‘This isn’t about accountability, it is about revenge,’ Maryam Nawaz on NAB references

Maryam Nawaz

Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz on Sunday said that the graft cases against her family have nothing to do with accountability.

Speaking to reporters in London before her departure to Pakistan, she said, “It has been exposed now and the whole world knows that this is not accountability; rather, it has turned into revenge now.”

“I do not need to say anything here, the way things have been going on in the past year and a half has revealed the truth to the nation,” said Maryam who is expected to appear in front of the accountability court on October 9, in a hearing of the graft cases that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) drafted against the Sharif family as directed by the Supreme Court in its July 28 Panamagate verdict.

“But a politician that has nothing to hide does not shy away from anything, which is why we [Captain Safdar and Maryam] are travelling back to the country to respect the court and the law,” she said. “We will still appear in court and try the country’s justice system.”

Maryam’s brothers — Hassan and Hussain Nawaz — are expected to remain in London. PML-N sources close to the family have said that the brothers will look at the outcome of Monday’s hearing before making their decision about returning to Pakistan.

On Oct 2, the accountability court, Islamabad, issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Hussain, Hassan and retired Capt Mohammad Safdar for failing to appear in court. The judge, however, did not issue non-bailable warrants for Maryam but repeated the bailable arrest warrants after the counsel for Nawaz Sharif assured the court that she and her spouse would join the proceedings on the next date of hearing set for Oct 9.

Various members of the Sharif family have been in London at different times on and off since Nawaz Sharif’s wife Kulsoom Nawaz was first diagnosed with cancer in August.

People close to Nawaz and his wife said the medical interventions had been successful. Doctors familiar with her condition have been reported as saying her cancer is curable.

NAB references

A five-member bench of the Supreme Court on July 28 had directed NAB to file references against Nawaz and his children in six weeks in the accountability court and directed the trial court to decide the references within six months. The Supreme Court also assigned Justice Ijazul Ahsan a supervisory role to monitor the progress of the accountability court proceedings.

The former premier and his sons have been named in all three NAB references, while Maryam and husband Safdar have been named only in the Avenfield reference.

The trial court judge has already decided that in case the children of Nawaz Sharif do not join the proceedings, the court would indict Sharif alone and start his trial separately.

However, sources said that if Maryam and her husband appeared before the accountability court on Monday, they would be handed over a copy of the reference related to London properties along with the relevant details.

The court may fix a date for indictment of Nawaz, his daughter and son-in-law Safdar after supplying them copies of the reference and other material.

In case of non-appearance, the court may initiate proceedings to declare the accused proclaimed offenders and order attachment of their properties.

Source: Dawn

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