LAHORE: Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification as president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was inevitable because no parliament or court would allow a dishonest person to lead a political party, said Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Wednesday.

Talking to journalists in front of an anchorperson’s house after a condolence visit, the PTI leader said if parliament decided that they wanted to serve a person, whom the highest court of the land had declared dishonest, the court had to act and correct the situation.

He cited the example of former South African president Jacob Zuma, who was thrown out by his own political party after being found guilty of corruption, not by a court. He added that the PTI couldn’t care less if the PML-N splintered because of the court’s decision. “We are not bothered about the PML-N’s fate,” he said, adding that the party was bound to suffer because a “mafia has taken it over and the government as well”.

Commenting on the arrest of a former director of the Lahore Development Authority on corruption charges, Mr Khan said the LDA official was part of the same mafia that had placed their own people in every organisation and was ruling the country through them. He asked journalists to wait for some time as several more ministers would face the axe on corruption charges.

Says no parliament or court will allow dishonest person to lead a political party

Instead of revealing how he had managed to take Rs300 billion out of the country, Mr Sharif continued to ask why he had been disqualified, said the PTI chief. “I purchased and sold a London flat for Rs6 million, brought the money back and have produced 64 documents to prove the money trail,” he said, asking, “Why can’t the Sharifs come up with a money trail...instead they produced a letter from Qatar?”

Mr Khan went on, saying that one of Mr Sharif’s sons lived in a house worth Rs6bn, but he did not reveal the money trail, claiming that he was not a resident of Pakistan.

“No one is telling us how the money was taken out of the country?” the PTI chief said, adding that Mr Sharif had also helped former finance minister Ishaq Dar escape accountability, even though he was accused of corruption in an LNG deal. “They all belong to a mafia ruling the country,” Mr Khan said, adding that if the Election Commission took a weak decision, the PML-N’s candidates might run as independent candidates in the Senate elections.

Earlier addressing a Tahaffuz-i-Khatm-i-Nubuwat conference at Aiwan-i-Iqbal, Mr Khan said the nation still wondered who was behind the change in the text of the oath regarding the finality of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Raja Zafarul Haq’s report on the matter had still not been made public, he said, adding that this was done to please foreign powers.

“Once that report is made public, it would transpire that the former and beleaguered prime minister was seeking help from foreign powers,” he alleged.

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2018