LAHORE - Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has said that judiciary’s double standards are not acceptable and they must be done away with.

“Imran Khan was treated like a ladla (blue-eyed person) by the court and let go even after he admitted ownership of an offshore company, while an elected prime minister was removed from the office on the frail ground of not receiving salary from his son,” Sharif said while addressing the PML-N social media convention and launching his party’s app in Model Town on Tuesday.

Maryam Nawaz also spoke to a highly-charged social media team of the party.

In his address, the former prime minister maintained the spate of his tirade against the judiciary that had been key feature of all his public appearances since his ouster from power on July 28. Comparing Supreme Court’s two verdicts, one against him and the other in favour of Khan, Sharif launched a scathing attack on the judiciary.

The outburst of the former prime minister coincides with Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar’s presence in the city to hear some cases.

Sharif said he always took the difficult course. “I preferred to stay in jail, go into exile and face disqualification, but I never left the path of justice, democracy, rule of law and service to the public,” Sharif said. “This time too I have taken the difficult path: the path of ensuring a fair system of justice in the country. This objective is important part of our party’s manifesto and the struggle to achieve this objective will continue,” he said. He said that standards of justice in Pakistan were different from those prevalent in other parts of the world.

Sharif said that only those elected by people’s vote had the right to make decisions, but here a blue-eyed beneficiary was let go and the other was declared guilty. “Khan owned assets but the judge said no, they are not yours. Those who deserved to be disqualified have been let go, while he (Sharif) has been punished on a minor charge. This is not acceptable,” the former prime minister said. Had he been ousted on charge of even Rs10 corruption, he said, he would have accepted the court verdict.

Sharif said he had declared all his assets except the salary, which he never received. This is not justice; this is a joke and this made the country a laughing stock, he said. There is no room for such jokes anymore, he said. He referred to the case against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf and asked, “Is there a court that can hold Musharraf accountable for his crimes? We got a high treason case registered against him years ago, but the court has yet to give a verdict in this case. On the other hand, the case against me was decided within weeks. This is not acceptable to us and people. We will bring Musharraf to the dock. We will look forward to ensure fair justice,” he said.

Sharif, who is also president of the ruling PML-N, said Pakistan had yet to become Jinnah’s Pakistan even 70 years after its creation. Repeated attacks on democracy are responsible for the situation Pakistan is in today, he said, adding that justice remained tilted and sanctity of vote was trampled. He said the situation must change if the country had to move forward and the youth must get the due. For that, he said, equitable justice was inevitable. He said justice was lopsided so much so that an elected prime minister was ousted from power on flimsy and fanciful grounds, for not accepting salary from his son. “The fact is that I have been held accountable since my college days and my father since 1937, when he had a small business concern in the city. Our seven houses in Model Town and Raiwind property are being investigated. These houses were built in 1969 with the hard-earned money,” he said.

Predicting a landslide victory for the PML-N in the next general election against the PTI, Sharif said people would give their verdict on his qualification or disqualification. Referring to the use of word “coward” for him by Khan, Sharif said the PTI chief should search his own soul to find out who was coward. He said that Khan had gone into hiding during the movement for restoration of judiciary in 2009 and could not be traced out despite hectic efforts. He said that Khan could not win the election; therefore, he looked towards judiciary and the umpire to get him (Sharif) out. This time, he said, PTI would be clean bowled in the elections.

The former prime minister, who has already announced launch of his movement for justice, said his opponents were portraying this movement as a movement against the judiciary, but this was wrong. He said this movement was in fact aimed at adding to respect and dignity of the judiciary. He said that integrity of judges would be called into question if their institution does not deliver. He asked his supporters to stay resolute until success of his movement.

Highlighting what his party’s government had achieved over the last four years in power, Sharif said his government fulfilled its promises with regard to elimination of loadshedding and terrorism, revival of economy and the latest infrastructure. “Since my ouster from power, the process of development has been halted and no one knows where the DDP is going,” he said.

 

 

Judiciary’s double standards not acceptable: Nawaz