Keeping Nawaz out of politics is injustice: Javed

Published June 12, 2023
Federal minister Javed Latif addresses a press conference in Lahore on Sunday. — Photo courtesy: PID
Federal minister Javed Latif addresses a press conference in Lahore on Sunday. — Photo courtesy: PID

LAHORE: For making the general elections ‘useful’, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has put forward two demands: doing away with the disqualification of party’s supremo Nawaz Sharif and penalising the perpetrators of May 9 incidents.

“There will be no use of elections unless and until two issues are not made result-oriented and taken to their logical ends: Who was the mastermind of May 9 incidents… and who had engineered to convict Nawaz Sharif in 2017 despite his innocence,” federal minister Javed Latif said here on Sunday.

“There is evidence against those who played with (the destiny of) Pakistan but the existing judicial system exonerated and granted him immediate bail even without issuing a notice (to the prosecution) and hearing both the parties (in the case),” said the federal minister without portfolio in reply to a question during a press conference.

Mr Latif said that 230 million people of Pakistan had same demand about level-playing field and there was no justification to keep Nawaz Sharif out of the political arena whereas those accused in the May 9 attacks were exonerated.

Links polls with exposing those who ‘engineered’ party supremo’s conviction and the mastermind of last month attacks

“I tell the policy-makers that if [the offences of] those involved in the May 9 incidents were ‘cleaned’ through a ‘washing machine’, then this could lead to even graver incidents in future. If someone thinks the country may be run by speaking half-truths or changing one’s loyalty and making one join another party, then (they should know that) the country cannot be run this way.”

The minister asked those serving in state institutions to disclose (to the masses) about the forces behind Imran Khan that facilitated him to reach the power corridors while the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif despite being innocent was declared ‘dacoit’ and ‘thief’ only to block work on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and weaken the country’s nuclear programme.

“I think the people sitting in the institutions will put the facts before the masses in the days to come,” he believed.

Responding to another question, Mr Latif said if those in the state institutions discharged their responsibility properly, the country would progress towards national cohesion, give people confidence (about the election process) and they would go into the electoral exercise with the hope that they could use their choice in the voting.

Position changed after May 9

Asked if his demand for action against the perpetrators of the May 9 violence meant national politics without the PTI or its chairman in the field, Mr Latif said the PML-N had not been in favour of banning any party or leader or ‘minus formula’ until the May 9 vandalism and arson attacks. The happenings on that day changed the position as at present nobody in the entire nation, including the PTI, PPP, PML-N, etc., would declare any such person who had played a role (in the arson attacks) political leader.

“A line of demarcation needs to be drawn between a politician and a terrorist.”

About option of seats adjustment with other parties in the elections, the minister said had the PML-N been in its favour, it would have done so in the recently concluded Azad Jammu and Kashmir elections, which was won by the PPP candidate. Particularly in Punjab, he said, it could never think of adjustments or forming alliances as the people of the province were well aware of PML-N’s performance.

He told a reporter that the party would continue to raise a voice if those sitting in state institutions would (mis)use the authority of the institution for their ‘vested interest’.

Replying to a query about the newly formed Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party (IPP) by Jahangir Khan Tareen, Mr Latif said the nation could forgive those (former PTI leaders) who were joining the IPP or any other political outfit, provided they speak the truth.

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2023

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