LHC adjourns Nawaz, Abbasi treason case till Oct 22

LAHOREThe Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday adjourned the hearing of a treason petition filed against former premiers Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi till October 22 and withdrew non-bailable arrest warrants issued against journalist Cyril Almeida.The court further instructed removal of the journalist’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL). The bench remarked that the directives were issued to ensure the journalist appeared before the court.A three-member bench headed by Justice Mazahir Ali Naqvi and comprising Justice Atir Mehmood and Justice Chaudhry Masood Jahangir began hearing the petition seeking treason proceedings against Nawaz for defaming the country through an interview on the Mumbai attacks and against Abbasi for supporting the former prime minister’s stance and sharing minutes of the National Security Council’s (NSC) meeting in violation of his oath.During the hearing, Justice Naqvi asked the federal government representative to brief the court regarding the investigation. Unsatisfied by the answer, the bench directed the federal government to submit a written reply in the next hearing.Former premiers, Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, also appeared before the court with their counsels.

Bailable arrest warrant issued for former PM Abbasi

Justice Naqvi further inquired from Abbasi whether the former premier had filed an application seeking exemption from hearings owing to upcoming by-polls. Abbasi said his lawyer will be filing the plea today. The LHC previously issued a bailable warrant of arrest against Abbasi.It is pertinent to note that the security was increased around the court premises and a large crowd of PML-N supporters had gathered by the main entry point. Senior politician Javed Hashmi, Pervez Malik and Asif Kirmani accompanied the former prime ministers.

Sharif set to break political silence

The petition contended that the Nawaz had not only disclosed sensitive secrets but also expressed his views against sensitive national institutions.It also argued that Abbasi had not only supported Sharif’s stance but violated his oath of office by making public minutes of the NSC meeting.After attending an earlier proceeding, former PM Abbasi appeared before media persons and maintained that he had not violated the oath, adding that he had not told anything to anyone about what happened during NSC meetings.Contending that Nawaz had betrayed the nation, the petition stated that a treason case should be instituted against him for giving the controversial interview and allowing it to go on air.

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