Iqama used as excuse to disqualify me: Nawaz Sharif

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APP51-26 ISLAMABAD: September 26 – Former PM Nawaz Sharif addressing a press conference at Punjab House. APP photo by Irshad Sheikh

ISLAMABAD, Sep 26 (APP): Former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz
Sharif Tuesday said not a single penny of corruption, kickback and
embezzlement was proven against him during the Panama papers case
and Iqama was made an excuse to disqualify him.
Addressing a press conference here, he was of the view that
it had already been decided to disqualify him, Iqama was used as an
excuse.
He said at least it should have been admitted that nothing
was found in Panama papers case, but he was being punished on the
basis of Iqama.
Nawaz Sharif said his hands were clean and no
corruption charges were proven against him.
“My conscience is clear so I appeared before the
accountability court.”
Nawaz Sharif said during the period of dictatorship, he had
two rights of appeal but now he was even deprived of that legal
right.
Narrating details of the Panama papers case, he said a joint
investigation team (JIT) was formed and then the court gave verdicts
with a three judges bench and then with five judges bench.
Later the court directly sent references to National
Accountability Bureau (NAB) and it was likely that the same judges
who heard his case, would hear the appeal against him, he
observed.
He claimed the treatment meted out to him was not according to
law and questioned whether the court proceedings against him were in
line with Article 10 of the Constitution and requirements of fair
trial.
Nawaz Sharif said in his case, all the weight was put on the
scale of the petitioner and he was denied his legal rights.
Nawaz Sharif recalled that the same cases which were rejected
during the period of dictatorship were again being used against him
and the demands of justice were not being fulfilled.
He said despite what happened during the Panama papers case,
the Sharif family remained part of the judicial proceedings.
He said after the Supreme Court decision, he left the office
of prime minister, but the lawyer community and every well-informed
citizen was astonished over the decision.
“At the lawyers convention, I raised 12 questions,”
but he did not get any answer to the questions raised by
him.
He said in cases like Panama papers, the verdicts were
implemented and punishments were given, but nobody accepted such
decisions and it was evident from the country’s history.
He said on his first appeal in the court of the people, from
Bari Imam to Data Darbar, millions of people came out on the GT Road for
four days and nights and gave their verdict in his favour.
Nawaz Sharif said he was thankful to the people of Lahore who
gave their verdict in his favour in the NA-120 bye election.
He said still the biggest verdict will be given in the court
of the people in the general election 2018.
Nawaz Sharif said he appeared before the JIT whose members
were declared “diamonds,” later they were made so sacred
that now not even the Supreme Court could touch them.
He said he still hoped for justice, adding in the Panama
Papers case he and his family were not a target but the whole nation
and the future generations were being punished.
He said a democratic Pakistan which was making progress for
the last four years was stopped from moving ahead.
“I am simply stating that let this country work according to
the constitution. If the constitution gives people the right to
rule, accept this right and don’t make excuses. Let the 200 million
people decide fate of the country and don’t snatch this right from
them.”
“Let people decide the issues of qualification and
disqualification. Do not snatch away this right from people.
Pakistan’s history is full of bad decisions that cause pain to the
people. It is about time that we cure this 70 year old cancer.”
He said, “When the process of accountability is turned into
revenge, reputation of the court suffers and this is clear from the
case of Tamizuddin to the case of Nawaz Sharif.”

Nawaz Sharif said that he went to London due to sickness of
his wife and the details of his visit were in the knowledge of
everybody.
He said it was unfortunate that false stories were spread
about his stay in London. He said his associates knew that he
would come back from London.
He said in September, ten years back, he came to Pakistan and
was forced to return from the Islamabad airport.
In the past he was
arrested, handcuffed and sent to jail but he refused to bow before
anybody, he added.
He said in the Panama Papers case the burden of proof was put
on him and he and his children faced the JIT.
“Today, I have faced the accountability court. I believe that
Allah and the people of Pakistan are with me, and I hope that,
somewhere, justice is alive.”
He said he and his family were victims of lies of his opponents.
He said he was fighting the case of Quaid’s Pakistan and case
of the people, Constitution, democracy and respect of the vote.
Nawaz Sharif vowed to continue fighting case of the people and
expressed the hope that people of Pakistan will win their case for
respect of vote and democracy.
He said the entire country knew that the reason for his
disqualification was the salary that he did not receive from his
son, adding the salary which was not received was declared his asset
and he was made ineligible.
He said he knew why he was punished but he will not let
problems of his family overshadow issues faced by people of the
country.
He thanked the workers and leaders of his party for staying
strongly with him and said, “We will not let the country’s direction
change. I will make sacrifices necessary for my country.”
He said everybody knew what was the condition of Pakistan in
2013 and for the last four years, Pakistan had travelled a long
distance on the road to progress and development.
Nawaz Sharif said he wanted that those who counted his assets
also listed the “assets in his political account.”
Nawaz Sharif listed the projects like motorways, power plants,
Kacchi Canal in Balochistan, airports and Neelum Jhelum Hydropower
Project as some of the achievements of his government.
He said it was their utmost effort, that the CPEC project and
the remaining power projects were completed on time.
While mentioning the residents of NA-120 constituency, the
former prime minister said the voters delivered victory for PML-N
despite difficulties and the win would be a milestone for the
country.
Nawaz Sharif said he was hopeful that the decision of NA-120
constituency would also be reflected in the general election of 2018.
He expressed regret at the incident of mistreatment of a
journalist during hearing at the accountability court.
“I directed Talal Chaudhry to investigate the incident and
find the causes that led to the happening.”
He said he was an ardent supporter of the right to freedom of
opinion.