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ISLAMABAD: Supreme leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif has said that people have nullified the court verdicts against the political leadership by electing the candidates backed by his party in the recent Senate elections and Sargodha by-poll.

Talking to journalists outside the accountability court here on Monday after appearing in three references instituted against him, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law retired Captain Safdar, under the direction of the Supreme Court, Mr Sharif said the courts were declaring political leaders disqualified while people were declaring them qualified through “the power of vote”.

“Gone are the days when the country was run this way, now it shouldn’t happen. The next 70 years should not be like the 70 years we have spent,” he said.

Mr Sharif asked people to rise in rebellion against ‘Sikha Shahi’. He said the people of Pakistan were not mere sheep and goats who could be fooled while their elected representatives got ousted by a few people.

He said the people had realised that the PML-N’s narrative and principled stance were correct and that was why they had started demanding respect for the vote. “The people are not ready to accept that an elected prime minister is kicked out without any regard to their choice,” he added.

The Sharifs appear before accountability court

“The one who doesn’t stand against oppression and continues to endure it is himself the biggest oppressor. Pakistan is my country, your country, our country … it doesn’t belong to a single person,” Mr Sharif said.

Earlier, Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain Safdar appeared before the accountability court.

During the court proceedings, Khawaja Haris Ahmed, the counsel for the Sharifs, cross-examined prosecution witness Adbul Hanan, an official of the foreign ministry.

Khawaja Haris requested the court to allow Mr Sharif to leave as he was not feeling well. He continued the cross-examination even after departure of Mr Sharif from the courtroom.

On March 8, the court will record testimony of Wajid Zia, head of the six-member joint investigation team constituted by the Supreme Court to probe the Panama Papers leaks.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2018