Islamabad: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Maryam Nawaz Monday said that an anti-corruption court’s verdict against her father Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption case was “blind revenge’s last hiccup”.
An accountability court in Islamabad sentenced the three-time former prime minister to seven years in jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills graft case but acquitted him in the Flagship Investments case.
After the verdict, Sharif’s daughter Maryam broke months-long silence and took to twitter to criticize the judgment as “vengeance”.
“Punishment to the same man for the fourth time. (This was) blind revenge’s last hiccup but victory is Nawaz Sharif’s, thank God,” she said in a series of tweets in Urdu.
“After two-and-a-half years of revenge-like accountability, after rummaging through three generations, not a penny’s worth of corruption, kickback or commission was found.”
Maryam said that “all the verdicts against Sharif were regarding the personal business of his deceased father (Mian Sharif)”, adding that “when they could not find anything they announced the verdict on assumptions.
Three cases – Avenfield properties case, Flagship investment case and Al-Azizia steel mills case – were launched against the Sharif family by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on September 8, 2017 following a judgment by the Supreme Court that disqualified Sharif in the high-profile Panama Papers case in July last year.
In the first case, Sharif, his daughter Maryam and his son-in-law Captain (retd.) M Safdar were sentenced to 11 years, eight years and one year respectively in prison in July, 2018. The Avenfield properties case related to their purchase of four luxury flats in London through corrupt practices. However, the three were bailed out by the Islamabad High Court in September.
“Today’s verdict is another stamp on Nawaz Sharif’s honesty and sincerity. These verdicts will vanish, what will remain is Nawaz Sharif’s honesty and the opponents’ burden of tyrannies because government, power and privileges are there to end. It does not take long for tides to turn. Remember, when tyranny crosses limits, it ends,” Maryam said.
She termed the verdict an indictment of “the government’s weakness”, reminding them that “governments are not run by targeting opponents.”
“Governments are run on the basis of their character and performance,” she added.
She also accused Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party of conspiring against her father, claiming that “the government officials head to work each day thinking ‘what do I have to do against Nawaz Sharif today?'”
Commenting on the verdict, former premier and senior PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said, “We will protest against the verdict and overcome it.”
He said the deposed premier should have been acquitted in both cases as the top accountability watchdog had no evidence against the Sharif family.
Citing sources, Dawn newspaper said Maryam is expected to take a more active role in party politics following Monday’s verdict against her father.