Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has acquitted former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in two high-profile corruption cases. The verdict, announced by a two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, comes as a major relief to Sharif, who had challenged the convictions in the Avenfield property and Al-Azizia cases.
The court’s decision effectively overturns the 2018 convictions that had resulted in Sharif’s imprisonment for ten years in the Avenfield case and seven years in the Al-Azizia case. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog, had filed the cases against Sharif alleging that he had acquired assets beyond his known sources of income.
Sharif, who had gone into self-exile in London in 2019, returned to Pakistan last month after nearly four years. His self-imposed exile followed the IHC’s declaration of him as a proclaimed offender in both cases in December 2020.
The acquittal of Sharif is likely to have a significant political impact in Pakistan, where he remains a prominent figure. His supporters have long maintained his innocence, and the court’s decision is likely to strengthen their position.