ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif, who was removed as head of his own party on Wednesday by the Supreme Court, accused ‘them’ ─ without specifying who they are ─ of deliberating over how to deprive Nawaz Sharif of participation in politics for the rest of his life.
Sharif, speaking to the media outside an accountability court in Islamabad ─ where he appeared with his daughter Maryam Nawaz for the hearing of corruption references against himself and his family members ─ said the Supreme Court’s ruling on the petitions challenging the Elections Act 2017 was not unexpected for him.
Sharif was disqualified from public office in a landmark July 28, 2017, judgement on the Panama Papers case, after which he was also removed from his post as PML-N head. The passage of the Elections Act 2017 paved the way for him to be re-elected as head of the party once again in October. The former PML-N chief said that the apex court’s ruling which stripped him of party presidency was not unexpected for him.
“First, they paralysed the executive,” Sharif said. “Then yesterday, they snatched away the authority of Parliament [to make laws].”
He added that after the Panamagate verdict stripped him of his premiership and yesterday’s ruling took away his position as party head, he was now only left with his name. “Now, only I am left. My name Muhammad Nawaz Sharif remains. If you want to snatch this as well then do it,” he said.
“Find an article in the Constitution ─ you may be able to find it ─ through which you can take away Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s name. And if you do not find it, then take help from Black’s Law Dictionary,” Sharif said, referring to the Panamagate verdict which had relied on the dictionary to specify the definition of the term ‘asset’.
Sharif said that there is no law in Pakistan that gives the court the right to disqualify a prime minister the way he was.
“Now they are further deliberating over disqualifying Nawaz Sharif from politics for life. What is all of this?” he questioned.
He claimed that the court had declared the Elections Act 2017 as being person-specific, although the same law had originally been created by former PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and abrogated by a martial law administrator.