Avenfield reference verdict to be based on merit, says info minister

  • Court decision would be enforced as soon as Nawaz Sharif returned to the country: Ali Zafar
  • In case of possible agitation, caretaker setup would also fulfill its administrative obligation: Minister
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD- Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage Syed Ali Zafar hoped that Avenfield reference judgment be would be based on merit and justice.

“All requirements of a fair trial were fulfilled during the proceedings, therefore, the verdict will be based on justice and merit, however, the petitioners will have the right to appeal against the decision,” Ali Zafar said while talking to state media on Tuesday.

To a question regarding implementation of the verdict in the absence of Nawaz Sharif in the country, the minister said the decision would be enforced as soon as Nawaz Sharif returned to the country.

“There are a number of cases in which accused staying abroad were awarded sentence and on their return to the country, they filed appeals against the decision, therefore, it is hoped that Nawaz Sharif will return to the country,” he said.

Judge reserves verdict in Avenfield reference against Sharifs for Friday

To another query, the minister said as per law, court proceedings in other three cases, including Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference, would continue simultaneously even after the former prime minister was awarded punishment in the Avenfield case.

Replying to a question regarding any agitation in the country in case possible sentence to Nawaz Sharif, the minister said the court had to issue the judgment according to the law which was its legal responsibility, while in case of possible agitation, the caretaker setup would also fulfill its administrative obligation.

He, however, ruled out the possibility of delay in general election saying that the election would be held as per the given schedule at all costs.

Ali Zafar said the caretaker government had not the mandate to involve in political matters and it must remain neutral.

He said it was the beauty of politics when any leader or worker raises objection against their own party policies.

“The ultimate decision will be made by the voters and the party with majority assembly seats will form governments at federal and provincial levels,” he added.

It bears mentioning that judge Muhammad Bashir will announce the verdict in the much-awaited London flats reference on Friday for which the accused including Nawaz Sharif has been asked to personally show up.

Both Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz are in London to tend to cancer-suffering Kulsoom Nawaz, undergoing treatment at the Harley Street Clinic.