PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has urged the government to either adhere to the Constitution or openly stand by the principle of looting money. He regretted that the prime minister had to be made a ‘scapegoat’.
Nawaz, while addressing a joint news conference at his residence in Raiwind with Sindh National Front Chairman Mumtaz Bhutto on Monday, denied his party’s framed fake cases against the PPP leadership. Former law minister and senior PPP leader Dr Babar Awan, on the other hand, reiterated that the PML-N had implicated PPP leaders in concocted cases in 1997.
Babar Awan told the media that there was ample evidence to suggest that the Sharif brothers had lodged false cases against the PPP leadership. He alleged that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had personally called up judges and asked them to convict PPP leaders.
Nawaz and Bhutto’s joint news conference was about their Monday noon meeting, in which they discussed their possible alliance for the next parliamentary elections. However, Nawaz used the opportunity to criticise the PPP leadership for their Swiss accounts and Surrey Palace. Interestingly, both leaders refrained from criticising the president by name.
“The premier has taken an oath to respect the Constitution; he has to decide where he stands: with the law, or the outlaws,” Nawaz said.
He stressed that Gilani should show his commitment to the nation as the people want to see their money back in the country.
He lauded Supreme Court’s efforts, but said government’s actions were creating hindrances in the implementation of court verdicts. He said the coalition has created unrest in the country and that each day the nation has to face an unfavourable development.
Nawaz was of the view that Gilani was being made a scapegoat, but if he is convicted, there were others in Parliament to take his place. He, however, stressed that PM’s indictment shouldn’t be seen as a sacrifice of a ‘Shaheed,’ which it isn’t.
Nawaz also came down hard on PPP’s allies, saying that the coalition parties are supporting Gilani over his tiff with the judiciary. He added that the allies had suggested to the government to not write a letter to Swiss courts.
The PML-N chief said that instead of blaming the judiciary, the government should stop its campaign against judges in order to conceal their own shortcomings. He tactfully handled the question of immunity, saying that it is the court’s prerogative.
“Mumtaz Bhutto had earlier expressed his apprehensions over the credibility of the forthcoming elections, so we have discussed the implementation of the 20th Amendment with other opposition parties as well.”
Nawaz also lashed out at Imran khan. Without naming him, Nawaz said some people had resorted to personal attacks.
The PML-n chief reiterated his stance over the Memogate issue. He said it was the government’s turn to take actions as he had provided them with all the facts.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2012.