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PML-N leaders questioned judgement against Nawaz Sharif

26 December, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: A day after an accountability court sentenced former premier Nawaz Sharif to seven years in jail in Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference, a group of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) launched a broadside at the verdict, federal government and its coalition partners.

Addressing a presser, they said that the PML-N would strive for a change along with the other parties inside and outside parliament.

PML-N leaders questioned the merits of the judgement against former premier Nawaz Sharif, and claimed that the ongoing process of accountability was targeting only the opposition leaders, but favouring the government.

“The first case in which Nawaz Sharif was disqualified, the crime ascertained was that he did not take salary from his son,” said former federal minister Ahsan Iqbal. “And this time the allegation levelled is that ‘since your son sent you money, therefore you stand disqualified’.

“Now I want to raise a question that up to 3.5 million Pakistanis in the Middle East remit money to their families, so would they be considered their business partners or co-owners? If any son sends money to his parents, will they be held guilty?

He said that the ongoing accountability process was basically a “selected accountability by a selected prime minister”. “PML-N legislators are being arrested whereas the PTI and its allies, despite facing inquiries, were being given dates of their own choice.”

He added, “No one can arrest PTI leaders. All the summons and arrests are for PML-N leaders because this government is on ventilator. Another form of convention or Q- league is being imposed on Pakistan in the form of PTI.”

Former Sindh governor Mohammad Zubair urged the prime minister to also hold his own party leaders accountable, especially those who “have admitted themselves that they had offshore companies”.

“We demand the NAB and the courts that the sense of urgency they have shown against the PML-N, we want to see the same against the PTI leaders.

“Moreover, you have ordered audits of Lahore Metro, Multan Metro and Pindi/Islamabad Metro … why not Peshawar Metro? Why is there such a distinction? These twin standards are not acceptable and we demand of NAB that if they want to establish their credibility, there should be an across-the-board accountability.”

Erstwhile Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah said that the evidence and defence in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference in which Sharif was convicted and the Flagship Investments reference wherein he was acquitted was same in both the cases.

Sanaullah slammed an unnamed individual from Rawalpindi for “acting as the spokesperson for NAB and the judiciary”.

Senator Mushahidullah echoed Sanaullah’s sentiments regarding the individual from Rawalpindi as well as another from Jhelum.

Musadiq Malik, the former spokesperson to the prime minister, drew a parallel between the incumbent government and the Adolf Hitler-led Nazi Germany.

“There is a ban on politics, on journalism and every dissenter who questions is being arrested,” Malik claimed.

He wondered why Sharif was handed a prison sentence even when “the NAB had itself admitted in court that Sharif was neither a shareholder, director nor a signatory.”

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