PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz on Wednesday said Afghanistan is a sovereign country and that Pakistan should not interfere in its internal matters. “Pakistan should accept the decision of the Afghan people and stay away from the country’s internal affairs,” she said. “Afghanistan is an independent country and Pakistan should not impose its decisions on them,” she further said, adding that the people of Afghanistan have long faced war-like conditions. Talking to media in Islamabad, Maryam suggested that Pakistan collaborate with the international community for rehabilitating people and rebuilding infrastructure in the war-torn country. “Pakistan should work with the international community for the rehabilitation of Afghan people as well as the reconstruction of the country,” she maintained. In response to a question, Maryam accused the PTI government of suppressing rival political parties. “The game of targeting your opponents has to stop at some point,” she said, adding that the government’s strategy now appears to be dying down. She also hinted at filing a new petition in a court [in connection with the Avenfield apartment reference], which, she said, will expose ‘actual grounds’ of the case. Refusing to divulge details of the prospective petition, Maryam said her lawyers were preparing the plea which would be substantial in proceeding with the case. “If the issues highlighted in the plea I am going to file are not taken into consideration, then I will feel the justice is not served.” She also explained that her lawyer Amjad Pervez recused from the case because of his health condition after he had contracted Covid-19. “I told him to contest my case, and until he recuperates, I will arrange another counsel for my case,” she said. Earlier, the counsel representing Maryam and her husband Capt (r) Safdar in the Avenfield Apartments case excused himself from representing his clients citing the coronavirus as a reason. A two-member bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Moshin Akhtar Kayani, heard the appeals of Maryam and Safdar against an accountability court verdict in the Avenfield Apartment case. At the outset of the hearing, the PML-N vice president approached the bench and apprised that her lawyer could not represent her anymore because he has ‘contracted the coronavirus’. “I met him two days ago and he told me he could not pursue my case,” she informed the bench, adding that she needs one month to find a new lawyer. However, the court gave her till September 23 to find a new counsel. Maryam also requested the court to entertain another petition before deciding on the merits of the case. She said she wanted to bring ‘new facts’ to light by filing a new petition. During the previous hearing, the high court had expressed displeasure over constant delays in the case and said the appeals filed in 2019-20 had been decided, but this case was still pending.