ISLAMABAD, Oct 9: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday paid rich tribute to jailed party leader Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, saying that his name would become synonymous with courage and sacrifice in the country’s history.

The PML-N leader’s statement was issued from London and released by the party’s secretariat here after Mr Hashmi’s bail appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court.

The PML-N chief said that the entire nation saluted him for remaining steadfast on principles.

Injustices done to Mr Hashmi were evident, even to the ‘outside world’ but “unfortunately it is not obvious to our higher judiciary”, he said. “Spirits of political workers, who have dedicated their lives for the supremacy of the constitution and democracy, cannot be subdued by such decisions,” the statement quoted him as saying.

Mr Sharif said that Javed Hashmi and others, who had refused to bow before the dictatorship of Gen Musharraf, were assets for the party and society. He expressed the hope that democracy would prevail over forces of military dictatorship because of the sacrifices rendered by Mr Hashmi, adding that Pakistan would soon attain a respectable position in the comity of nations.

Javed Hashmi, PML’s acting president, is in detention for the past three years on charges of treason.

Commenting on rejection of Mr Hashmi’s appeal by the Supreme Court, PML-N information secretary Ahsan Iqbal in a separate statement said that unfortunately this had shown that the judiciary had double standards.

“We welcome the release of PPP leader Yusuf Raza Gillani by the judiciary, who was subjected to victimisation by the Musharraf regime, (but) in Mr Hashmi’s case the criteria changed,” he said.

“Mr Hashmi is a prisoner of conscience and the whole nation feels proud of him. Such decisions will not break the resolve of the PML-N but further strengthen the will of its leaders and workers to continue the struggle for victory of constitutions and democracy in the country. This has once again demonstrated that the Musharraf regime still fears the PML-N and considers it (the main threat),” he said.

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