The accountability court on Friday dismissed a plea by the anti-graft watchdog seeking action against Pakistan Muslim League-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz for allegedly submitting a bogus trust deed in the Avenfield case.
The court, presided by Judge Muhammad Bashir, declared the plea inadmissible for hearing.
Maryam Nawaz was accompanied by her husband Captain (retd) Mohammad Safdar, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Pervez Rashid and Sadia Abbasi. Dozens of PML-N workers were also present at the premises to support their party leader.
During arguments, NAB’s Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Khan Abbasi told the court that when the verdict in the case was presented, the bench had said that the matter of the use of fake documents would be looked at separately.
To this, Maryam’s lawyer retorted saying NAB only had 30 days to appeal the matter, but the bureau had taken more than a year to do so. “It may be late, but it is [the] right [thing to do],” Abbasi responded. To this, Maryam’s lawyer said that one cannot always be right.
After hearing the arguments, the accountability judge dismissed NAB’s application and said that the matter could not be taken further until the high court rules on Maryam’s pending petition. Upon reaching the court, Maryam responded to a reporter’s question regarding the workers’ arrest by saying: “Those who had paralysed the capital for 126 days should be ashamed of such acts. Their fear of Maryam Nawaz preceded my presence in the capital. If you were this afraid you should not have gotten selected.”
PML-N leaders Ahsan Iqbal and Murtaza Javed Abbasi were also stopped at the check-post and kept from entering the accountability court premises. This development has come over a year after Maryam’s conviction in the Avenfield properties reference.
While addressing the media after the hearing, Maryam stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government was trying to suppress the voices of PML-N leaders but they “will continue to raise their voice against injustice”.
Maryam, while reacting to a series of arrest of her party leaders, said that even if the entire PML-N was put behind bars, the government still cannot run the country.
She further said that the ruling party will be accountable for its incompetence and failure to govern the country.
She said she and her father were approached for talks but they refused to engage in any negotiations. Asked about the reason behind their refusal, she said one has to sacrifice their principles in order to hold talks but she and her father were not ready.
Answering a question, Maryam Nawaz said although she was willing to give the government five-year time, people will not let it complete its term since it has failed completely.
The PML-N Vice president said as many as 150 party workers were arrested from Rawalpindi on Friday.
She questioned why no action has been taken against Arshad Malik after she exposed him during her press conference with video proof on July 6. The PML-N vice president added: “We need to sacrifice our own principles because of a selected prime minister.”
The National Accountability Bureau had alleged that the trust deed Maryam presented in the Avenefield case was bogus and requested a trial against the PML-N leader for fraudulent documents.
In 2017, a Pakistani team investigating former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s alleged illegal offshore properties – flagged in the Panama Papers – released its final report that mentioned ‘Calibri’. That report surmised that some of the documents it received from Maryam were forged, as they used Microsoft’s ‘Calibri’ font.
In and of itself, that was not a problem. There was just the small matter of the documents being from 2006, when the font was not available for public use. Microsoft released the font for public use in 2007.