Accountability judge ‘blackmailed’ to issue anti-Nawaz verdict: Maryam Sharif

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Maryam Nawaz Sharif, senior PML-N leader, addressing a press conference held in Lahore on Saturday July 06, 2019. (Photo courtesy: PML-N twitter account)
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In this July 5, 2017 file photo, Maryam Nawaz (center), the daughter of Nawaz Sharif waves while she arrives to talk with media following appearing before a Joint Investigation Team, in Islamabad. (AP)
Updated 06 July 2019

Accountability judge ‘blackmailed’ to issue anti-Nawaz verdict: Maryam Sharif

  • Daughter of jailed former PM holds press conference, shows video of judge who sentenced Nawaz Sharif
  • Government spokesperson says Maryam had maligned the institution of the judiciary

ISLAMABAD: Maryam Nawaz, senior PML-N leader and the daughter of jailed, three time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, said on Saturday her father was wrongfully convicted in a corruption reference because the judge presiding over his case was “blackmailed” into issuing a verdict against him.
Sharif is currently serving a seven-year sentence imposed last year for failing to disclose the source of income that allowed him to acquire the Al-Azizia Steel Mills in Saudi Arabia.
At a press conference flanked by other senior leaders of the PMLN, Maryam revealed that PMLN leader Nasir Butt was invited by the accountability judge, Arshad Malik, who confessed during their meeting that he was forced to issue an “unjust” verdict against the country’s disqualified prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, by people who blackmailed him with a “personal video.”
Describing the clip as “divine help” for her family, Maryam said that the judge had highlighted several flaws in his judgment that he wanted Nasir Butt to convey to Sharif’s lawyers, which would help him be acquitted in appeal hearings.
Sharif has always termed the charges against him politically motivated and accused the military and courts of working together to end his political career and destabilize his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party. Both deny the charge.
The PML-N lost to the party of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, the new prime minister, in July 2018 polls. Sharif accused the military of backing Khan. Khan and the military deny the accusation.
Maryam’s press conference was soon followed by a media talk by the country’s de facto information minister, Firdous Ashiq Awan, who condemned the allegations against the accountability judge and claimed that the PML-N had maligned the judiciary.
Awan said that a forensic audit of the tape would be conducted soon, adding it was important to see if the content of the video was “real or tampered.”


Pakistan in control with England chasing 277 in first test

Updated 08 August 2020

Pakistan in control with England chasing 277 in first test

  • Leg-spinner Yasir Shah claimed two wickets as the home team, chasing a target of 277 for victory, slipped to 167-5
  • Earlier, Pakistan resumed on 137-8 and added a quickfire 32 runs before being bowled out for 169

MANCHESTER: Yasir Shah put Pakistan in pole position to beat England at tea on day four of the first test at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Leg-spinner Yasir claimed two wickets as the home team, chasing a target of 277 for victory, slipped to 167-5.

England’s hopes now rest largely with Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes, who went on the counter-attack at the fall of the fifth wicket and have so far shared an unbroken stand of 50.

Buttler is unbeaten on 32, with Woakes 26 not out.

Rory Burns was the first man out, falling lbw to Mohammad Abbas for 10. The England opener was given out by the on-field umpire and his decision to review the call proved in vain, with video replays showing the ball would have gone on to clip the top of the bails.

There appeared to be some friction between the two teams as Burns exchanged a few words with the Pakistani fielders on his way back to the pavilion, while putting his finger to his mouth as if to silence the opposition.

Captain Joe Root and Dom Sibley then put on 64 for the second wicket before Sibley was caught off Yasir for 36.

Fast bowler Naseem Shah struck 10 runs later to remove Root for 42 before dangerman Ben Stokes was caught by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan off Yasir for 9.

Ollie Pope also fell to a brute of a delivery from paceman Shaheen Afridi for seven.

Earlier, Pakistan resumed on 137-8 and added a quickfire 32 runs before being bowled out for 169.

Yasir led the way with 33 before he was caught behind by Buttler off Stuart Broad. Last-man Naseem (4) was then bowled by Jofra Archer.

Broad finished with figures of 3-37, taking his tally of victims to six in the match, and there were also two wickets apiece for Woakes and Stokes.