Islamabad : A Pakistani court on Tuesday adjourned until last week of July the hearing of appeals filed by jailed former premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law against their conviction in a corruption case, shattering their hope to come out of jail before polls to boost the campaign of their party.

Elections are scheduled for July 25. 68-year-old Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party was banking on his early release to boost its election prospects. Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar had on Monday filed the appeals in the Islamabad High Court challenging the verdict in the Avenfield corruption case.

A two-member bench of Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the appeals and issued notices to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and also ordered to present the record of the case.

The bench adjourned the hearing till last week of July which effectively means that hearing will be held after July 25 which will be observed as holiday to let people cast votes. The court also refused to suspend the conviction in the case until the appeals were decided.

Earlier, Sharif’s confidante and PML-N leader Pervaiz Rashid urged the court to decide the appeals without wasting any time. “We want that the appeal should be decided as quickly as the trial was held,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a surprise move, an anti-corruption court judge, who had sentenced Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in prison in a graft case, has recused himself from hearing two other corruption cases against the jailed former premier.

Justice Muhammad Bashir of the Islamabad Accountability Court, in a letter addressed to Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Anwar Khan Kasi, said the Al-Azizia steel mills and the Flagship corruption cases should be transferred to some other judge, according to the IHC sources.

Two PML-N candidates escape murder attempt

Lahore: A father-son duo, both PML-N candidates for the July 25 elections, have narrowly escaped an ass­as­s­i­na­tion attempt after unidenti­fied gunmen opened fire on their car when they were returning from an election rally in Punjab province, a media report said.

PML-N leader Sheikh Aftab Ahmed and his son Sheikh Salman were returning home from an election rally when their vehicle came under attack by gunmen in Attock’s Kamra on Monday night.

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