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Saturday, July 20, 2024  
13 Muharram 1446  

Nawaz Sharif names former judges, recalls meeting with Imran Khan

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif says no one can lead party better than Sharif

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif has recalled his meeting with incarcerated ex-prime minister Imran Khan before the 2014 sit-in while naming former jurists involved in his apparent ouster from public office.

“After assuming power in 2013, the first thing I did was visit Imran Khan in Banigala to agree on working together for the country’s sake,” he said while addressing the PML-N’s Central Working Committee (CWC) in Lahore.

According to Sharif, Khan agreed with him on working together. He went on to add that the PTI founder urged him to build the road to his house after the meeting. “I accepted his request and constructed the road in 15 days.”

But the following events did not work out as planned as the PML-N supremo claimed that the PTI founder, along with PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Maulana Tahirul Qadri, and former spy chief General Zaheerul Islam, went to London where a “plot was hatched”. After this, he said that protests were launched in the country upon the PTI founder’s return.

Sharif said the development left him confused, saying that he should have been informed and told about the matter or whatever the PTI’s reservations were. “I did not understand where they get advice, how and what happened,” he said.

“I visit you and you stab me in the back by assuring cooperation and then you begin protests in Islamabad’s D-Chowk?” The former prime minister added that he refused his cabinet members’ suggestion to use police force against the protests. Despite this, Sharif said his government managed to secure the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

He reminded his political rival that he did not impede the formation of the PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after the 2013 elections despite being in the position to do so through a coalition.

While highlighting his ouster from the office, he asked, “Three people sit down and disqualify a prime minister representing 250 million people for life.”

Sharif added that judges could not remove prime ministers or presidents in any other country of the world but he was removed on a “small matter” of not taking salary from his son. “Who will answer for this?” he said and added that he had the right to ask this question.

He also referred to the early resignations of former Supreme Court judges Ijazul Ahsan and Mazahar Naqvi, saying they should be questioned why they resigned before their tenures and that legal proceedings should be conducted against the latter for his alleged financial misconduct.

“We call for accountability of those who destroyed and ruined Pakistan.”

He also mentioned former jurist Justice Shaukat Siddiqui’s speech against retired army officials, who allegedly ordered the judge to punish him.

Sharif also wondered about the reasons for toppling his government in 1993. He abstained from “taking names of people” involved and claimed that the country would have been among top three countries in Asia if the same momentum was followed.

The PML-N supremo also reiterated his claims that he was offered $5 billion dollars for abandoning the nuclear programme. But he refused the offer.

He expressed hope that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz would deliver up to the people’s expectations, saying that the country was going through difficult times.

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Before his address, Shehbaz addressed the committee and said that “no one could better lead” the party than his elder brother. He asked Sharif to praise those PML-N leaders who remained loyal to the party through thick and thin.

Last month, PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah requested party supremo Nawaz Sharif to assume its presidency.

PML-N’s General Council has been convened at 11am on May 28, which is when Sharif will be elected president, according to party leadership.

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Nawaz Sharif

Shehbaz Sharif

Rana Sanaullah