Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Pervaiz Rasheed on Tuesday questioned the absence of convicted Sharif family members from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and said a closed trial in Adiala jail was not acceptable.
Addressing the media outside the IHC, hearing the appeals filed by deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law against their conviction and sentence by an accountability court, the PML-N leader claimed the recent policy was to ensure that Maryam and Nawaz were present in court, however, the Sharif family members are now being kept away from the court.
“A few days ago, the trio had to be present in court for the trial to continue, and today, the decision is to not bring them to court so the proceedings can continue. Why are the principles of past and present so different?” he questioned.
The PML-N leader further expressed his reservations and wondered what was happening behind the scenes. “The court must answer these questions so that the nation can be satisfied and their concerns addressed. We have come here to hear the appeal case. We hope that the same speed in which the trial was conducted, the appeals would also be heard in the same manner,” said Rasheed.
Barrister Zafarullah Khan, also present with Rasheed, said that a closed trial of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif is unacceptable and not acceptable to the party or its leaders by any means.
Khan further said that Pakistan’s law calls for an open trial which can be heard by everyone, but Nawaz’s right to open trial was taken after he was incarcerated. “The clause 10-A gives the citizens the right to a fair and free trial. Nawaz has appeared for hearings multiple times, and no law and order situation emerged then,” he added.
“The court has to take action in accordance with law. The court also has to look at the quality of the law, not the past of the accused.”