–Maryam Nawaz, PML-N leaders meet former PM
–PML-N leaders slam government for country’s economic woes
–PPP leader reportedly conveys Zardari’s message in meeting
LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday rubbished reports of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders seeking amnesty through a National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).
The former premier said this while speaking with reporters at Kot Lakhpat Jail, where he is imprisoned. He said this in reference to ministers who have claimed on multiple occasions that the party leaders facing corruption charges are seeking an NRO to escape punishment. Nawaz said that those who claim such things are nothing but liars.
The PML-N supreme leader also said that the incumbent Punjab government is “incompetent” and “incapable” in comparison to the government of former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif.
“The metro bus project was completed in 11 months while there has been no progress on a similar project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP),” he said. “Despite is hard work, Shehbaz is being treated unfairly,” he added.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government and Prime Minister Imran Khan have said multiple times that they would not hand out an NRO or a deal to those facing corruption or money laundering probe. The opposition, meanwhile, has categorically denied claims that they have approached PTI for a deal.
The incarcerated former premier said that he dearly misses his late wife Kulsoom Nawaz.
PML-N LEADERS, SHARIF FAMILY MEET NAWAZ:
PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz along with her son Junaid Safdar met her father, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, at the Kot Lakhpat Jail. Other PML-N leaders, including Former foreign minister Khawaja Asif, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Senator Mushahidullah Khan and Rana Sanaullah, were also present on the occasion to meet the ex-PM.
According to details, Maryam Nawaz also took homemade food for the imprisoned former premier.
While talking to his party members, the ousted premier said that he will always regret that he could not talk to Kulsoom in her last days despite trying a lot during his last imprisonment [in Avenfield properties case].
Detailing his life in jail, Nawaz said, “I get one newspaper daily which I read over and over again. Rooms of the jail are very cold and the heater does not work properly either. I was never troubled and will always compete with the tough circumstances.”
Former foreign minister Khawaja Asif briefed Nawaz about the political situation of the country.
Before meeting the party supremo, Mushahidullah Khan, while talking to the media outside the jail, said that the government has taken foreign loans to stabilise the economy, but, has no idea how to repay them. He also said that the “imposed” government is wandering globally with a “begging bowl” as it lacks any substantive economic plan.
On the occasion, former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah said that the former prime minister is facing “brutal political victimisation”. He said, “As the ministers are busy in levelling baseless accusations, the labourers are not getting the desired wages and the businesses have frozen; if this condition prevails the country can default.”
PPP LEADER CONVEYS ZARDARI’S MESSAGE:
Reportedly, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood also met Nawaz at the Kot Lakhpat Jail and conveyed a message from PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari to the former premier.
The meeting between the two leaders continued for around 15 minutes. Sharif embraced Ahmed upon his arrival at the jail. Ahmed also discussed the ongoing political situation with the former premier and the two leaders also talked about key matters, including joining hands on party level to move forward.
Ahmed has served as the governor of Punjab when the PPP was power in Centre. He resigned when PML-N came into power after 2013 elections; however, his resignation was rejected by the president . His two sons and a nephew are members of National Assembly and Punjab Assembly, respectively.
Earlier on Thursday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) fixed January 21 to hear a petition of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, challenging his conviction as well as request for bail in Al-Azizia Steel Mills case.
The accountability court on December 24 convicted Sharif in the Al-Azizia reference and sentenced him to seven years in prison, and acquitted him in the Flagship reference case. Both the cases were filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Meanwhile, the anti-graft watchdog had also filed two appeals in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), the first sought an extension in Sharif’s sentence from seven to 14 years and the other challenged his acquittal in the Flagship Investment reference.
In the 131-page judgment written by the Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik, reasons of Sharif’s conviction were mentioned. It said that the prosecution had successfully established all the ingredients of the offence of corruption committed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and that he had failed to provide legal money trail of his assets.
Later, Sharif was arrested from the premises of the accountability court. After spending a night at the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, he was shifted to the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore.