Nawaz Sharif, daughter Maryam released after Islamabad High Court suspend their sentences

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The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday suspended the sentences handed to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd)  Mohammad Safdar in the Avenfield corruption reference.
Nawaz Sharif

The Wednesday’s extraordinary verdict paved the way for their release from the jail. Thousands of supporters greeted them outside the prison to welcome their leaders.

Sharif’s wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz had died due to cancer in London, during his stay in jail in Pakistan. The government in Pakistan had allowed him to attend the funeral of Kulsoom Nawaz.

The video of Sharif bidding farewell to his ailing wife before leaving for Pakistan had gone viral. Both Sharif and Maryam were arrested soon after they arrived in Pakistan on 13 July.

A report by Pakistan’s Dawn.com said that the Islamabad High Court’s division bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb accepted the convicts’ petitions against the Avenfield verdict, ruling that the sentences would remain suspended until the final verdict on their appeals.

Justice Minallah said, “For the reasons to be recorded later on, the petition of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Mohammad Safdar are allowed.” All three have been asked to pay Rs 5 lakh as surety bonds.

Reacting to the development, Sharif’s brother, now the leader of the opposition, Shehbaz Sharif, quoted a verse from Holy Quran in Arabic. It read, “Truth has come, and falsehood has departed. Indeed is falsehood, [by nature], ever bound to depart.” The verse is taken from the Holy book’s chapter Al-Isra, chapter 17 and verse number 81.

On 6 July, Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the accountability court in a corruption case. Maryam was sentenced seven years in prison while her husband Captain (retd) Safdar was given one-year jail in the case filed by the National Accountability Bureau.

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