‘Arbitrary rule’: Sharif asks people to revolt against ‘sikha shahi’

Leaves court early, saying he was not feeling well

Rizwan Shehzad March 05, 2018
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Nawaz Sharif has urged people to revolt against ‘sikha shahi’ (monarchial rule) while continuing his anti-judiciary refrain over his disqualification as prime minister and the head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

The ex-PM said that people have fully realised that the PML-N’s narrative and principal stance is correct and that is why they have started demanding respect for the vote. He was of the view that people have started questioning the sanctity of their vote and they are not ready to accept that an elected prime minister is kicked out without any regard to their choice.

“The mood I am seeing of the people of Pakistan is that they are not ready to bear this sikha shahi anymore,” Sharif said. “They are now publically revolting,” he emphasised.

He was speaking to the media outside the accountability court, which is conducting Sharif family’s trial in connection with three corruption references filed in line with the Supreme Court’s judgment of April 28, 2017.

Sharif said that people should rebel against sikha shahi, adding that the people of Pakistan are not sheep who get fooled when their elected PM gets ousted by a few people. He reiterated that people would not tolerate “oppression” and it was important to stand against it.

Sharif pleads for people’s right to remove govt

“The one who doesn’t stand against oppression and continues to endure it is himself the biggest oppressor,” Sharif said, adding neither oppression would continue nor he would allow it to. “Pakistan is my country, your country, our country … it doesn’t belong to a single person,” he said.

Nawaz Sharif said voters were put in difficulty by depriving them of their symbol. Despite contesting the elections with a new symbol, he said, the PML-N candidate was successful.

Gone are the days when the country was run this way, he said, now it shouldn’t happen. He said that courts are declaring him disqualified while people are declaring qualified through the power of the vote.

It’s time to call right as right and wrong as wrong, he said, adding this should now be the motto of the nation. “The next 70 years should not be like the 70 years we have spent,” Sharif said, adding he was firmly standing with the help of the people of Pakistan. “I am deeply indebted to the nation.”

Nawaz Sharif hopes to serve people again ‘soon’

Meanwhile, Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris completed cross-examination of a witness Abdul Hanan, an official of Pakistan’s High Commission in London. Hanan’s statement and cross-examination took a couple of hearing as he has exhibited hundreds of pages as evidence against Sharif in the Flagship reference.

Sharif along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar appeared before the court on Monday. Later, Haris requested the court to allow them to leave as Sharif was not feeling well.

On September 8, NAB had submitted four corruption references against the Sharif family and the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the court in line with the July 28 judgment of the Supreme Court in the Panamagate scandal.

The top court had given the anti-graft watchdog until September 8 to file the references. In the judgment, the apex court had directed the top graft-buster to file references against Sharif, his sons, daughter, son-in-law and Ishaq Dar within six weeks.

Nawaz, Maryam continue rant against judiciary

The apex court had also directed the trial court to conclude the trial within six months. However, the court may miss the six-month deadline as NAB has filed supplementary references when the court had almost completed recording testimony of the prosecution witnesses.

Also, the tenure of the Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir is going to end on March 13. The Islamabad High Court has sent a letter to the law ministry recommending extension in his tenure but it has yet to be responded.

He also lamented the role money played in the Senate elections. He said that this should not have had happened and there is a need to change the system and bury the old one. In the past, it was also a practice, but this time it happened more radically and more openly, he said.

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