ISLAMABAD: More than a week after Nawaz Sharif was disqualified in a landmark judgement by the top court, without mincing his words former prime minister said on Sunday that he did not want a clash between institutions but would expose the ‘conspiracy’ behind his disqualification.
“I will not yield to pressure despite the fact that I was subjected to exploitation under the garb of accountability,” Nawaz said during an informal talk with businessmen in Rawalpindi.
The deposed premier disclosed that he knows his fate but will not resort to any action that would result in instability.
“I have a clear idea about what is going to happen to me,” Nawaz said, adding that he would not resort to any measure that goes against the interest of the country.
“I would soon expose the conspiracy being hatched against me and this country.”
The continued statements against Supreme Court’s landmark decision on Panamagate are coming from Nawaz at a time when the ex-premier is desperate to garner public support reportedly because the public’s general response favouring the court’s decision has alarmed Nawaz and his aides.
“There were no protests, no agitation, no big rallies, nothing. On the other hand, sweets were distributed and there were scenes of jubilation [after Nawaz’s disqualification]. For a political party in power, this is a nightmare,” a PML-N’s senator commented, requesting anonymity.
A source privy to Nawaz-businesspersons meeting said the former premier did not elaborate on the presumed threats. “He didn’t say what context he was referring to and what exactly was going to happen to him but the way he phrased his words—it is clear that nothing positive is expected,” the source said.
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He said Nawaz minced no words to declare that he was a victim of ‘witch-hunt’ in the name of accountability. “Is it about corruption? Is my family the only one named in Panamagate?” Sharif reportedly asked.
Lately, Nawaz has taken certain actions following public statements that are not likely to go down well with the security establishment.
PML-N sources said party circles were against Khawaja Asif’s elevation as Foreign Minister and bringing back Mushahidullah Khan as Climate Change Minister after two years. Both are known for their critical views about the security establishment.
However, Nawaz himself put weight behind both the candidates and played a direct role in their induction in the cabinet of the new Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The cabinet members took oath on Friday.
Just a day later on Saturday, Nawaz, who travelled from Murree to Bhara Kahu, took on former dictator General (retd) Pervaiz Musharraf, daring him to land back home and face cases pending against him. The ex-premier also specifically mentioned the 1971 debacle saying no lessons were learnt from this tragedy.
Requesting anonymity, another senior PML-N leader said Nawaz had been advised against speaking about judiciary in the present scenario given that the Sharif family is set to file a review petition against the PM’s disqualification at the hands of the top court in Panamagate case on July 28.
On the other hand, the insider said, PML-N leadership believes that the representatives of security agencies in the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that probed Sharif family’s offshore companies on the directions of Supreme Court played an active role in preparing a damning report which eventually paved way for Sharif’s ouster from power.
“He is aggrieved and has become confrontational,” the source mentioned of Sharif’s recent statements to target the security establishment— but in implied vibes.
Meanwhile, Nawaz again said on Saturday that the people of Pakistan did not accept Panamagate verdict. “Those who broke Constitution and committed high treason have never been arrested,” Nawaz said in an obvious reference to Musharraf.
Nawaz, however, skipped mentioning that it was his government that was apparently instrumental in giving a safe refuge to the ex-dictator who was facing cases in Pakistan. “The looters and plunderers of billions of rupees are also let go scot-free,” the ex-premier said.
Still, Nawaz said he does not advocate clash between institutions and believe in the policy of reconciliation and inclusion. “Clash between institutions weakens the country.”
Later, Nawaz chaired a meeting of PML-N’s federal and Rawalpindi chapters to review the arrangements for his travel from Islamabad to Lahore on Wednesday. Party sources said the ousted PM took suggestions from party stalwarts on the designated route for Wednesday’s programme but no final decision was made in this regard till Sunday night.
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