ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday expressed disappointment over the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) decision to move a bill restoring “a black law”, i.e. the bar on a disqualified person from holding party office.
Speaking to reporters after his appearance before an accountability court on Wednesday, he praised Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmakers and other coalition partners for defeating the bill which, he said, was aimed at restoring a dictatorial law.
“By not adopting the bill, the overwhelming majority of parliamentarians have proved they are not ready to give indemnity to the black laws passed by a dictator,” he said
“This has damaged the PPP’s credentials as a democratic party,” he said, adding that it was painful for him to see the PPP support the legislation and that it should not forget its workers’ historic struggle for democratic rights.
Says decisions come ‘too quickly’ in his cases; asks NAB court to change dates of his exemption
He claimed that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had pro-dictatorship mindset and had no respect for democracy and democratic values, adding that he harboured no ill will towards the party for supporting such a law.
Later, after inquiring after the health of a couple of PML-N MNAs at a private hospital, he told journalists that he was unconditionally prepared to make amends with PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari for the sake of the supremacy of the law, democracy, sanctity of the vote and the betterment of Pakistan.
He said he sought PPP’s cooperation, not for personal interests, but for the betterment of the country.
He said he still took ownership of the Charter of Democracy, which he signed with the late Benazir Bhutto, and would not accept any reconciliation ordinance in the future.
The former prime minister said he would ensure the power and sanctity of the ballot.
Mr Sharif seemed to be in a good mood on Wednesday, ostensibly due to the opposition’s failure to pass the law restoring the bar on him becoming PML-N chief.
He also spoke with journalists and asked them about latest news developments. In his interaction with reporters inside the courtroom, he said PTI members had also turned out to be dishonest, adding that reports of corruption concerning Imran Khan, Jahangir Tareen and Aleem Khan had also surfaced.
“Judgements in our cases come out very soon. I don’t know how long it will take for their cases to be decided. The rules for the game should be equal; the yardstick is different in our cases,” he observed.
Referring to remarks made by Supreme Court judges, he said it was not appropriate for them to use terms such as “Sicilian mafia”, adding that the judiciary had double standards.
During Wednesday’s proceedings, four prosecution witnesses testified against the former premier in the Avenfield properties reference. Mr Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz filed applications to amend the dates for their exemption from personal appearance.
On Nov 15, the court granted a one-month exemption to Maryam and had exempted Mr Sharif for a week.
However, both father and daughter appeared before the accountability judge on Wednesday and requested that due to unavoidable circumstances, they would require exemption with effect from Dec 5. The court adjourned further proceedings until Nov 28.
Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2017