Ensure Nawaz Sharif’s presence in court on Sep 22, IHC tells foreign secretary

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The Registrar’s Office of the Islamabad High Court has sent a non-bailable arrest warrant for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to the foreign secretary in light of the court’s orders to ensure his presence in court.

The secretary has been ordered to comply with the orders and through assistance from the Pakistan High Commission in the United Kingdom ensure that Nawaz is present in court for a hearing on September 22 as well as all subsequent hearings.

A two-member division bench comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Nawaz on Tuesday during a hearing of appeals against the sentence by the accountability court in the Avenfield and Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference.

In a brief ruling, IHC’s Justice Kayani remarked that the PML-N supremo neither underwent a surgery despite citing it as a reason behind obtaining bail to travel to the United Kingdom nor was he admitted to a hospital.

“Our bail order has expired, which has its own effects,” the judge said during a hearing at the IHC over a petition to cancel Nawaz’s bail in the Avenfield properties reference.

During the hearing, the court asked how was it supposed to hear the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) appeal. “Do we announce a ruling on this without hearing the other side,” the court remarked.

To which, NAB Additional Prosecutor General Jahanzeb Khan Bharwana said the court could appoint a legal counsel to represent Nawaz.

“Then this principle will also apply to the appeals filed by Nawaz Sharif,” the court shot back at Bharwana, who said the PML-N supremo was absconding, not him, and that he was present before the judge.

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