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Nawaz answers NAB questionnaire-Last Defence?

In the midst of sweltering summer, political temperature is soaring amid the NAB court hearings pertaining to the Avenfield Properties reference. NAB court sought response of 128 questions from the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The 128 questionnaire document inquired as to why the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that investigated the Panama Leaks case was formed, the letters from other countries and the evidence presented before the court. The Questionnaire inquired about the establishment of Gulf Steel Mills and the accompanying debts and liabilities of the entity.

Avenfield reference has been a prime case which has led Nawaz and PML-n to resort to passive aggressive behavior, causing ruckus not just in the media but also in the Accountability court room. In his answer to Avenfield reference question, the former Prime Minister testified that this question pertained to Hussain Nawaz who is an absconder, and he is not the owner of the Avenfield apartment.

Nawaz Sharif testifying before the court denied any kind of association in setting up or establishment of Gulf Steel mills, arguing that despite being present at the opening ceremony of the steel mill in 1974, He remained aloof to any activity related to the steel mill, since the affairs were primarily handled by his father, late Muhammad Sharif. ”Since I was not associated with GSM, hence I have no knowledge that how finances were generated for its establishment”.

The court sent for a response to how Nawaz's children became the director and shareholder of the Hudaibiya Paper Mills, to which Mr. Nawaz answered and lambasted JIT member Amir Aziz‘s inclusion in the JIT, who’s appointment he claimed was suspicious and received with skepticism, and claimed that his bias against the Sharif family was evident since the latter conducted an inquiry into Hudaibiya Paper Mills, instigated by the former military dictator General Musharraf. Reiterating, that the Hudaibiya case was quashed by the Lahore High Court and the recent appeal in Supreme Court to reopen the reference was also rejected.

The television interviews of Hussain and Hassan Nawaz were also part of the document -complimented by the questions attempted to inquire about the statements of witnesses Akhtar Riaz Raja and Robert Radley, and JIT Head Wajid Zia. 

Unsurprisingly! Sharif regurgitated hackneyed mantra of being victimized and instead alleged that Mr. Zia was not working independently, but was under the influence of the fellow strongmen in the JIT. 

The FIA representative was blamed to have an established prejudice against Sharif, referring how the former manoeuvered to engage his cousin Akhtar Raja as a solicitor to produce “fabricated evidence”.

A major question which was believed to be the crux of the questionnaire about why the reference was filed against Nawaz,and the statements of prosecution's witnesses against the deposed prime minister were also part of the document. The court upholding the constitutional right of fair trial despite heading towards the deadline also inquired the defendant if they want to submit any evidence in their defence. Recording statement before the NAB court Judge Muhammad Bashir, PML-N supreme leader was unmoved by the veracity of his answers which were farrago of misinterpretation and misleading tropes. He claimed, that “I never held Nieson and Nescoll’s bearer shares or registered shares certificate. The prosecution has miserably failed to even remotely establish anything to the contrary. There is no credible evidence that the Avenfield apartments ever remained in my possession”.

 The former Prime Minster who has been disqualified by the Supreme Court faces an uphill task to satisfy NAB Court amid the questionnaire he has been handed over. As the deadline set by the Supreme Court bench approaches, if Nawaz fails to address the questions-the former premiere will suffer the concomitant results, inimical for his political career.

  • Nawaz
  • Answers
  • NAB
  • Questionnaire