Pakistan Court summons Nawaz , journalist in treason case

Lahore: The Lahore High Court on Monday asked former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and a journalist to appear before it in connection with a treason case.

The case, which was filed by civil society member Amina Malik through Advocate Azhar Siddique, seeks action against Sharif on treason charges for allegedly trying to defame state institutions in an interview to Dawn news, as well as action against former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for allegedly not honouring his oath of office by disclosing the minutes of a National Security Council (NSC) meeting to Nawaz.

Noting that Dawn news journalist Cyril Almeida had failed to appear in the last three hearings of the case, the three-judge bench told his lawyer that they would issue non-bailable arrest warrants so that he could be taken into custody and presented in court.

The lawyer asked the judges to issue bailable arrest warrants, saying that he was sure Almeida would appear in court at the next hearing.

The court subsequently ordered that Almeida’s name be placed on the no-fly list and non-bailable arrest warrants be issued for him, saying he must appear on October 8.

The court also raised questions over Sharif’s absence from the proceedings, to which his lawyer said that he was set to appear but was unable to do so because of the mourning period for his late wife Kulsoom Nawaz.

The judges directed that the ousted Prime Minister appear before the court in accordance with the law and summoned him on October 8.

Abbasi, however, was present at Monday’s hearing.

Earlier in September, the court had issued bailable arrest warrants for Abbasi for not appearing.