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There is no law in Pakistan that gives court right to disqualify PM: Nawaz Sharif

23 February, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who was disqualified as the head of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) by the Supreme Court a day earlier, claimed on Thursday that the next move would be to deprive him of doing politics by disqualifying him for life.

Speaking to media outside the accountability court in Islamabad, the deposed prime minister said that the Supreme Court ‘snatched’ his premiership on July 28, 2017, adding that now his party leadership was taken away in the February 21 verdict.

“Now, only I am left. My name Nawaz Sharif remains. If you want to snatch this as well, just do it,” he said. “Find an article in the constitution … and you may be able to find it … through which you can take away Nawaz Sharif’s name. And if you do not find it, then take help from Black’s Law Dictionary,” he added, referring to the Panamagate verdict which had relied on the dictionary to specify the definition of the term ‘asset’.

Nawaz said that there is no law in Pakistan that gives court the right to disqualify a prime minister the way he was. “Now they are further deliberating over disqualifying Nawaz Sharif from politics for life. What is all of this?” he questioned. He alleged that the recent decisions of the apex court were ‘person-specific’ and had been given out of revenge. “You know they first paralysed the executive and snatched its authority,” he said. “Now with Wednesday’s decision, they’ve done the same with parliament,” he added.

Nawaz reiterated that the Elections Act, 2017, is not person-specific. He said former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto first drafted it after which a martial law administrator struck it down. “In 2014, all the political parties were behind the making of this law. How can it be person-specific?” he wondered.

“The reasoning of February 21 verdict is the same, the Iqama [foreign work permit], as of the Panama Papers case,” he claimed, adding that the decision was not unexpected for him.

Following his appearance at the accountability court, Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz were granted exemption from appearing before the court for the rest of the day’s proceedings. Nawaz then left for the Punjab House where a large number of PML-N workers and supporters had gathered who also chanted slogans in his favour.

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