ISLAMABAD - Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said that freedom of expression was a fundamental right and restrictions should come to an end.

Talking to media outside the accountability court, the disqualified premier stated that such restrictions were only in Pakistan.

He said that he had been raising voice to uphold the supremacy of law and constitution and for the sanctity of the vote.

Sharif said he had been talking about the rights of over 200 million people of Pakistan and how some individuals could deprive public of their basic rights. He said that the country was facing enormous challenges and all issues should be settled amicably.

Sharif said that the protest was the constitutional right of everyone and it would be unfair to deprive anyone of his right.

People want to listen to their favourite leaders, he said, adding that what sort of change those people could bring in the country whose thinking was enslaved.

Reference have been filed against me for widening of the Raiwind Road, they should also file reference against me for developing motorways in the country, said Sharif.

Everyone should play their role in strengthening Pakistan, he said. We can tolerate everything in the larger interest of the country, said Sharif adding that it was their turn now to demonstrate patience and forbearance.

Responding to a question regarding Manzoor Pashteen, Sharif said that everyone was allowed to stage peaceful protests and civilised societies did not silence voices of the masses.

There are divisions within the country and an amicable resolution of issues is the need of the hour, he added.

In the coming days, I am seeing a major turmoil and we should play our role to avert this, Sharif said.

Meanwhile, Maryam Nawaz stated that the vote bank belonged to the PML-N and defectors who were quitting the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz could not damage the party in the upcoming general elections.

Later, the cross-examination of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia in Avenfield Apartments case concluded here on Tuesday.

During the cross-examination, the JIT head produced three Mutual Legal Assistance requests written to the British Virgin Islands before the accountability court.

During cross examination, Zia said that the first MLA request was written on 20th May 2017, second was written on 31st May 2017 and third on 23rd June 2017.

He said that it was not correct that the BVI rejected MLA of 31st May 2017.

In this MLA, any confirmation of documents, verification and certification request was not made, Zia said.

He said that the JIT mistakenly wrote 31st May MLA as rejected instead of the 23rd May MLA.

Zia said a reply was received from the BVI officials on 16th June 2017 through email and the JIT did not make 16th June email reply a part of the record.

He informed the court that the JIT in its MLA request of 31st May 2017 had confessed that the 20th May MLA was sent mistakenly to FIA director.

He informed the court that the MLA request was sent to the BVI attorney general on 31st May 2017 to sought verified copies of foreign documents.

Zia added that verified copies of Nelson and Nescoll were also sought including registered director, nominated director and details of shareholders as well as name of the settler, and details about their addresses.

The JIT sent last MLA to the BVI on 23rd June 2017 and it was requested to the FIA and the BVI in the MLA to verify the provided record.

Zia informed the court that no reply was received on the MLA sent on 31st May 2017.

At this, defence counsel Amjad Pervez said that he wanted to comment that the BVI had rejected their MLA.  Zia said that he wanted to give detailed answer to this query.

He pointed out that it was not right to comment that 31st May 2017 MLA was rejected by the BVI as a reply was received through email on 16th June 2017.

At this, Pervez said that the 16th June 2017 email was not made part of the record.

Zia said that the email related to the JIT, and he had access to that email, adding that 25th May 2017’s MLA was not written to the attorney general of the BVI.

Later, the NAB prosecutor Sardar Muzzafar Abbasi filed an application in the accountability court to bring new documentary evidence of Nelson and Nescol and other off-shore companies of Sharif family members on court record.