Sharif threatens to 'spill the beans' on the 2014 sit-in of PTI

Published: May 3, 2018
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Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: AFP

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday claimed he knows several secrets regarding the 2014 marathon sit-in of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and that he will reveal them at an ‘appropriate time’.

In August 2014, the PTI and the PAT simultaneously started their sit-in in Islamabad for essentially different reasons but with the same objective to topple the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government. The sit-in continued for months and ended after Dec 2014 grisly attack on a school.

“There are lots of hidden facts pertaining to the 2014 sit-ins in the capital but let’s just hope that we come on track before I reveal those secrets,” Sharif, who was disqualified in July last year by the apex court said while talking to reporters in and outside the accountability court.

Referring to the pillars of a state – legislature, executive, judiciary and media — the former PM said one of the pillars [apparently judiciary] is controlling the other three pillars at the moment.

“I want to ask where is the writ of the government and parliament today?” Sharif said, adding: “This is not an era of the Mughals where a single hand controlled everything.”

Talking with reference to the World Press Freedom Day, he said the world is promoting more and more press freedom but in Pakistan restrictions have been imposed on the press.

“Such bans and restrictions that we are witnessing today were not even imposed during the dictatorships. Everyone knows from where these restrictions are coming. It’s unfortunate that press freedom is subjected to restrictions and being strangled just for silencing Nawaz Sharif,” he said.

He said democracy and the press in the country is being ‘strangled by unknown forces’ and they are busy working for a parliament that suits them.

Sharif said founders of the nation had never thought that the country would be ruled with anything else than the Constitution. They didn’t know that law would be replaced by lawlessness, rule of law would end and freedom of speech, fundamental rights and civil liberties would be curbed, he added.

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“But it’s all happening today. Have you ever heard or seen any such thing in any democracy of the world. Look at the other countries and compare them with our country. Believe me you will feel ashamed,” he added.

The deposed PM said economic progress was sabotaged by the Supreme Court’s July 28, 2017 judgment against him. Value of the rupee and foreign exchange reserves are declining and the economic progress has come to a halt,” he said.

Nawaz Sharif said Islamabad’s new airport, network of motorways and other development projects strengthened the infrastructure of the country. “International airlines, including the British Airlines, KLM, Swiss Air, Lufthansa Airline, Air France, Qantas airways etc, are needed to be drawn towards Pakistan as things used to function in 1990s,” he said.

Deposed PM reiterated that in the upcoming general elections the ruling party will not contest against Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) or Asif Ali Zardar’s Pakistan People Party (PPP) but with some forces which are invisible.

Sharif, alluding to recent comments reportedly passed by Zardari, asked who was passing such statements and attributing them to Zardari if it was not being said by the former president.
Court proceedings

After a day’s cross examination by Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s investigation officer in the Avenfield Apartments reference Imran Dogar admitted that no document of title showed that Sharif is owner of any of the London flats.

He admitted that no documents collected from the Financial Investigation Agency of British Virgin Island (BVI) showed that Nawaz Sharif was either real or beneficial owner of the Avenfield Apartments.

Dogar accepted that no documents showed that Sharif ever remained registered director, nominee director shareholder or nominee shareholder of Nielson and Nescoll companies. In addition, he admitted that Sharif was trustee or settler of any trust linked with the four flats.

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