All eyes set on Monday, Dec 24, decisions on Zardari and Nawaz Sharif

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ISLAMABAD: In wake of ongoing political storm in Pakistan, Monday 24th December is being considered a day of fuelling to the fire as all eyes are set on decisionsrelated to cases againstformer president andCo-Chairperson of PPPAsif Ali Zardari and threetime prime minister and PML-N leader(defacto) Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif. Political observers believe if something extraordinary does not happen, the arrest of both the leadersisimminent.An accountability court hasreserved its verdict in the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) Flagship Investment and Al-Azizia references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The verdict will be announced on December 24 (Monday), which isthe revised deadline set by the Supreme Court to wrap up the references.

The accountability court had indicted Sharif in the said references for holding assets beyond his known sources of income in August 2017. Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris Wednesday furnished documents related to Hasan Nawaz’s offshore companies and asked accountability court judge Arshad Malik for more time to submit additional documents. In Al-Azizia Reference 22 witnesses recorded their statements while in Flagship Reference 16 witnesses recorded their statements on part of the prosecution. In both references Nawaz Sharif did not present his defence. Nawaz’s statement After the court reserved the judgment, former PM Nawaz Sharif came to rostrum and stated that he appeared before this court 78 times while he appeared before Accountability Court Number 1 around 87 times and collectively he appeared in the court 165 times. Nawaz denied committing corruption or his involvement in any kickbacks while in power. “I never misused my authority or powers and never faced any such allegations,” he said, adding he could not understand why he was such treatment was being meted out to him. All these proceedings and actions are being taken on presumptions, hearsay, hypothesis and possible implications, he said. “I believe that the court will make justice,” he added. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Thursday decided to start a mass contact movement and give a “tough time” to the government if the accountability court sentences Nawaz Sharif in the remaining two corruption references against him. Nawaz and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif chaired a party meeting at the Parliament House today during which the court’s verdicts which will be announced on December 24 and the current political situation of the country were discussed. Raja Zafarul Haq, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Hamza Shehbaz were among senior party leaders who attended the meeting. Application against Zardari The Pakistan Teh¬reek-iInsaf (PTI) on Thursday filed an application with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in Karachi, seeking the disqualification of PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari for concealing his assets. According to the application filed by PTI Sindh MPA Khurram Sherzaman with the Provincial Election Commissioner, Zardari had failed to declare an apartment he allegedly owns in Belaire Condominiums located at 524 East 72nd Street, New York, New York, United States of America, in his nomination form for the 2018 general elections. PPP files applications Also on Thursday, the PPP filed applications in the ECP’s Islamabad office seeking details of assets of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda. After a PPP delegation met with the ECP secretary, party leader Farhatullah Babar told reporters they had asked the commission to provide details of assets submitted by the premier for all elections he has contested in the past. “The money trail of Imran Khan’s properties is suspect,” Babar alleged, adding that his party will prove that Khan holds undeclared properties abroad. The PPP has also submitted applications in concerned institutions to seek details of assets owned by the prime minister’s sister, Aleema Khan, and of business interests of Jahangir Tareen, a senior PTI leader.