Thursday Sep 29 2022

'I had rested my case with Allah': Nawaz on daughter's acquittal in Avenfield reference

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif. —  AFP/ File
PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif. —  AFP/ File

  • Nawaz says,"God does not leave their side and said the decision in Maryam’s favour has come due to the blessings of Allah."
  • He congratulated his daughter and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar.
  • He says the sentences were announced hastily to prevent Sharif family from participating in the 2018 elections.

LONDON: PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif on Thursday expressed his gratitude for the acquittal of his daughter Maryam Nawaz in the Avenfield reference and said that he had left his case with Allah several years ago.

Speaking to journalists in London, the former prime minister said that if a person is truthful, God does not leave their side and said the decision in Maryam’s favour has come due to the “blessings of Allah”.

Nawaz Sharif, who has maintained he was disqualified for life and convicted in 2018 to pave the way for the hybrid project, said he had left his matter to Allah.

“Truth always prevails. The whole world and the whole nation can see the truth now. I am thankful to Allah,” said the former premier who heard the decision in London accompanied by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, industrialist Mian Munir, his son and Maryam’s son-in-law Raheel Munir, and other colleagues.

Speaking to his colleagues, the former prime minister congratulated his daughter and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar and claimed that the cases against the father-daughter duo were "baseless".

 “Allah has unveiled the liars today. The sentences were announced hastily to prevent us from participating in the 2018 elections,” said the former prime minister, adding that some people wanted him not to come back to Pakistan after the sentences were announced.

Khawaja Asif, speaking to reporters outside Nawaz's office in London, said:  "A case that was concocted five years ago... those lies have come to the fore.  Who is answerable for those five years? There has to be the accountability of all those who were involved in this fraud with the people of Pakistan and the Sharif family."

Asif criticised the "game the judiciary played under former chief justice Saqib Nisar" and said that "the truth is finally out... the jail time that Maryam endured, or Nawaz endured, it's a matter of weeks that Nawaz Sharif gets justice. The era of injustice, the foundation of which was laid by Saqib Nisar, will end."

 The defence minister went on to say that the joint investigation team (JIT) was formed to remove Nawaz from the government and from the party. 

"It was part of a conspiracy to terminate the government. What did the following 3.5 years achieve? Imran Khan himself is saying he had invented fake cyphers. Look at the Toshakhana case... look at the 190 million pounds whose account has that gone into? All these frauds are being unveiled. Imran Khan’s reality and true face have been exposed [sic].”

Replying to a question about whether Nisar will be held accountable, Asif said. "This is a process, so sooner or later, everyone will face justice."

On Thursday, the IHC acquitted Maryam and her husband Captain (retd) Safdar in the Avenfield reference. 

An accountability court, just ahead of the 2018 General Elections, slapped Maryam with a fine of £2 million and sentenced her to seven years for being “instrumental in concealment of the properties of her father” and one year for non-cooperation with the bureau — sentences which were due to run concurrently.

Nawaz was sentenced to 10 years in jail for possessing assets disproportionate to the known sources of income, while Maryam's husband was handed down two-year rigorous imprisonment.

In August 2019, Maryam was arrested in the case while she was visiting her father in prison. A local court granted her bail in November 2019.