Nawaz Sharif alleged efforts to “oust” him from politics for life

Vastavam web: Pakistan’s deposed premier Nawaz Sharif today alleged that efforts were being made to “oust” him from politics for life, a day after he was disqualified by the Supreme Court from leading his party.Sharif spoke to the media after appearing before the accountability court in Islamabad where he is being tried for alleged corruption in the Panama Papers case.He did not specify who he meant by “they” but apparently it was a reference to the judges of the top court.

Sharif, 68, was disqualified as prime minister by the apex court in July last year under Article 62 for failing to declare a receivable salary as an asset.
He said yesterday’s decision was a continuation of the apex court verdict of July 28 when he was sacked as prime minister, and added that “deliberations were being made to oust him from politics for life”.He criticised the decision of the court which said the Election Act 2017 was “person-specific” to facilitate Sharif to lead his party, adding that “decisions of the Supreme Court are Nawaz Sharif-specific”.

“These decisions are being given in anger and smack of vengeance,” he said.Sharif appeared in court accompanied by daughter Maryam and son-in-law Mohammad Safdar, who are co-accused in one of the three cases.It also decided to record statements of two UK-based witnesses via video link.Later, Sharif consulted his party leaders during a high-level meeting about the implications of the decision and appointing a new president of the PML-N.

Sources said Sharif’s ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz and his younger brother Shahbaz were favourites to get the coveted post of PML-N president.Some party leaders favour Yaqoob Nasir or Raja Zafarul Haq as interim president before settling on a permanent choice, according to sources.Sharif was given a warm welcome when he arrived at the Punjab House to participate in the meeting.

Meanwhile, PML-N leaders rejected the decision by the court and promised that the party would bounce back to win the election this year.Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the PML-N had faced a “worse time than the existing one and will overcome all difficulties”.The decision of court was welcomed by Sharif’s arch rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan who today claimed that Sharif had secretly met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“What sort of leader Sharif is, as he met Modi in secret because he wanted to keep it secret from the army,” Khan said without sharing any details of the alleged meeting.Sharif and some of his family members are facing charges relating to their ownership of posh properties in London.