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IHC directs NAB to show evidence that Nawaz Sharif acquired properties in London

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  • A two-member bench heard the appeals in Avenfield case.
  • “Prosecution has to establish case beyond reasonable doubt,” IHC remarks.
  • Hearing of the case has been adjourned till September 29.

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Aamir Farooq Tuesday remarked that the proceedings of the hearing on PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz’s appeal against the sentence in Avenfield Apartments reference “cannot move further on the basis of assumptions”.

“National Accountability Bureau (NAB) should prove through evidence that these properties were acquired by [former prime minister] Nawaz Sharif in 1990s,” he said during the hearing today.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Farooq and Judge Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard the appeals against the conviction of Maryam and Captain (retd) Safdar.

The bench inquired about the nexus between the two offshore companies and Nawaz, through documentary evidence, urging the NAB counsel to explain how Maryam “aided and abetted” her father in acquiring properties in London in 1993 or 2006 when the trust deed was signed.

To support his arguments, NAB special prosecutor Usman Cheema read the court’s decision declaring Nawaz an offender, and in response to that, Justice Farooq clarified that Nawaz’s appeal was dismissed because of his absenteeism and not on the basis of merit.

Justice Farooq also made it clear that any Supreme Court observation in the Panamagate judgment was not relevant to the decision regarding Maryam Nawaz’s appeal against her conviction.

He said that the NAB has to prove whether the prosecution proved the case against Maryam before the accountability court.

“We have to see how she helped acquire these properties,” Justice Farooq said, asking the NAB counsel how the apartments were acquired in 1993.

The prosecutor claimed that Maryam “aided, abetted and assisted” her father in acquiring the properties in 2006.

The judge asked: “You said that Nawaz bought the properties in 1993, then how did she assist him in 2006?”

Justice Kayani observed that Maryam has not said on any occassion that the property belonged to her, or that she owned it. “Minus the trust deed and Calibri font issue, and move on to the actual case regarding the properties acquired in 1993,” he added.

He said that it was “basic criminal law” that the prosecution must establish its case using evidence even if the accused has admitted to committing the crime.

The judge inquired what evidence the prosecution had to prove the case against Nawaz. “The prosecution has to establish the case beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.

“Who made the payment to acquire the properties in 1993?” the IHC judge asked, adding that “NAB has to prove that the payment to acquire these properties came from Nawaz.”

The hearing of the case has been adjourned until September 29.

Elections

Shehbaz Sharif was chosen to serve as Pakistan’s 24th prime minister.

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Speaker of the National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq declared Shehbaz Sharif the 24th Prime Minister of the 16th National Assembly of Pakistan and the House Leader of the National Assembly’s Lower House after announcing the official results of the polling for the prime minister elections.

The National Assembly session began one hour later than scheduled. The Holy Quran was recited at the beginning of the session, followed by the reading of a Hadith and a Naat and Pakistan’s national hymn. The NA was attended by party heavyweights, PMLN chief Nawaz Sharif, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto, and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

The National Assembly Hall’s doors were closed per the directives of NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, and the voting procedure was finished in which Akhter Mengal and JUI-F did not take part in the voting process.  

Members of the Sunni Ittehad Council, supported by the PTI, staged protests and rallies against the PDM 2.0, an alliance comprising eight parties that is poised to form the central government. The PDM leaders are accused by PTI of stealing the mendate. The claims have been denied by the PPP and PMLN.

Aun Chaudhry, the head of the IPP, arrived at Parliament House. hundreds of Police, Rangers, and FC troops have been deployed, and there are strict security measures in place both inside and outside the Parliament for the National Assembly session.

Cars arriving at Parliament House are permitted entry after being inspected, but most significantly, regular visitors are not permitted during National Assembly sessions.

Cars arriving at Parliament House are permitted entry after being inspected, but most significantly, regular visitors are not permitted during National Assembly sessions.

Ayaz Sadiq, the speaker of the National Assembly, gave the oath to Jam Kamal, a member of the MNA from Balochistan and a former chief minister of the province.

Shehbaz Sharif was chosen prime minister of Pakistan on Sunday for a second time by the country’s recently established parliament. The creation of a coalition government had been delayed for three weeks due to unpredictable national elections.

Speaker of the National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq said, “Shehbaz Sharif is declared to have been elected the prime minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” after revealing Sharif had received 201 votes, more than the necessary 169 votes in the house

With 92 votes, he defeated Omar Ayub, the contender supported by imprisoned former prime minister Imran Khan.

The Khan-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) party loudly protested the statement. The MPs chanted chants claiming Sharif had won election fraud and demanded Khan’s release.

A mobile internet outage, arrests, and violence during the run-up to the election on February 8 caused problems for the proceedings, and the results’ abnormally long wait led to claims that the vote was manipulated.

Sharif resumed his position, which he maintained until August, when a caretaker administration was established in place after parliament was dissolved in advance of the elections. No one party took home the majority.

Sharif, 72, is the younger brother of Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister who led the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party’s election campaign.

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Pakistan

Asif Ali Zardari “seeks” the MQM-P’s endorsement for the presidential race.

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The ECP timetable states that voting in the presidential election will take place on March 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The examination of the nomination papers takes place on March 4, and at 1:00 pm on March 5, the final list of candidates for president will be revealed.

Asif Ali Zardari called Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui of the MQM-P one day prior to request his party’s vote in the presidential election, according to sources with knowledge of the incident.

According to the sources, Siddiqui stated he will reply after speaking with the party.

A PPP delegation is reportedly scheduled to meet with MQM-P shortly in order to solicit assistance.

Asif Ali Zardari’s candidature papers for the presidential elections were authorised in a separate transaction since no objections were voiced.

Farooq H. Naik declared, “We have the necessary numbers to win the election; Asif Zardari will be elected president again.”

Mehmood Khan Achakzai, the presidential candidate for the Sunni Ittehad Council, and Asif Ali Zardari’s attorneys previously appeared before the electoral commission to review the presidential nomination documents.

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Latest News

36% of fresh faces make it to the National Assembly.

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Following the general elections of this year, a record 36% of new members have joined the National Assembly.

There are now 96 new legislators that have been elected to the assembly out of 265 total. In the general elections, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has elected the most number of fresh faces as Independents.

Of the new faces, eleven PPP and MQM members, as well as fifteen PML-N members, have become MNAs for the first time. The IPP’s Abdul Aleem Khan and Awn Chaudhry were elected to the National Assembly for the first time.

Ataullah Tarar of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, Mir Jamal Khan Raisani, the party’s youngest member, was also elected from Balochistan for the first time and made it to the lower house.

Sher Afzal Marwat, Latif Khosa, and Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, who is supported by the PTI, are some of the fresh faces. In the last parliament, Shandana Gulzar had a reserved seat; however, this time, she was elected to a general seat.

Arshad Vohra, Syed Mustafa Kamal, and Rauf Siddiqui of the MQM were also elected to the National Assembly for the first time.

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