–Deposed PM says he’s being subjected to ‘political revenge’, asks how long will he have to appear in courts
–Says PML-N’s victory in Lodhran by-poll shows people have rejected corruption allegations brought against him in accountability’s name
ISLAMABAD: Deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said that he is being victimised in the name of accountability and questioned on which grounds he is being subjected to political revenge and for how long he has to appear in the court.
“Those who had filed references against us only want to punish me,” Nawaz said while talking to reporters after appearing in the accountability court. Nawaz said that Monday’s by-poll victory in Lodhran is “the public’s response to these cases,” adding that the “people of Pakistan are fighting my case. I salute them”.
The ousted PM further asked why the court is not arresting those who imposed martial law in the country and detained judges.
Nawaz said he wonders how long such “supplementary references” will continue to be submitted. He was referring to the additional reference filed by NAB in the Avenfiled case and the expected filing of similar supplementary references in the other two cases.
“There’s nothing in them. They are the same references that have been re-packaged. Had there been any substantial truth and evidence in the original reference there’d be no need for additional references,” said Nawaz.
Terming the ongoing cases against him ‘victimisation in the name of accountability’, the three-time prime minister said “‘they’ want Nawaz punished one way or the other. But I’m happy the people of Pakistan are with us as seen in the Lodhran by-election result”.
Turning his guns on former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf, Nawaz said, “I’m not scared. I’m facing this ‘accountability’. But ‘they’ should also go after him who was facing a treason case, imposed martial law twice and arrested judges. But he’s not facing any accountability, no contempt, no punishment, no fingers raised against him. But we, who served Pakistan in various fields including overcoming load shedding, defeating terrorism, building motorways and improving the economy are facing the brunt. How long will these double standards continue.”
When asked to respond to disgruntled party leader Chaudhry Nisar’s recent outburst against on Maryam and Nawaz’s aide Senator Pervaiz Rasheed, Nawaz chose to dodge the query.
He then departed the court and reached his relative Chaudhry Muneer’s house in Sector F-6.
Earlier on Tuesday, Nawaz and his daughter Maryam reached the court from Punjab House. Safdar had already reached the Federal Judicial Complex where the court is located.
A number of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders and workers were present at the court to welcome the PML-N chief, showered petals and raised slogans in support of Nawaz Sharif.
As proceedings began, Judge Mohammad Bashir inquired if the summoned witnesses were present in court to record their statement, to which NAB’s Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi replied in the affirmative.
However, the hearing could not take place owing to the lawyers’ boycott of courts over the death of noted lawyer Asma Jahangir, who passed away due to a stroke in Lahore on Sunday.
The prosecution expressed displeasure at the adjournment, saying the witnesses and prosecution suffer owing to adjournments.
The hearing was then adjourned until February 15.