.

The accountability court is trying Nawaz Sharif, Maryam, Capt (retd) Safdar, Husain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz in corruption references filed against them by the country’s top graft buster on the Supreme Court’s instructions.

On October 2, the accountability court had issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of the former premier’s sons, Hassan and Hussain, and son-in-law Safdar. The court issued bailable warrants for Maryam.

Four days ago, on Monday, Maryam arrived at the court amid tight security and protocol by senior PML-N leaders and ministers. Her husband, Capt (retd) Safdar, was arrested from Benazir Bhutto airport as the couple returned home from London the day before. He was released on Monday.

Speaking on the occasion, Maryam had said that her brothers Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz will decide for themselves on their court appearances. “My brothers live abroad and the laws of Pakistan do not apply to them,” she said.

“Despite all reservations regarding the revengeful accountability, we have presented ourselves before the court,” she said while speaking to the media in the court after her appearance on Monday. “Politicians should appear before the people because they are answerable to the people.” But those who have made a joke out of the Constitution and rule of justice and ousted their elected PM should also be held answerable, she added.

The former PM’s daughter said that while her family is arrested on airport when they voluntarily appear before the courts, there are some absconders who are never arrested even when they evade courts and hold public gatherings. “We are not going to be discouraged by these arrests, this will soon end,” she said. “I know that this case against me at NAB has been made up only because I am Nawaz Sharif’s daughter. But we are still appearing before the courts despite this revengeful accountability.”