ISLAMABAD Sept 26 (TNS): Deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif says he regrets being deprived of the right to challenge the court decision in Panama Papers case.
In a hurriedly-called press conference at Punjab House, Sharif said he served two sentences at the hand of dictators but “I didn’t bow down.” Today I’ve again been deprived of my right to challenge the [court] verdict.
I faced the ‘Panama Drama’ and my children appeared before Joint Investigation Team “constituted through a WhatsApp message” many a times, and today I turned up before the accountability court as I am ‘squeaky clean’, he underlined.
I beg, let the country run according to the Constitution, he said.
“It’s high time to find solution to menaces eroding the country from within for 70 years. I fear this crisis could cost Pakistan dearly.”
He expressed confidence a people will announce their verdict in 2018 that will sweep all previous verdicts in the history, he said in an indirect reference of the upcoming general elections.
He said he flew London in an emergency situation due to his wife’s ailment. He thanked people for praying for his wife.
He insisted he never thought of staying abroad exceeding the required time.
Mr. Sharif said ‘opportunists’ and lie-mongers capitalized on his problem and misled people about his foreign visit.
He expressed dismay over what happened with the media during today’s hearing in the morning. Nawaz began his address by deploring the incident at the accountability court earlier today when a journalist was manhandled.
Security personnel deployed outside the accountability court in Islamabad manhandled a journalist during Sharif’s appearance before it in connection with NAB references.
The same court first constituted JIT, then it took control of NAB followed by looking after affairs of the accountability court. Is this how justice meted out, he asked.
He also asked if this was called a fair trial.
Senior party leaders, including Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, were present alongside the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader.
Nawaz returned to the country on Monday after spending over three weeks in London to spend time with his wife, Kulsoom, who is undergoing treatment for lymphoma.
On Tuesday, Nawaz appeared before the accountability court which is hearing three corruption references against him and his family.
The court has set October 2 as the date of the next hearing, when it will indict the ousted prime minister. After his court appearance, Nawaz returned to the Punjab House, where he met several political leaders and party officials, including Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.