Judiciary provided protection to dictators: Nawaz

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and president the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif Tuesday said the judiciary had been providing protection to dictators in the past and vowed that despite unfairness, he would appear before the courts and wouldn’t run away.

“The people who were guilty have run away. My conscience is clear and I have nothing to hide despite reservations in the hope of justice, I will keep appearing the courts,” he said while addressing to group of lawyers who came to Punjab House for expressing solidarity with him. 

He earlier had meeting with the political leaders who came from various parts of the country including Prime Minister Azad Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider, Asad Khan Junejo, son of former prime minister Late Muhammad Khan Junejo, former chief minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik, Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Senator Asif Saeed

Kirmani, federal ministers, members of legislature and office bearers of the PML-N. Nawaz Sharif was in upbeat disposition and stayed with the visiting lawyers and political leaders for about six hours. 

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also came to Punjab House to meet Nawaz Sharif. He reportedly discussed political situation with special reference to the deadlock regarding the constitutional amendment for delimitation of the constituencies. He briefed Nawaz Sharif about the developmental activities underway in different parts of the country. 

Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and five members of the committee for establishing contacts with the parliamentary groups also called on Nawaz Sharif and reported him about the persisting impasse on the subject. Nawaz was hopeful that the people would come to his help since he served them selflessly and they have been acknowledging it. The former prime minister said that victimisation wouldn’t deter him from the path of serving the country and its people.

Nawaz recalled that judiciary isn’t competent to amend the Constitution but regrettably it provided ample powers to a dictator to amend it in the past. He said the judiciary had been providing protection to dictators in the past. Nawaz told the lawyers that the JIT chief who became ‘hero’ in his case couldn’t dare to interrogate former dictator and he was kept sitting outside his farmhouse in Islamabad for hours. “He couldn’t interview the dictator for even once. Contrary to this, it was me who visited the JIT and responded its chief’s out of place and obnoxious queries,” he said. Nawaz said Pakistan was created for the ideals of Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal and the purpose of the independence was not to get freedom from the foreign rulers and to become salves of our own. He revealed that the NAB and its laws were made by former dictator Pervez Musharraf to haunt and target him. “After laps of 18 years the same laws and NAB is out to target me,” he added. 

The former prime minister was greeted by the lawyers with slogans and assured him their unflinching support for the cause of the country and justice. Nawaz Sharif assured his interlocutors that “We are determined to hand over a Pakistan to our next generation that should be prosperous, dignified and decent.” He stayed with different delegations about six hours and large number of womenfolk also turned up to see him. He assured the visitors that he is determined to help the nation get rid of the dictators and usurpers. He vowed that he would fight against all odds with courage as he isn’t deterred or demoralised from the onslaught by the enemies of democracy and rule of law. 

Nawaz Sharif expressed astonishment about the attitude of the PPP and PTI since the two are parrying support to the constitutional amendment that would pave the way for holding of next general elections according to the schedule. He asked the committee to continue to put up efforts for attaining the goal. 

Nawaz announced that he would visit each and every nook and corner of the country to inform the people that how the country was derailed from moving ahead on the path of rapid development. 

“No persecution, prison or expulsion from the country could dethatch me from the people and people will stand by me as they have always done in the past,” Nawaz stated in resolute manner. 

The lawyers met the PML-N chief under the leadership of former Advocate General Punjab Naseer Bhutta. Nawaz Sharif reminded the lawyers that the struggle for the independent judiciary was underway since long during the previous regime but it crowned with success when he joined it actively through the long march. “It produced the results within 24 hours. I was converted into a hijacker from prime minister overnight and a judge sentenced me to 27 years rigorous imprisonment and later another honourable judge dismissed my appeal,” he recalled. He said the country needs a judiciary that could ensure justice.

He made it clear that the polls would be held according to the schedule determined by the Constitution and on completion of mandate given by the people. “No one can dictate early polls and the PML-N workers and leaders should get ready to join the fray,” he said. 

He regretted that most of the countries of the region are progressing and making huge economic development but unfortunately Pakistan was lagging behind because of shuffling of administration and capturing of power now and then by the so-called adventurists. 

Later, Nawaz Sharif left for Murree for an overnight stay there. Maryam Nawaz and her younger daughter Mahnoor Safdar was also with him.

Earlier, Maryam Nawaz said that after the announcement of the SC verdict rejecting the Sharif family’s petitions, the law and justice are embarrassed.

She said the actual verdict was announced the day when justices became lawyers after the lawyer of other party didn’t have any argument. 

She said that the victim, in this case, is not her father, Nawaz Sharif, but justice itself.

Maryam also referred to it as a “travesty of justice”, as she claimed that the asset mentioned is the salary to be received from the son.

In a series of tweets on the microblogging site Twitter, she said that it was the first time she has witnessed the “seat of justice spewing venom”. She was referring to the apex court verdict.

“The latest decision (detailed judgement) is based more on ‘adjectives’ than law,” she added. “The [actual] verdict was announced the day when justices showed their impartiality by calling (Sharif and his ruling PML-N) godfather and Sicilian mafia,” she said.

The former premier’s daughter also claimed that the decision could only be under “immense pressure otherwise such travesty of justice unimaginable”.

Referring to the inclusion of her name, she alleged she was being avenged as she spoke up against injustice. Maryam said it was vendetta as earlier her name was not included in the verdict issued earlier.

She added that this was the sixth decision in the same case and added that the decision was given on the same day when those who lost politically to Nawaz Sharif were asked to file a petition which could not be heard in the court.