The interim government of Punjab has taken the decision to suspend the sentence of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference. This action was carried out under Section 401 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which provides the government with the authority to temporarily suspend a convict’s sentence.
This is not the first case where Nawaz Sharif’s sentence has been suspended. Back in 2019, he was granted a similar suspension when he traveled to London for medical treatment.
Amir Mir, Punjab’s Information Minister, clarified that while the government can suspend a sentence, it does not have the power to completely annul it. In December 2018, an accountability court had sentenced Nawaz Sharif to seven years in prison in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption case. It’s important to note that he was acquitted in the Flagship Investments reference.
The court also imposed a substantial fine of Rs1.5 billion and $25 million on him, along with a 10-year disqualification from holding any public office. This disqualification would come into effect after the completion of his seven-year jail term.
Nawaz Sharif, who has served as the Prime Minister of Pakistan three times, recently returned to Pakistan after spending four years in self-exile. His return was marked by a warm welcome from his political party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Upon his return, he addressed a significant gathering at Minar-e-Pakistan, outlining his plans to address the current challenges facing Pakistan and steer the country towards stability and progress. This move has ignited renewed interest and discussion in Pakistan’s political landscape.