Be it memogate or Hudabiya paper mill’s case, the Supreme Court seems to have become a common ground for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) to battle it out.
Before the controversy surrounding the memogate case could die down, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) raised before the SC the question regarding the agreement ostensibly signed between former premier Nawaz Sharif and the Pervez Musharraf regime, enabling Nawaz to leave the country.
“We want to see if the Lahore High Court returned the Hudabiya Paper Mills’ share (belonging to the Sharifs) in violation of the agreement,” submitted NAB Prosecutor General KK Agha before a two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Agha informed the bench that he believed Nawaz had given the Hudabiya shares to NAB in exchange for the agreement, and hence, the shares should not have been returned to the Sharifs.
NAB challenges LHC verdict
The NAB appeal in the apex court challenges the Lahore High Court’s verdict delivered on October 4 2011 for returning the shares worth Rs115 million. The appeal lists PML-N chief Nawaz, his brother Shahbaz Sharif and at least a dozen family members as respondents.
NAB stated that the LHC committed an error in deciding “that there was no agreement/settlement between Mian Nawaz Sharif and the federal government”. The LHC ignored the SC’s judgment, which clearly proved the existence of such an agreement, according to the appeal.
Agreement nowhere to be seen
When the CJ asked Agha to place the agreement on record, Agha countered that the high court should have made the federal government a party to the proceedings in order to secure the agreement. The CJ replied by asking why the prosecutor-general was unable to obtain a copy considering that a NAB official, Colonel (retd) Muhammad Shabbir, had confiscated the mills’ shares. “You can even ask Nawaz Sharif, or for that matter, the federal government to provide you with a copy of the agreement,” the CJ said.
Agha replied that this was possible and asked the court to put off the case to enable him to get the copy. The CJ then postponed the case till the third week of January.