Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on Dawn.com.

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience

.

Never in the country's history has Pakistan faced a worse crisis than the one it faces today, former PML-N leader Javed Hashmi said in a characteristically well-timed press conference on Monday.

The press conference was called by him to share insights on Pakistan's political and constitutional struggles, his own struggles for democracy and his brief stint with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

"This is a land that works without a constitution," Hashmi said at the start of the presser hosted in Islamabad.

Criticising the manner in which the 1956 and 1973 constitutions were formulated, he said the "civil and military powers alter the constitution at will". He added that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto ran the country into a state of emergency.

"Then came Ziaul Haq, who himself was the constitution," he said.

"We could not become a nation which respects its constitution," he said, claiming that the country has never seen a worse crisis in its 70-year history than the one it sees today.

'Supreme Court caused more destruction than anybody else'

Talking about the role of the Supreme Court, Hashmi said: "The Supreme Court has caused more destruction in the country than any other institution."

He alleged that the court had allowed former president and military dictator Pervez Musharraf to change the constitution, although he had "broken" the Constitution twice.

However, he clarified that he was not criticising incumbent Supreme Court justices. "I know that if I say anything about the current SC, it will amount to contempt of court," he noted.

"The current chief justice [of Pakistan] publicly kissed my hand, how can I say something against him?" Hashmi asked.

He said many SC judges swore to get plots but again clarified that he was not talking about the current judges, who he said, were saints.

'Did not want to end Imran's politics'

Revealing more details of him quitting PTI two years ago, Hashmi said his decision to resign was a "suicide attack" on Imran's party.

"Had I not resigned, it would have been the last day of the parliament," he said, revealing that the PML-N had also suggested he make a forward bloc within PTI.

"Had I done that, I could have received the prime minister's protocol," he claimed.

He said he refused to make the forward bloc and that he was sure PML-N realises now it would not have been a good move.

"I had the backing of 15 PTI MNAs but I did not want to finish Imran Khan's politics," the veteran politician claimed.

'Army chief did not want nuclear tests in 1998'

Javed Hashmi, who was the minister of health in the second Sharif government, claimed that the then army chief had not wanted Pakistan to conduct its nuclear tests in 1998, adding that Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan — the architect of the country's nuclear programme — was a witness to this.

He also claimed that Musharraf had created the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to target one political party and that the politicians will have to continue facing the bureau if they failed to create another institution for real accountability.

Hashmi has also previously accused Imran Khan of conspiring with disgruntled elements in the army to bring down the government during PTI's 2014 sit-in against election rigging.