- Deposed PM says he fears ‘a repeat of history’ as NAB has been used against Sharif family by Gen Musharraf’s regime
- Says he is paying the cost of staying true to his ideology
- Urges state institutions to stay within their constitutional limits
ISLAMABAD: Former premier Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday regretted being a part of Memogate scandal, saying that he should not have approached the Supreme Court (SC) for the 2011 Memogate scandal, which led to the resignation of the former Pakistani ambassador to United States (US) Hussain Haqqani.
“I should have had nothing to do with the case,” he told reporters. He went on to add that he was merely paying the cost of remaining true to his ideology and not taking dictation from anyone.
Nawaz also called for abolishing the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), saying all laws introduced across dictators’ tenures should be repealed.
Talking to reporters outside the accountability court after appearing in the hearing of a graft reference filed against him by NAB, Nawaz said that the accountability watchdog had been constituted by former dictator General (r) Pervez Musharraf to serve a specific purpose.
“NAB was employed against us in an unprecedented manner before 2002. We fear history may repeat itself,” Nawaz said, adding that a department of NAB’s ilk should be abolished.
Supposedly pointing fingers at invisible players in politics, Nawaz said, “Neither will I step back nor will I look towards the umpire,” he said. “One ascends to power after receiving a mandate from the people, not from the umpire,” Nawaz added.
“Today, decisions are not in my hands but ‘theirs’,” he claimed, without identifying ‘them’.
“The prime minister designates an envoy. His name is placed on the Exit Control List (ECL). Who is orchestrating all this,” Nawaz said.
“I am looking at things like the recent interview of chief justice of Pakistan to a news anchor and a newspaper article detailing the army chief’s ‘doctrine’,” he added.
The PML-N leader challenged those calling for accountability to present charges that gained traction among the people.
He went on to say that he and his daughter are facing the courts whereas “Musharraf lies about his return”.
“He would show his fists and say ‘Nawaz and Benazir would never come back to Pakistan’,” he said about the former army chief who recently postponed his return to the country to face trial on security grounds.
“People should understand the difference between people like Musharraf and politicians,” he said, adding that Musharraf “sought refuge in a hospital on the pretext of illness”.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo said that he has spoken with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on the issue of caretaker prime minister a couple of times.
“With two months left in the present assembly’s tenure, we don’t want a day or hour’s delay in the general elections,” he added.
Meanwhile, Maryam Nawaz told reporters that individuals like Musharraf epitomised cowardice. “We, on the other hand, are facing courts with valour,” she said.
“We did not hide in hospitals, if he wanted to return, he would not have run away. The difference between politicians and people like Musharraf is evident,” Maryam added.
Later, Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah said that in a private meeting six months ago, Nawaz had admitted his mistake of approaching the SC in the Memogate case.
“Nawaz said that he was made to make the mistake but did not specify who made him make the mistake,” he said.
‘STATE INSTITUTIONS SHOULD OPERATE WITHIN THEIR LIMITS’:
Separately, Nawaz held a meeting at the Punjab House with party leaders and allies, including Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai.
During the meeting, Nawaz remarked that the state institutions should operate within their limits.
Nawaz further said, “I may not have been an ideological person before but now I am 100 per cent ideological.”
“Had we respected the sanctity of vote for 70 years, Pakistan would have been in the top 10 countries of the world,” said Nawaz.