Former PM would be declared absconder if he does not appear within 30 days, court says
The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday summoned former prime minister Nawaz Sharif through newspaper advertisements in the Al Azizia Steel Mills and Avenfield flats references after arrest warrants against the PML-N supremo were not received by his representatives in London.
The court directed the federal government to bear the cost of advertisements, reports in Pakistani media said.
“If Nawaz Sharif does not appear within 30 days after the advertisement is published, then he would be declared an absconder. An advertisement will also be pasted on Nawaz Sharif’s residence in London,” instructed the court.
During hearing on Wednesday, a NAB prosecutor told the court that there was enough evidence against the former premier. It was evident that he didn’t receive the warrants deliberately, he said.
Earlier in the day, officials posted at the Pakistani High Commission in the United Kingdom informed the IHC that a representative of Nawaz Sharif had initially agreed to receive the arrest warrants against the PML-N supremo, but changed his mind minutes before their arrival to the former prime minister’s Park Lane residence.
In a written reply submitted to the court, First Secretary of the High Commission Dildar Ali Abro said that Waqar Ahmed, a Secretary to Nawaz Sharif’s son, called him and informed him that he will receive the warrants for the former prime minister, Geo TV reported.
Abro told the court that Waqar initially agreed to receive the warrants at Sharif’s Park Lane residence in London. He then informed the high commission of Waqar’s response, adding that the mission then allowed him to serve the warrants at the address.
“It was agreed with Waqar that he would receive the warrants on September 23 at 11am,” Abro told the court.
He added that Waqar was also informed that the mission’s Consular Attache Rao Abdul Hanan would hand over the warrants.
“At 10.20am Waqar called me to apologise and declined to receive the warrants,” Abro told the court.
On the other hand, Hanan, in his statement, said that he had initially gone to the residence of the former premier on September 17 at 6.35pm to serve the warrants.
He added that a domestic employee of Nawaz Sharif, Mohammed Yaqoob, had declined to receive the warrants, which is why the warrant could not be delivered to the former premier.
The Islamabad High Court had, in its last hearing, directed the High Commission’s attache Rao Abdul Hanan to record a statement in the next hearing of the case via a video link.
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