Nawaz Sharif Demands Accountability for False Cases Behind His Ouster

Fri Dec 08 2023
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LAHORE: Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has reiterated his call for holding accountable those responsible for his removal from power in 2017 and alleged involvement in Pakistan’s “destruction.”

He made these remarks during a meeting of the party’s parliamentary board in Lahore on Friday, alongside the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif, Vice President Maryam Nawaz, and other leaders.

Talking about the corruption cases against him and his family, Nawaz Sharif demanded action against those who filed “false cases.” He highlighted the imprisonment of party leaders in what he referred to as baseless cases and claimed to be seeking justice after seven years.

Nawaz was disqualified by the Supreme Court in 2017 over corruption allegations revealed in the ‘Panama Papers leak. The court directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file references against him, leading to convictions in the Avenfield and Al-Azizia references in 2018. However, the Islamabad High Court overturned his conviction in the Avenfield reference last month after NAB — which initially prosecuted these cases with extreme vigour- withdrew references. 

In his address, Nawaz expressed a commitment to serving the nation and called for accountability of those allegedly involved in the victimization of PML-N leaders. He returned to Pakistan in October after a four-year self-imposed exile in London, emphasizing that his return was not only to form a government but also to seek action against corruption and political victimization.

Nawaz Sharif Targets PTI’s Imran Khan

Referring to a leaked audio conversation involving former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, Nawaz claimed that Nisar suggested keeping PML-N leaders, including himself, behind bars to pave the way for Imran Khan, then the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), ahead of the 2018 general elections.

Without explicitly naming anyone, Nawaz took a swipe at former PTI chief Imran Khan, labeling the £190 million NAB reference against PTI leaders as the “biggest scam” in the country’s history. He criticized the PTI’s slogan to make Pakistan a Madina-like welfare state, asserting that they merely used it to advance their political agenda.

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