ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday said he and his family have done nothing wrong as he lashed out at “some unseen elements” for hatching conspiracies against his democratically-elected government.

“If the factories that produce agendas and silence the decisions of the people are not closed, not only the law and constitution, but the safety of this country will also be jeopardised,” he said after appearing for the first time before the joint investigation team (JIT) probing his family’s offshore business dealings.

Addressing media persons outside the Federal Judicial Academy, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he had accounted for every penny today. Terming the day a milestone in upholding the supremacy of rule of law, he said, “Today, I and my entire family have presented ourselves for accountability.”

The premier who faced the questioning of investigators for around three hours asserted that now the allegations and conspiracies of his opponents would die down.

PM Sharif warned while speaking from a written statement, “If the factories involved in trampling the mandate of the people and democracy do not wind up their business now, the national security and democracy would be jeopardised.”

He said his family would succeed against all odds and conspiracies and the people would stand by him in the next general elections with more enthusiasm than they showed in 2013. “We will not let the wheel of history turn in opposite direction. The days of games behind the scenes are now over. There can be no more puppet games,” said Nawaz.

He said the charge against him had nothing to do with embezzlement of the national exchequer and all conspiracies against him and his family would fizzle out.

“The people of Pakistan need to understand whatever is happening today has nothing to do with any corruption or embezzlement and the charges against us are not about any corruption in the national exchequer, but are related to my private family business,” Nawaz Sharif told the media.

The prime minister said his family had always faced ruthless accountability in the past and would succeed again despite the allegations and conspiracies of his opponents. “Is there any other family in Pakistan that has appeared for accountability?” he asked. “My personal businesses have nothing to do with the national treasury. And no conspiracy being hatched by my rivals will succeed,” said the PM. He added, “We are going to emerge successful not only from this test of time but also in the next general elections with the people’s support.”

Nawaz said he had served the nation thrice as the prime minister of the country. Earlier, he had served the Punjab as its chief minister. “Throughout this period, I initiated projects worth billions in Punjab and all over Pakistan,” he stated.

“I brought investment in the country that was unprecedented in 65 years. My opponents have never ever been able to prove any issue of kickbacks or commission or to bring any shred of evidence against me,” the prime minister claimed.

Nawaz said he had presented his stance before the joint investigation team and mentioned that details of his assets and resources had already been submitted with the relevant institutions, including the Supreme Court.

He recalled that as the Panama leaks issue surfaced some 15 months ago, he proposed setting up a commission comprising judges of the Supreme Court. “Had the conspiracies not been hatched, the matter would have been resolved by this time,” he said.

The premier stated that the accountability of his family had started even before his birth in 1936 and that spanned over generations. He said his family was the sole example of braving the cruel phases of accountability for three generations.

He said all his family assets were nationalised in 1972 during the era of his political rival, Pakistan People’s Party. Even his residences were occupied during the dictatorship of General Pervez Musharraf, he recalled.

He said, “The JIT and the Supreme Court of Pakistan will give their verdict, but the next JIT is bigger which comprises 200 million Pakistanis and we will all have to present ourselves before them.”

The prime minister continued, “Beyond that there is Allah Almighty Who is over and beyond such institutions and knows well the obvious and the hidden.”

The prime minister said the country had already paid a heavy price for conspiracies. “It is now time that the emblem of truth and right be upheld.” He said he had much more to say, but would say more in the days ahead. “There may be many questions and I too have a lot to say, but will say it for the next time,” Nawaz concluded his remarks and left the place without answering any question of journalists.

Earlier, the premier, clad in traditional shalwar kameez, arrived at the Federal Judicial Academy to appear before the team amid tight security. He was accompanied by his brother Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hussain Nawaz. He waved to the party workers before entering the building.

Police officials, deployed outside the secretariat, barred PML-N leaders, Khawaja Asif, Ishaq Dar and many others from entering the premises. Other political activists clashed with policemen and raised slogans against the authorities and in favour of Nawaz Sharif.

 

 

No corruption charge against me: Nawaz