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I still do not understand the grounds for my dismissal: Nawaz Sharif

30 July, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Nawaz Sharif while addressing his party's leadership on Saturday cried foul and expressed disbelief over the grounds for his dismissal, but resolved to continue struggling for the supremacy of the constitution and rule of law in the country.

"I still do not understand the grounds for my dismissal," Nawaz Sharif said during a parliamentary committee meeting. "Is it only my family that should be held accountable? Is everyone else in this country sadiq and ameen?" he asked.

"I am only content that I was not disqualified on the grounds of alleged corruption." "When I never took a salary, what would I declare?" he asked, referring to the Supreme Court judgement that led to his ouster. "The way we have been treated is shameful, and it should not have been so."

The joint investigation team report examined by the SC during the course of the Panamagate hearings revealed that Nawaz Sharif had not declared on his nomination papers for the 2013 election an income of 10,000 dirham drawn from a Dubai-based company between August 7, 2006, and April 20, 2014.

"I was in exile and getting a visa at that time was difficult. When I went to London form Saudi Arabia, I could not live there for over six months. I had to travel to another country and return... So I would get my visa from Dubai every six months since London was the centre of our politics," he explained.

"So to get a visa, we thought, this would be a legal method - my son opened a company... He made me the chairman. And a salary was decided since you are required to be a salaried individual," he added.

"They disqualified me for not receiving a salary. Since it was not received, it is an asset that had to be declared. It is my son's company, not the government's company, and I was not making millions out of it," he claimed.

"When you take something, there's a problem; when you don't, there's a problem," he observed.

"Some people urged me to resign, but I told them that it is not a bed of roses, but a bed of thorns that I am sitting on, and my conscience is telling me not to resign because I did nothing wrong."

"My conscience is clear," he continued. "If I had done something wrong; or taken something from this country that was not mine, I would have felt the guilt myself," he said. "The way forward is clear: there should be supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law. We've had regrettable moments in our history, but our future should be free of these regrets. We should all sit together and contemplate: how do we run this country better?" he continued.

"Whatever happened has happened: I am happy there's no blemish on my character."

However, he stressed the need for changing Pakistan. "I will support you day and night. I do not want power - this will be my struggle for the country... I am no longer the prime minister, but I am still willing to do my bit."

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