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Decision to disqualify me had already been made: Nawaz Sharif

08 August, 2017

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Decision to disqualify me had already been made: Nawaz SharifISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday claimed that decision to oust him had been made even before the court verdict and that only a justification was being sought to go ahead with the plan.

"Decision to disqualify me had already been made ... only a reason was being sought," Nawaz said in his meeting with television anchors in Islamabad.

The former prime minister alleged that the members of the joint investigation team (JIT) constituted by the Supreme Court to probe his family business dealings were 'chosen through WhatsApp'."Never have officials from the Military Intelligence (MI) and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) been included in an inquiry," he said.

"Five 'noble' people expelling someone enjoying the mandate of millions of people is not appropriate," Nawaz said and warned that the country cannot be run the way it was being tried to.

Nawaz said he did not want to create an impression that he and his family were afraid of accountability."I was advised to not appear before the JIT but I did because I respect the law," he remarked, adding that the Supreme Court's decision to have a judge oversee the National Accountability Bureau's proceedings against his family has 'jeoparidised' his right of appeal.

Speaking on NAB references that will be filed against the Sharif family on the Supreme Court's orders, Nawaz asked as to why had the watchdog been given six weeks for this purpose."Is it because they can find something more against me and include it in the references?" he asked.

Expressing displeasure at the Panamagate verdict, Nawaz said that he was 'hurt' by the remarks of the judges. "One judge even said that 'prime minister should know that there is a lot of space in Adiala jail'," he said, adding that it does not behove a judge to make such remarks."I will not run away like Musharraf," he claimed, and asked whether there were any judges in the country who could hold the dictator accountable."Is there any court which can hold former dictators responsible for crimes like breaking up the country?" he questioned.

Nawaz said that he had not been involved in any misappropriation of public funds during his tenure and lamented that he was disqualified for a 'minor thing' when nothing was found against him in the Panama Papers case."The judges, in their remarks, stated that there are no allegations of corruption or misuse of authority against Nawaz Sharif," he claimed. He insisted that there should be a 'grand debate' in and outside parliament over why he had been disqualified.

Nawaz said that his rally from Islamabad to Lahore was not a 'protest march' but a 'journey back home', adding he does not intend to exert pressure on the judiciary.

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