It is painful to see daughter testifying as a suspect in the court dock: Nawaz Sharif
25 May, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and supreme leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday that it was not the PML-N government but the courts that had allowed former military dictator retired General Pervez Musharraf to leave the country.
On the occasion of his 73rd appearance before the accountability court, Mr Sharif made this observation in response to a question by a reporter about why his government had allowed Gen Musharraf, who is facing high treason charges as well as other criminal cases, to leave the country. Gen Musharraf went abroad because the superior courts of the country had ordered his name to be removed from the Exit Control List (ECL), said the ex-premier.
On Wednesday, Mr Sharif told the accountability court that he had been implicated in three references by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which were, in fact, an attempt to “settle scores” with him for taking a firm stand on the trial of Gen Musharraf in a treason case.
The PML-N government had filed a complaint against Gen Musharraf in December 2013, under Article 6 of the Constitution, for imposing a state of emergency on November 3, 2007. The former military dictator, however, left the country after the Supreme Court dismissed the federal government’s appeal against an order by the Sindh High Court (SHC) to remove Gen Musharraf’s name from the ECL.
After his daughter Maryam Nawaz partially recorded her statement before the accountability court, under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedures Code (CrPC), Mr Sharif complained: “Victimisation has hit even those members of my family that have nothing to do with government functions or family business.”
He said it was “painful” for him to see his daughter testifying as a suspect in the court dock.
“This is a ruthless act,” he said, adding that it had set a bad precedent. “I can pass through these hard times but this trend will also be faced by others and it will be very difficult for them to go through such an experience. Those who are setting this trend will have to pay the price,” he said.
The ex-premier lamented that this type of underhanded politics was a relic of centuries past. “Pakistan was not established for such victimisation... It means that we have changed our direction,” he said.
Responding to a question about why he had not removed the intelligence agency chief who had asked him to resign or take a long leave during the 2014 sit-in, Mr Sharif said while his was in power, he had exercised maximum restraint. “Due to my policies of tolerance and restraint, I sidelined ministers like Pervez Rashid and Mushahidullah Khan since I did not want confrontation,” he said.
The PML-N supremo explained that he had decided to open up about these details because the court had asked him why he had been implicated in the reference.
It was the right time to place factual information on court record, he said, adding that the facts should be made public, because concealing them could lead to nuisance.
The ex-primer stressed that one should take a firm stand on certain issues without caring too much about the consequences. He said that his stand had taken him from the prime minister’s house to the court dock.