LAHORE: Lahore High Court’s notices could not be served on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, members of his family and others as the petitioner did not submit process fee for his ‘public interest’ petition seeking action against them for allegedly owning offshore companies.
Justice Muhammad Khalid Mehmood Khan directed the petitioner to submit the fee required for serving a notice. He then adjourned the hearing until April 26.
The judge had issued the notices on April 7.
Senator Aitezaz Ahsan has also filed an application requesting that his name be removed from the proceedings. He stated that details of his assets were available with the Election Commission and the Federal Board of Revenue.
Petitioner Advocate Javed Iqbal Jafri had named Nawaz Sharif; Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif; Kulsoom Nawaz, the PM’s wife; Hassan Nawaz and Hussain
Nawaz, sons of the PM; and his daughter Maryam Nawaz as respondents in the case.
Jafri had moved the application in his already pending petition over foreign assets maintained by 64 people, including some incumbent and former government leaders and their members of family, two former chief justices, lawyers and a property tycoon.
He submitted that the prime minister’s family members had concealed their assets in violation of the Constitution. He had accused them of illegally transferring money and establishing their businesses outside Pakistan.
He said the family had lied to the nation and that they, therefore, were left with no moral or legal ground to hold public offices. He had requested the court to order the National Accountability Bureau to ensure transparency in the investigation of the Panama Papers scandal.
In his main petition, Jafri had said that foreign assets of the respondents should be brought back to Pakistan. The respondents include Nawaz Sharif; Shahbaz Sharif; Kulsoom Nawaz; Hussain Nawaz; Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan; his fromer wife Jemima Goldsmith; former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani; his wife; former president Asif Ali Zardari; his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari; Faryal Talpur; Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan; former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf; former interior minister Rehman Malik; Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain; former chief minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi; former federal ministers Faisal Saleh Hayat, Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Javed Hashmi; Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazalur Rehman; Sindh governor Ishratul Ibad; former Punjab governor Ghulam Mustafa Khar; National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq; Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Farooq Sattar; PTI leader Jahangir Tareen; Finance Minister Ishaq Dar; Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed; Bahria Town’s Malik Riaz Hussain; former LHC chief justices Khwaja Muhammad Sharif and Iftikhar Hussain Chaudhry; former Supreme Court Bar Association presidents Hamid Khan, Asma Jahangir and Aitezaz Ahsan; Bushra Aitezaz; former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi; former Senate chairman Wasim Sajjad; and lawyers Sharifuddin Peerzada and Ahmar Bilal Soofi. Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto has died; hence her name was deleted from the petition.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2016.