NEWS DESK: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said that he will present all the "evidence" before the nation if back-door machinations do not stop, adding that the future of the country depends on fair and transparent elections.
He was addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday. He began addressing the media by wishing them on New Year, saying that he prays the year will sail smoothly. He said this year will also be the year for elections. "I am positive that the people of the country will choose the path of development and progress," he said.
He said fair and transparent elections should be held and all parties should be allowed an equal opportunity to contest.
Nawaz warned against what he called secretive measures, including meetings and phone calls, which are employed to damage his vote bank. "If these behind-the-scenes machinations to engineer a result don't stop, I will in Islamabad right here present all the evidences to this effect and will recount all that has happened in the past 4 years," said Nawaz.
The former PM said that democracy should be allowed to prevail. "The perception is promoted that the opinion of the masses is flawed while Quaid-e-Azam had said that the opinion of the masses is never wrong," he said. "Instead of respecting the people's choices, the field is being leveled to make way for their blue-eyed boy." According to him, estimates suggest that PML-N's vote bank is the largest.
Trump's "non-serious" tweet
"Since 9/11, Pakistan has paid the highest price for terrorism," he said. According to him, people's mandate is being manipulated. He said that US President Donald Trump's tweet regarding Pakistan was non-serious and unfortunate. According to the former premier, we need to ponder over why the entire world is negative about us.
He directed PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to come up with strategies that help curb our dependence on American aid.
Nawaz further said that if we want our future to be different from our past, we will have to do some introspection.
The press conference ended with Nawaz leaving the stage without taking any questions from the media.
Also read: Nawaz: Evidence yet to be found against me
Earlier this morning, Nawaz spoke to the media on Wednesday after attending the corruption proceedings against him at the accountability court. He said that any evidence of corruption against him has yet to be discovered.
He regretted what he saw the judiciary's favorable treatment of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan, referring to his recent 'clearance' by the Supreme Court in the disqualification case against him. He further expressed disappointment at rumors that his recent visit to Saudi Arabia was an attempt to seek a 'safe passage' from his present predicaments.
The former prime minister said that while he was disqualified over an Iqama (work permit), the bench hearing cases against Imran Khan declared the PTI chief Sadiq and Ameen despite his confessions.
He said Imran Khan applied for amnesty, which implies he admitted to wrongdoing but still the judges declared him Sadiq and Ameen.
When asked about his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, Sharif said his tour of the Kingdom was no “wonder”. He said those who indulged in speculations over his visit committed cruelty against the relations between the two brotherly countries that have been established since the partition and strengthened over the time.
Nawaz, his daughter Maryam, and son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar attended today's hearing into the three references filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in light of the Supreme Court's July 28 judgment in the Panama Papers case. The three references pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and London's Avenfield properties.
Nawaz and his family members reached the court complex early morning to attend the hearing, which was conducted by Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir. Numerous leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were present at the Federal Judicial Complex where the court is situated.
Speaking to the media on his way to the court, Safdar said the time has come to bring former military dictator Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf back to Pakistan to face the courts. He added that this has to be done if the state and Constitution are to be safeguarded.
Published in Pakistan
Story first published: 3rd January 2018