LONDON: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that he’s returning to Pakistan to appear before the NAB courts at a time when his patient-victim wife Kulsoom Nawaz needs him the most on her side.
The former premier spoke to this scribe in an exclusive interview after bringing Begum Kulsoom Nawaz to the Harley Street clinic for the second chemotherapy session. He declared that he was ready to face any court and didn’t shy away from facing the Whatsapp JIT and the Supreme Court bench that, shockingly, made references to ‘Sicilian Mafia’ and ‘Godfather’.
Nawaz Sharif said that it was his duty as a husband and companion of over 40 years to be by her side while she is getting the treatment for throat cancer and until she is fully well and recovered but it was in the respect of Pakistan’s judicial system that he was appearing before the courts, despite knowing well that the accountability process is a political sham aimed at executing further revenge, not justice.
Nawaz Sharif shared that the doctors have opined that he should stay by her side and give her as much time as possible as she needs attention and care while undergoing treatment for a serious cancer ailment.
“My personal family issues on one side, I am going to Pakistan to appear before the NAB court on 3rd November,” said Sharif.
When asked about the widening perception that there’s little chance that he will get fair trial at the NAB court, Nawaz Sharif said it was not for the first time that he and his family have been dragged through the courts. “We have faced sham trials before but never ran away and face accountability time and time again, we faced with valor the Whatsapp JIT, we have faced with courage the Supreme Court bench that called us Sicilian Mafia and Godfather,” said Nawaz Sharif, who remains defiant and continues to stress that he was not given fair trial by the five Supreme Court judges.
He said that the fact that he was ousted on the basis of Iqama and not Panama demonstrated that the JIT failed to find anything against him and also that there was nothing in Panama which could be linked to him to pave his ouster on political grounds.
Nawaz Sharif made it clear that he never liked his disqualification decision by the SC but acted upon the court orders and surrendered before the law of Pakistan, without resorting to using a delaying tactic or running away from the courts under any pretext.
The whole world knows that legal and constitutional rules and precedents were trampled upon and violated to oust him in order to disqualify him, in hurry and in urgency.
Nawaz Sharif repeated the same stance that he has continuously highlighted since his ouster, on the GT Road rallies and in media appearances.
He asked: “What’s the scandal that I have been involved in? What’s the issue? What’s the charge sheet against me? What the case of assets beyond means against me? What’s this whole drama in the name of accountability? Is this NICL scandal? Is this NECTA scandal? Is this Hajj scandal? Or is this IPPS scandal?”
Nawaz Sharif then explained that his assets and resources were established and set even before he was born. “If the question is that how do I have means and resources then its clear that my assets and means were established since 1937, before even I was born.”
Nawaz Sharif told that he has yet to comprehend why this whole exercise in the name of accountability has been rolled out against him. “The case started in the name of Panama, my name was not even in Panama, its still not there, nothing was found against me in Panama, not until today. When nothing was found in Panama against me, I was ousted using Iqama. I shocked and saddened that this drama has been staged because its Pakistan that has suffered and continues to suffer.”
Nawaz Sharif said that no one, including his support base, has accepted his Iqama disqualification. He said that the Panama verdict has become a joke and has caused embarrassment at a wide level.
The former prime minister said that NAB references have been filed against him to carry on the process of political with-hunt. “Through these references, efforts are afoot to make sure that something should be found against me through these references and cases, under the supervision of a Supreme Court judge, to vindicate the Panama verdict of disqualification which has caused them embarrassment. These references are to avoid that scenario (of more embarrassment).
Nawaz Sharif said that cases against him and his family have been “framed” but he expressed his belief that history will view these cases for their true worth, aims and objectives, which are political. This is now going to spread far and beyond.”
An aggrieved Nawaz Sharif said that it was Pakistan that has suffered as a result of political maneuverings. He said he served Pakistan with full dedication and its results are there for all to see. He said it’s to his government’s credit that the biggest issues of Pakistan – load shedding and terrorism – have been effectively dealt with. “Inshallah, soon there will be zero shortage of electricity in Pakistan, loadhsedding is about finish completely, we built motorways across the length and breadth of Pakistan, ended terrorism from Pakistan and introduced policy in 2014 aimed at rooting out this scourge, we took the decision of launching operation to end militancy and unrest in Karachi.”
Nawaz Sharif said that he met people in Saudi Arabia during his recent visit to the country for Umrah and met people from Karachi who congratulated him on restoring peace to Karachi through successful operation.
Answering a question Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan was in a bad shape when he took over in 2013 and television screens depicted a bad picture of Pakistan but his government turned around the country.
“Pakistan was under attack at that time, we turned it around through our policies. Now cricket matches are being played in Pakistan, international cricket has returned.”
Nawaz Sharif said that his ouster on Iqama caused instability in Pakistan and Pakistan’s journey of economic progress was halted. He said that Pakistan’s stock market has gone down, economic reserves have come down and economy overall took a big knock because economic progress and stability is linked with the political continuity.