Avenfield Reference: IHC Nullifies Conviction of Nawaz Sharif

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has acquitted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Avenfield reference. This decision annuls the previous sentence against him, providing a significant relief for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Nawaz Sharif, a three-time former premier and PML-N supremo, appeared in the IHC for the hearing of the Avenfield reference. This acquittal follows the earlier acquittal of PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz and her husband Captain (retd) Safdar in the same reference.

The Avenfield reference pertains to the ownership of the Avenfield apartments in London, UK. In 2018, an accountability court had convicted Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, and Captain Safdar in this reference. However, the IHC has now nullified these convictions, stating that the prosecution failed to prove the allegations.

The Avenfield case dates back to July 6, 2018, when Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir had convicted Nawaz Sharif, Maryam, and Safdar in the Avenfield Apartment case and given them prison terms of ten years, seven years, and one year, respectively. The court had later suspended their sentences.

This decision is seen as a major victory for the PML-N. It not only strengthens the party’s position but also has significant implications for the political landscape of Pakistan. The acquittal might influence the public’s perception of the PML-N and its leaders, potentially swaying public opinion in their favor.

However, it is important to note that this decision does not mark the end of legal challenges for Nawaz Sharif. He still faces other references and will need to continue his legal battles. Nevertheless, this acquittal in the high-profile Avenfield reference is a significant milestone.

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