“The decision to disqualify me had already been taken, only a justification was being sought,” ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif alleged while discussing the proceedings of the Panama Papers case with television anchors on Monday.
Sharif said that his upcoming rally from Islamabad to Lahore is not “a protest” but “a journey back home”. He added that he was travelling via the Grand Trunk road on Wednesday because “risks need to be taken for the country”.
Sharif repeated the allegation that the members of the joint investigation team (JIT) probing Sharif family’s business dealings “were chosen through WhatsApp”.
“Never have officials from Military Intelligence (MI) and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) been included in an inquiry,” he said.
He also expressed his displeasure at the Supreme Court’s decision to have a judge oversee the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) proceedings against his family, saying it jeoparidises his right of appeal.
Sharif, who was disqualified for not declaring the salary accruing to him from his employment in the UAE, said that he had not been involved in any misappropriation of public funds during his tenure and lamented that he was disqualified for a minor thing when nothing was found against him in the Panama Papers case.
“The judges, in their remarks, stated that there are no allegations of corruption or misuse of authority against Nawaz Sharif,” he claimed.
“Five ‘noble’ people throwing out someone with the mandate of millions is not appropriate,” Sharif said, warning that the country cannot be run the way it is being tried to run.
Expressing sadness at the Panamagate verdict, Sharif said that he was “hurt” by the remarks of the SC judges. “One judge even said that ‘prime minister should know that there is a lot of space in Adiala jail’,” Sharif said, adding that it does not behoove a judge to make such remarks.
“I will not run away like Musharraf,” Sharif claimed, and asked whether there were judges in the country who could hold the dictator accountable.