Pak netizens outraged over Sharif’s armoured vehicle

Islamabad: Several Pakistani citizens expressed anguish over visuals of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif being taken to the National Accountability Court (NAB) in Islamabad in an armoured vehicle. People felt that being a former Prime Minister Sharif, proper protocol should have been followed while transporting him to the court in full public glare.

Sharif on Monday appeared before the NAB that was hearing two corruption cases against him and his family. He was taken to the court in an armoured vehicle from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

Central Vice President of the Awami National Party (ANP) Bushra Gohar compared an image of Sharif and former senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Malir district, Rao Anwar describing the protocols both the leaders had received. She said that the three-time Pakistan Prime Minister was being transported as a “black terrorist”, while Anwar, an accused in the Naqeebullah murder case is being escorted to the court with full protocol.

“Image of a 3 times elected PM transported as a black terrorist in armoured vehicle vs image of a mass murderer #RaoAnwar in the court with full protocol. #NawazSharif being taught a lesson for asserting his Constitutional powers as PM. Condemnable display of #PindiDictatedJustice,” Gohar wrote on Twitter.

Former Pakistan Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal tweeted a post showing Sharif in the armoured vehicle and wrote on the micro-blogging site: “‘Vote ko izzat do’ ki saza” (The punishment of respecting the vote)
Prominent Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar said that she was not happy in looking at the images. “No, I’m not happy looking at images of Nawaz Sharif in an armoured vehicle being brought to a court. I’d never be gleeful about someone’s bad time, whether it was brought upon him by his own deeds or accelerated by the establishment-judiciary nexus or both,” she tweeted.

Sharif, who is currently lodged in Adiala Jail, is serving a 10-year jail sentence after being convicted in the Avenfield reference case. The case pertained to Sharif family’s purchase of the upscale Avenfield apartments in London. He was brought to the court in an armoured vehicle, Geo News reported.

The two remaining graft cases, Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment, was heard by Accountability court Judge Arshad Malik. Wajid Zia, who is the head of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and the prosecution’s star witness also appeared before the court for the hearing. The court adjourned the hearing of the Sharif family’s cases till August 15.

On August 7, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered to transfer the pending corruption cases against the Sharif family to another court. A two-member bench comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Aamer Farooq had ordered the transfer of the cases on Sharif’s plea.

The IHC had rejected the bail requests of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar, who were all convicted in the Avenfield case on July 17.

While Maryam and Safdar were named and convicted in the Avenfield case, Sharif and his UK-based sons, Hussain Nawaz and Hasan Nawaz, were accused in all the three corruption cases – Avenfield reference, Flagship Investment, and Al-Azizia reference. Sharif’s sons were declared as proclaimed offenders by the court since the proceedings against the Sharif family began in September last year.