Treason case: LHC seeks reply from Nawaz, Khaqan

Treason case: LHC seeks reply from Nawaz, Khaqan
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LAHORE: A Lahore High Court (LHC) full bench on Monday sought replies from former prime ministers, Muhammad

Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi , on a petition seeking strict action against them, till October 22.

The bench also withdrew non-bailable arrest warrants for Dawn's journalist Cyril Almeida and ordered to remove his name from the Exit Control List (ECL) besides seeking a reply from him.

The bench headed by Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi passed the orders while hearing a petition filed by Amina

Malik seeking strict action against former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for trying to defame state institutions, through an alleged anti-state interview, and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for not honouring his oath of office by disclosing minutes of the National Security Council's meeting to his party leader.

At the outset of proceedings, former premiers, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and journalist Cyril Almeida appeared before the bench.

Cyril Almeida submitted that he did not receive earlier notices issued for his appearance while replying to a court

query regarding his absence on previous hearings.

At this, Justice Mazahar observed that the bench had issued Cyril's non-bailable arrest warrants and also ordered to put his name on the ECL to ensure his appearance in the court.

Since he has appeared before the bench, therefore, his arrest warrants are withdrawn, he said and ordered to remove his name from ECL as well.

The bench also noted presence of Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and directed all the three

respondents for filing written replies to the petition.

A deputy attorney general submitted reports on behalf of Information Ministry and Cabinet Division in the matter. He

further apprised the bench that the matter was related to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), in

response to a bench query regarding action taken by the government in the matter.

However, the bench did not agree with law officer's stance observing that the issue did not fall under PEMRA ambit.

What action government has taken in this regard, the three-member bench questioned.

To which, the law officer sought time for seeking instructions from concerned quarters in this regard.

At this, the bench observed that it was a quite sensitive issue and the attorney general should be present in the

court,besides directing attorney general to attend the next hearing.

Justice Mazahar further inquired from Shahid Khaqan Abbasi whether he had filed an application seeking exemption

from hearings owing to upcoming by-polls.

To which, Abbasi submitted that the application would be filed today. Abbasi's counsel also requested the bench to

adjourn the hearing and fix it after the by-polls scheduled for October 14.

Subsequently, the bench adjourned the matter till October 22.

The petitioner had submitted Nawaz Sharif on May 11, 2018, during his interview to an English newspaper gave a misleading statement about Mumbai attacks.

The petitioner said a meeting of the National Security Council was held to discuss the misleading statement and after

the meeting then prime minister Abbasi met Nawaz Sharif and conveyed him the concerns of the military leadership and minutes of the meeting.

She said the act of Abbasi was a clear violation of his oath as he was bound not to allow his personal interest to

influence his official conduct. She pleaded that the disqualified premier had committed sedition by rejecting the

statement of the National Security Council and was liable for an action as directed in the Constitution as well as in the

Pakistan Penal Code.

APP

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