Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Web Desk

Nawaz's health seems to have improved, he should return and serve prison sentence: SAPM Akbar

Shahzad says accountability system will continue, hearing of pending cases will resume once Nawaz returns

Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: The prime minister's special assistant, Shahzad Akbar, said Tuesday Nawaz Sharif should return to the country and serve the remainder of his imprisonment sentence. This was said by Akbar after a picture of the former prime minister with a PML-N delegation from a restaurant went viral.

"If his health has improved then it's something to be happy about," he said. "Then he should return and solve all pending matters. Since he is convicted, he should come back and face the cases against him."

He described some of Nawaz's ailments as "lifestyle diseases" saying that since the former prime minister likes to have a variety of food, diabetes, hypertension and some other diseases were likely to affect him. 

Read moreNawaz Sharif bail extension: Punjab minister terms health report 'unsatisfactory'

Referring to the former prime minister as a convict, Shahzad said Nawaz will be treated similar to other prisoners if he returns. 

Akbar said he was waiting for PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif to return to the country as "serious cases" were registered against him. 

"There are new developments in the cases [against Sharifs]. Some 'cash boys' and others who were not previously arrested have been brought forward," he said. 

Nawaz and his brother Shehbaz were allowed to travel abroad by the Lahore High Court (LHC) in November last year. The two-member bench of the LHC comprising Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem had allowed Nawaz to seek medical treatment abroad initially for a period of four weeks. The duration of his stay could be extended as per medical reports, the court had ruled.

Provincial minsiter Dr Yasmin Rashid demanded an updated report on Sharif's health. Speaking to reports, the health minister said Sharifs' bail term had expired on December 25. She said photos of the former prime minister dining out in London were creating a controversy.

Nawaz was allowed to go abroad for treatment after he submitted a signed undertaking that read: “I undertake to return to Pakistan as per my past record to face the process of law and justice within four (4) weeks or as soon as I am declared healthy and fit to travel back to Pakistan by my doctors. I also do hereby bind myself to the undertaking given by my brother Mian Muham­mad Shahbaz Sharif.”

Regarding the fake bank accounts case, Akbar said the government had received an estimated Rs9-10 billion from plea bargains. 

"As per the information from the Joint Investigation Reports (JITs) and other investigations, as many as 16 references have to be filed in the case. However, we have received a large sum already through plea bargains from the references we have filed so far," he said.  

The prime minister's aide did not disclose any names but said a couple of big names were ready to testify and become approvers in the fake bank accounts case. 

The former prime minister had been serving an imprisonment sentence in the Al-Azizia reference when he was granted bail. 

Read more: Nawaz Sharif’s name to be removed from ECL for four weeks