LHC adjourns hearing of treason case as Nawaz Sharif seeks permanent exemption

LAHORE – A full bench of the Lahore High Court has adjourned the hearing of a petition seeking treason proceedings against two former prime ministers, Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

The petition also seeks initiation of treason proceedings against reporter of leading Pakistani paper, Cyril Almeida.

During the hearing of the case on Monday, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Abbasi and Mr Alme­ida appeared before the bench, how­ever, Nawaz Sharif did not turn up.

Sharif’s counsel, Advocate Naseer Bhutta filed an application on behalf of former prime minister seeking permanent exemption from personal appearance.
However, Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, who heads the bench, remarked that the applicant had not submitted a mandatory affidavit with his application.

To this, Naseer Bhutta said the application would be filed afresh along with the affidavit.

On the occasion, Advocate Ahmad Rauf, counsel for Cyril Almeida, pleaded the bench to allow his client to go abroad; the bench directed the counsel to file an application for this purpose.

After a brief hearing, the court adjourned the hearing till November 19th.

What’s The Case?
Advocate Azhar Siddiqui had filed a petition alleging that Abbasi shared crucial details of the National Security Council (NSC) meeting with his predecessor Nawaz following his statements on the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

By leaking details of the NSC, Abbasi committed high treason, the petitioner pleaded.

The petitioner had argued that Nawaz’s controversial interview to a newspaper – with which Cyril Almeida is associated – had dented the country’s image and sovereignty.

The petitioner further prayed upon the court to order a treason trial against the three respondents. Nawaz Sharif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Cyril Almeida and Zafar Abbas appeared before the court on October 8th.

The Lahore High Court also withdrew the arrest warrants issued against Cyril Almeida and also ordered that his name be struck off the Exit Control List (ECL).