ISLAMABAD: Former PM Nawaz Sharif said everyone knows what he is being punished for. According to him, the aim of the PTI sit-ins was to pressure him into giving up on the treason case against former military dictator Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf.
He is speaking at a press conference at Punjab House on Wednesday. According to him, he held the press conference to tell the nation about the statement he recorded during the hearing of the Avenfield reference at the accountability court. “I want to tell you all about the background behind the cases against me,” he said.
The press conference comes at a time when the current government’s term ends in a week, after which a caretaker setup will take over the affairs of the country. General elections are expected from July 25 onwards. The former PM said all the cases were filed against him as punishment for initiating treason proceedings against Gen (retd) Musharraf. The former military dictator imposed martial law in the country in 1999, ousting Mr Sharif, who was prime minister at that time.
According to Mr Sharif, PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari advised him to endorse Gen (retd) Musharraf’s martial law. “Zardari sahib said this is the need of compromise,” he said.
“I always knew it is never easy to hold a dictator accountable,” he said. “No law could put handcuffs on a dictator who committed treason.”
According to him, dictatorships have badly bruised the country.
He criticised PTI chief Imran Khan for the sit-ins he staged against the PML-N-led government.
“I got an idea when the treason case against Musharraf was initiated,” he said. “The nation knows everything that happened in the sit-ins.”
“I faced numerous hardships, including exile,” said the former PM. “The offer of $5 billion is also on the record. I held Pakistan’s honour dearer.”
According to the former PM, he tackled terrorism with bravery.
Talking about the Panama Papers scandal, he said he wonders how many people were disqualified and had cases filed against them. “My crime was that people loved me,” he said.
Mr Sharif resigned from his post as PM last year after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding public office. APP/AFP