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April 21, 2018

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Present times harsher than martial law, says Nawaz

LONDON: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has said he is being singled out for the so-called accountability, while the real hardened criminals and law-breakers have no one to ask questions from.

Speaking to the media outside the Harley Street Clinic here where his ailing wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz is admitted for cancer treatment, Nawaz Sharif said the current times are unprecedented in the sense that even during the military regimes “whenever someone faced hardships, there were courts to give relief but not anymore”. He said he is being treated unfairly. He referred to former military ruler Pervez Musharraf and said he is sitting abroad and the courts are doing nothing about him. He said there is a backlog of 1.8 million cases in the courts and Chief Justice Saqib Nisar is visiting the provincial capitals.

Nawaz Sharif, on being informed that the National Accountability Court has refused his application for exemption from appearance for one week, said he will return to Pakistan on Sunday to comply with the legal procedure although he would have liked to spend a week in London with Begum Kulsoom Nawaz who is undergoing cancer treatment. He said he came straight to the hospital from the airport with his daughter Maryam Nawaz to see his wife. Begum Kulsoom has not been well in the recent weeks and was brought regularly to the hospital. Referring to his disqualification “for not taking salary from his son”, his removal as party head, his disqualification for life and the focus of accountability on him and his family as examples of the “selective justice”. “The target is only one person and that’s Nawaz Sharif,” he remarked.

Sharif also said the chemotherapy treatment of his wife has ended. Nawaz said the doctors have told him that surgery will be required if cancer recurs. The former prime minister said the results will be compared after radiotherapy to ascertain if surgery is required. Nawaz Sharif requested for prayers for the speedy recovery of Begum Kulsoom. Nawaz and his daughter Maryam had arrived in London on Wednesday night to visit Begum Kulsoom. He is expected to meet Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday and return to Pakistan on Sunday.

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