Nawaz tells the Lahore High Court that the petitioner believes he knows something the rest of Pakistan and its institutions do not
Former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and journalist Cyril Almeida submitted their replies to the Lahore High Court in the treason case on Monday.
The court directed the petitioner to submit his reply on November 11.
In his reply, Nawaz denied all the allegations against him. He argued that the petition was not maintainable because the petitioner was not vested with the right by a public authority, nor was the petitioner able to argue that it was a matter of public interest. That clause can only be invoked if a person or group is directly aggrieved, which is not the case, argues the reply.
It also stated that the petition shows a complete lack of good faith and was filed in the interest of “political sensationalism”.
“If I am guilty of treason, did the thousands of Pakistanis who elected me as prime minister thrice not know?” asked Nawaz in his reply. He commented that the petitioner seems to know something that the rest of Pakistan, its agencies and state machinery do not.
He went on to say that he considers the serious accusations of treason an attack on his honour. He said his family left everything and migrated to Pakistan and that he valued the soil of Pakistan more than his own life. The reply went on to list some of his accomplishments as prime minister.
His reply dismissed the petitioner’s allegations as baseless and said he has no right to file and maintain the petition.
Abbasi’s reply denied that he ever violated the oath of the office of prime minister. He said the petitioner’s reference to the news item written by Almeida and published in Dawn was based on assumptions and pure surmises.
Almeida’s reply stated that he printed whatever Nawaz said in the interview.
On May 12, Nawaz Sharif had given an interview to Almeida in which he made a clear reference to the 2008 Mumbai attacks and said: “Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me.”
The petitioner, advocate Azhar Siddique, said that the remarks made by Nawaz Sharif were akin to treason.
Action was sought against Nawaz Sharif on charges of defaming state institutions, while Abbasi is being tried for disclosing minutes of a National Security Council meeting to Nawaz.