Toshakhana reference: Nawaz Sharif challenges arrest warrant in IHC

ISLAMABAD: PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif challenged in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday his arrest warrants and summoning in the Toshakhana reference.

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The former prime minister requested the High Court through his counsel Jahangir Jadoon to nullify an accountability court’s decision to issue an advertisement for his arrest.

Nawaz in his petition also requested the IHC to nullify the accountability court’s decision to issue warrants. The petition added that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is targeting the opposition to suppress its voice.

“Nawaz Sharif is not a fugitive but is abroad undergoing treatment and should be allowed to face trial through his representative,” the petition stated.

The counsel for the three-time former prime minister also noted that the European Union and Human Rights Watch have also expressed concerns over NAB’s actions.

Toshakhana reference

On June 11, a non-bailable arrest warrant for Nawaz was issued by an accountability court in the Toshakhana reference.

According to the accountability bureau, Asif Ali Zardari and former premier Sharif obtained cars from the Toshakana, the state gift depository, by paying 15% of the cars’ price.

The bureau further alleged that former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani facilitated Zardari and Nawaz in this regard.

Zardari had paid only 15% of the total cost of the cars through fake accounts, according to NAB. He also received cars as a gift from Libya and the UAE when he was president and used them for his personal use instead of depositing them in the treasury, the anti-graft body had alleged.

NAB had also said that Abdul Ghani Majeed paid for the vehicles through fake accounts whereas Anwar Majeed made more than Rs20 million through illegal transactions using the Ansari Sugar Mills accounts.

According to reports, Nawaz was not holding any public office in 2008 but was given a vehicle without any justification. NAB says the leaders have been charged with corruption under sub-sections 2, 4, 7 and 12 of Section 9 (A) of the NAB Ordinance.

The Toshakhana (gift depository) gift from any country to the head of the state remains the property of the government unless sold at an open auction. Rules allow officials to retain gifts with a market value of less than Rs10,000 without paying anything.

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