Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's seamless return was made possible on Thursday when an accountability court suspended his arrest warrant in the Toshakhana case and granted him protective bail in two corruption cases.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo had applied for bail in the Al-Azizia and Avenfield cases to the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which had accepted the arguments and granted bail till October 24.
After announcing the verdict, the IHC barred the government from detaining Nawaz Sharif upon his arrival back in the country on Saturday, October 21.
The IHC stated that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has not objected to the PML-N supremo's plea seeking protective bail in corruption cases.
Prior to this, the arrest warrant that was issued for him in the Toshakhana case was suspended by an accountability court.
Nawaz's bail plea was heard by a two-member IHC bench comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb.
In response to the ruling, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif lauded the IHC judgement, saying that his elder brother's disqualification was the result of a "fictitious and fabricated story" and that "the elected Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, was disqualified based on a fictitious and fabricated story." He was mistreated and involved in absurd cases, he wrote on X.
"His innocence would have been shown in any fair trial. Bail is a basic right, and we welcome the IHC ruling in this respect, expecting that justice will triumph, Insha'Allah,” Shehbaz said.
The IHC had sent a notice to NAB the day before regarding Nawaz's plea for protective bail in connection with corruption references.
Rafay Maqsood was the prosecutor appointed by the NAB Rawalpindi Bureau to appear before the IHC court.
When the three-time former prime minister traveled to London in November 2019 with the approval of the court for medical treatment, the IHC in the Avenfield and Al-Azizia cases deemed him a proclaimed criminal due to non-compliance.
An accountability court in 2018 sentenced Nawaz to 10 years in prison in the Avenfield case and seven years in the Al-Azizia case.
His appeals against the convictions were rejected for noncompliance by the IHC bench, comprising Justices Aamer Farooq and Mohsin Akhtar Kayani.
The Lahore High Court (LHC) suspended Nawaz's sentence in the Al-Azizia case in 2019 due to medical reasons. This allowed him to travel to London for treatment, and he never returned.