ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s plan to travel to Lahore via GT Road is a deliberate attempt to undermine the Supreme Court by calling into question its decision in the Panama Papers case.

He expressed serious concern over Sharif’s plan to travel to Lahore in a full protocol cavalcade, said a press statement issued here on Sunday.

Khan reminded that this was a unanimous decision by five SC judges after a thorough investigation.

According to the press statement, by challenging the SC, Sharif was attempting to destroy the judicial system in the country.

 “Having become redundant politically after his disqualification and knowing he can now never become the prime minister, Sharif is prepared to destroy the whole democratic system,” he said. Equally damaging, Khan pointed out, has been the Sharif family’s destruction of the nation’s morality by seeking to make corruption by the powerful an acceptable norm in our society. He emphasized that in a democracy, one leads by moral authority and Sharif has lost that authority the day his ‘corruption was exposed’.

Khan drew the attention as to how this deliberate attempt by Sharif to attack the judiciary was in complete contrast to PTI’s acceptance of the SC decision on rigging despite the party’s misgivings over the judgment.

He said that PTI had felt investigations should have gone further and not ended abruptly but once the judgment came it was accepted and the PTI did not take to the streets to protest against it.

He asserted that Sharif’s second purpose in going on the GT Road was to pressure NAB where his cases are to open for his ‘corruption, money-laundering, tax evasion, assets’ concealment and forgery’. These are criminal cases and Sharif is seeking to build up pressure against NAB and the accountability court, he added.

Khan said while it was everyone’s democratic right to protest peacefully, the Sharif’s protest, aided and abetted by the entire Punjab government machinery, is neither democratic nor peaceful.

He said “it is ironic that when PTI was peacefully protesting to seek justice for rigging and later against the corruption unveiled in the Panama Papers, the Sharif government was accusing it of derailing the system and now Sharif and his cohorts are protesting to actually bring down the democratic system by refusing to accept the SC verdict.”

Khan further said that while the PTI called off its protests once the SC took up the rigging and corruption cases, Sharif has chosen to take to the streets after being found guilty and having been disqualified. Worse still, he is continuing to use state resources – from funds to government machinery including Punjab police and local governments – to destroy the judiciary and thereby the democratic system which is moving towards accountability of the powerful for the first time. Khan warned that this destructive design of Sharif’s will not be allowed to succeed. 

On the other hand, party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting which is going to be held today (Monday) will discuss its future course of action.

According to the sources, the meeting will take place at a local hotel and will be chaired by the PTI chief. The party is likely to discuss issues as country’s political situation after Nawaz Sharif’s ouster, Ayesha Gulalai’s accusations against PTI chief, the alleged attack on AML chief Sheikh Rashid, and NA-120 bye-election.

According to sources, consultations on the cases that are being heard in the courts including the foreign funding case will also be held in the meeting. The legal team of the PTI will brief the CEC members on legal points.