Cor­rup­tion ref­er­ences against me are pun­ish­ment for trea­son case against Mushar­raf, nawaz tells court

The Miracle - - Pakistan -

Be­lea­guered PML-N politi­cian Nawaz Sharif on Wed­nes­day, dur­ing his third ac­count­abil­ity court hear­ing in as many days, claimed that the Na­tional Ac­count­abil­ity Bureau (NAB) ref­er­ences against him are byprod­ucts of him fil­ing a high trea­son case against for­mer mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor Pervez Mushar­raf. Nawaz and his fam­ily mem­bers are fac­ing three ref­er­ences per­tain­ing to the Aven­field prop­er­ties, the Al-Az­izia Steel mills and Flag­ship In­vest­ment Co filed by the NAB un­der the di­rec­tives of the Supreme Court in its July 28, 2017 Panama Pa­pers judgement. The PML-N supremo has been asked to record his fi­nal state­ment in the Aven­field ref­er­ence un­der Sec­tion 342 of the Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure Code and to pro­duce, on record, any­thing con­tra­dict­ing the state­ments of the 19 pros­e­cu­tion wit­nesses in the case.When asked today why the Aven­field ref­er­ence had been filed against him, Nawaz said that the ref­er­ences as well as the sit-ins against his gov­ern­ment were re­cip­ro­cal pun­ish­ment for him tak­ing le­gal ac­tion against Mushar­raf de­spite be­ing warned not to do so. Nawaz claimed that the head of an in­tel­li­gence agency had told him to “re­sign or go on a long leave”, adding that such threats by a sub­or­di­nate to the head of the state are not is­sued even in third world coun­tries. He hinted that Pak­istan Tehreek-e-In­saf and Pak­istan Awami Tehrik were both in on the ‘con­spir­acy’ against him. “Be­fore the fil­ing of the trea­son case I had met Im­ran Khan and he never de­manded my res­ig­na­tion. But sur­pris­ingly after Mushar­raf was booked, he met Tahirul Qadri in London where they de­cided to stage a sit-in against my gov­ern­ment.” The PMLN leader praised the armed forces’ sac­ri­fices and pointed out that he had upped the de­fence bud­get and also re­fused $5 bil­lion to not con­duct the nu­clear test in the 90s. How­ever, he said, it is also a “pre­req­ui­site for the sanc­tity of the armed forces that if any per­son sus­pends the Con­sti­tu­tion then he should be held ac­count­able”. “Only a few peo­ple in the armed forces staged a coup but the en­tire in­sti­tu­tion has to pay the cost,” he added. Nawaz said that he had al­ready been pun­ished once for his un­wa­ver­ing stance on civil supremacy, re­call­ing: “Nine­teen years ago, I was de­tained in tor­ture cells, I was sen­tenced to life im­pris­on­ment, I was hand­cuffed and jet­ted off. Was there a Panama at that time? The an­swer is sim­ply no. At that time, too, I was de­mand­ing civil supremacy. I wanted for­eign and do­mes­tic poli­cies to be in the hand of the elected rep­re­sen­ta­tive.” Sharif de­fended his gov­ern­ment’s record over the last five years, say­ing: “I am a son of the soil. I don’t need a cer­tifi­cate of pa­tri­o­tism from any­one. In the last five years, the growth has been phe­nom­e­nal — un­matched un­der any regime in the last 65 years.” The PML-N supreme leader re­it­er­ated that the al­le­ga­tions lev­elled against him are base­less and asked ac­count­abil­ity court judge Mo­ham­mad Bashir to “make a just de­ci­sion since you and me both will ap­pear be­fore Al­lah Almighty one day.”

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