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The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that proceedings against the Sharif family in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills reference were not undertaken earlier as the Bureau had felt pressured by Nawaz Sharif, who was serving as prime minister at the time the decision to shelve the case was taken.

NAB Deputy Prosecutor Imranul Haq made the statement in response to a question posed a day earlier by a three-judge bench of the apex court ─ headed by Justice Mushir Alam ─ which is hearing the Hudaibiya Papers Mills reference.

In a fresh appeal submitted to the SC today, Haq tried to justify NAB’s failure in pursuing the Hudaibiya reference more vigorously after the Bureau was admonished a day earlier for not being prepared.

He requested that the court “scrutinize” the three-year-old “impugned judgment” and allow NAB to reopen the reference.

“Denial to reinvestigate [the case] amounts to the denial of justice itself. Justice was castrated [after the LHC’s 2014 decision] and the damage [caused by it] should be undone by this honorable court by condoning the delay in filing of the petition,” the appeal read.

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