Corruption cases result of high treason case instituted against Musharraf: Sharif

Islamabad, May 23 2018

Pakistan’s embattled former premier Nawaz Sharif said today that the three corruption cases filed against him were a result of the high treason case he instituted against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

Sharif, 68, said the corruption cases as well as the sit-in protests of 2014 were due to the legal action taken against Musharraf for imposing emergency in the country.

“After the elections, my government reached out to lawyers to start formulating a treason case against Musharraf as per law. I was warned in advance that if I proceed with this, the former president will emerge scratch-less but I will be the one facing hurdles,” Sharif told reporters after appearing before the accountability court where he completed recording of his statement in response to 128 questions asked by the court.

It took him three days to record the statement.

Sharif and his family are facing three corruption cases in the Accountability Court after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed cases against them following the Supreme Courts verdict in the Panama Papers case.

Apart from Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar are accused of purchasing the London properties through corrupt means.

Sharif said that despite the threats he refused to back down from launching the high treason case against Musharraf and claimed that he was paying the price for it.

He also claimed that the head of an intelligence agency once asked him to “resign or go on a long leave”.

He said that such threats by the head of a subordinate department were unprecedented.

The former three-time premier said that he suffered in his political career due to insistence on supremacy of the civilian rule.

“Even 19 years ago, I was detained in torture cells, I was sentenced to life imprisonment, I was handcuffed and jetted off. Was there a Panama at that time? The answer is simply no.

“At that time, too, I was demanding civil supremacy and wanted foreign and domestic policies to be in the hand of the elected representative,” he said talking about his ouster by military in 1999.

Sharif said he wished there was a court in Pakistan which will dare ask the generals why they abrogated the Constitution.

Armed forces have made sacrifices but if any person suspended the Constitution then he should be held accountable, he said.

“Only a few people in the armed forces staged a coup but the entire institution has to pay the price,” Sharif said, adding that he was son of the soil and did not need a certificate of patriotism from anyone.

He said the cases of corruption were baseless and directly urged the accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir to give decisions based on justice as both “you (judge) and me will one day appear before God” and be held accountable.

Sharif was disqualified to hold the office of the prime minister by the Supreme Court on July 28 last year in the Panama Papers case.

He was disqualified for not being “honest and righteous” as he failed to declare in 2013 a salary he got from the company of his son in the UAE.

In February, the apex court also disqualified Sharif as the head of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).(PTI)