My stance on Musharraf’s case became my crime, says Nawaz Sharif

May 23, 2018

Ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif gestures during a press conference in Islamabad on May 10, 2018. The Supreme Court ousted Mr Sharif over graft allegations last year and banned him from politics for life, while foreign minister Khawaja Asif was also disqualified by the Islamabad High Court late last month for violating election laws. Photo: AFP

Former PM Nawaz Sharif said that his stance on pursuing the case against Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf became his crime.

He refused to defend himself at the hearing of the Avenfield reference on Wednesday. The Avenfield reference, which pertains to the Sharif family’s properties in London, is one of the three that NAB filed against the family last year on the Supreme Court’s directives. Accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir was hearing the case.

“I don’t even need to record a statement as a witness,” he said. “I will present any witness either. The prosecution has failed to prove corruption allegations.”

According to him, PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari advised him to compromise. “I told him there would be no compromise and that Musharraf should be held accountable,” he said. “You can call me hijacker, Sicilian Mafia, Godfather or traitor for all I care. My clear stance on Gen (retd) Musharraf’s anti-constitutional acts became my crime. They gave me signals that the case against Musharraf should not be proceeded with.”

He said that his stance remains the same that only one reference is filed against a suspect over allegations of amassing wealth that is more than one’s income. “No matter how many assets, only one reference is filed in a court of law,” he said. “All the citizens have the right to fair trial.”