Nawaz rejects NSC stance, terms it 'regrettable and painful'

Published: May 15, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday dismissed the National Security Committee’s (NSC) stance over his recent remarks on the Mumbai attacks and urged formation of a national commission to probe issues plaguing the country.

Speaking to the media during his almost daily accountability court hearing, Sharif strongly condemned the NSC statement and termed it ‘regrettable and painful’.

“Time has come to know who has pushed the country where it stands now,” said Sharif, while speaking to the media at the accountability court.

“I reject NSC’s May 14 statement, as it is based on misperception,” he said.

“I am not just an ordinary citizen but a three-time prime minister elected by the people of Pakistan and I am privy to many things.”

The former prime minister said that a national commission should be constituted to determine who introduced terrorism in Pakistan, who led Pakistan towards isolation and who has brought the country to the stage where the world is not accepting Pakistan’s narrative.

“The national commission should be tasked with finding the cause of these issues. It is time we found out who is a traitor and who is a patriot.”

Al-Azizia reference: Wajid Zia produces Qatari prince’s letter in court

Ousted premier said it was time the country knew who was responsible for the current state of affairs.

“What have we turned this country into? Who laid the foundation of terrorism in this beautiful country?” Sharif asked, while reiterating that the national commission should be made to reach to the bottom of the issues.

In addition, the deposed prime minister has made a startling revelation that the ‘Dawn Leak’ meeting had also discussed those things and focused on how to put the house in order.

He asked which country stands with Pakistan today, adding “Pakistan is not being isolated, it has already become an isolated country in the world”.

While referring to the Dawn Leak, Sharif said similar things were said at that time but it was turned into ‘Dawn Leak’. He said ask Khawaja Asif what did the prime ministers and presidents say about terrorism when he went to foreign countries.

“The country was on the right track but…,” Sharif left the sentence incomplete while, apparently, implying that the things he has said should be pondered upon.

Accountability court requests SC for second extension in Sharif trial

Meanwhile, PML-N leader Nehal Hashmi reached on Tuesday at the accountability court to express solidarity with the deposed prime minister and his family standing trial in three references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

To a question if he regrets his statement which led to one-month imprisonment, Hashmi said he was sentenced after being asked to apologise.

“No more comments on this,” he said and took a pause before saying, “They are kings and can do whatever they like.”

On the question that the party did not stand with him but he has once again come to express solidarity with the PML-N supreme leader and party, Hashmi said that he was always with the party and Quaid.

He said bad time can come on anyone as apparently the whole society was passing through bad time. “Bad time is on Palestine right now,” he said.

When asked that the PML-N Quaid did not even issue any statement in his support, Hashmi said, “To express love one doesn’t need to issue statement.”

Court proceedings

Meanwhile, JIT head Wajid Zia testified before the accountability court that Nawaz Sharif was the beneficial owner of the Hill Metal Establishment which was ostensibly owned by his son Hussain Nawaz, who was a benamidar of Sharif.

The JIT head concluded his statement in the Al-Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment in the fourth hearing.

Zia testified that the total earnings of the Hill Metal Establishment (HME) from 2010 till 2015 were $9.9 million out of which Hussain Nawaz gifted $8.9 million to Nawaz Sharif, that is 88 per cent of the profit.

“This shows that Nawaz Sharif was the significant beneficial owner of the HME which ostensibly owned by Hussain Nawaz who practically reduced to the status of Nawaz Sharif’s benamidar,” he informed Judge Muhammad Bashir of the accountability court.

The star witness told the court that the JIT had asked Hussain to provide financial statement, articles of the memorandum of association and details of loans of HME to justify that he was able to gift huge sums of money to his father but he did not.

Subsequently, Zia said, the JIT concluded that Hussain was not in a position to gift huge sums of money and that was the reason Hussain concealed the financial statements and other documents.

Zia said, “There is no correlation between the profit and loss, and the amount being sent by Hussain to his father in 2010.”

He revealed that in 2010, the HME made a profit of about $588,000 whereas Hussain in the same year sent $1.5 million to his father.

Zia said in 2015, the HME suffered a loss of $1.5 million but Hussain in the same year gifted $2.1 million to his father.

Also, Zia said, Hassan Nawaz informed the JIT that he received 800,000 pound sterlings from Hussain Nawaz and that amount was also not justified through the record.

In addition, Zia continued, Hussain told the JIT that it was in his knowledge that Sharif was gifting that money onward to his daughter to strengthen her financial position.

Zia said that the JIT had obtained the record of banking transactions of Hussain Nawaz and the HME gift amounts to Sharif and their onward transmission to Maryam Nawaz.

Meanwhile, Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris continued to raise objections over Zia’s statement, saying that the statements recorded before the JIT could not be quoted in the court as the JIT report is an inadmissible evidence under the law.

In the meanwhile, Judge Bashir has decided to initiate a process in which the accused is given an opportunity of defence before issuance of a final verdict under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

Judge Bashir decided to prepare and issue questionnaires for Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and Son-in-Law Captain (Retd) Muhammad Safdar in connection with the Avenfield Apartments reference wherein all the witnesses have recorded their statements and they have been cross examined as well.

The court is expected to hand over questionnaire to accused on Wednesday as an advance intimation regarding their statements.

The decision came after hearing arguments from prosecution and defense whether statements of the accused persons in the Avenfield Apartments should be recorded or not prior to the completion of the statements of the prosecution witnesses in two other corruption references being heard by the court.

The court would resume hearing on May 16 (today).

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