LAHORE - Strongly criticising the Supreme Court judgment that disqualified Mian Nawaz Sharif as prime minister, former railways minister Khwaja Saad Rafiq said on Sunday that the decision would remain controversial in history.

Addressing a news conference, he said if the PML-N leadership was not given the right to appeal, “We’ll go to people’s court”.

Mr Sharif has already left Prime Minister’s House and is expected to reach his hometown – Lahore – by GT Road, during the next few days, addressing people on the way.

A trusted aide to the former prime minister, Khwaja Saad said if the yardstick on the basis of which Mr Sharif was declared “not sadiq and ameen” was applied to people in other walks of life, they would not be able to cross the bridge.

“Were the judges who had taken oath under the PCO ‘sadiq and ameen’,” he asked. “Were the military dictators honest and truthful?”

According to him, former president Gen Pervez Musharraf and former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry would also have to clear their position.

A large number of judges had taken oath under the PCO when Gen Musharraf had imposed emergency in 2007 after dismissing then CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry.

However, they were removed after Justice Chaudhry was restored as a result of the extended judicial process.

Before that, a large number of judges were also administered oath under Gen Zia’s PCO in 1981. All of them had completed their service terms and retired on their due dates.

Warning that now the question of sadiq, ameen would go too far, the former minister admitted that the PML-N government failed to exclude Articles 62 and 63 from the Constitution, which had now become lethal like Article 58(2)(b), used to dismiss various governments in the past. He said the PML-N leadership did not touch these articles as the opponents could accuse them of trying to cover up their corruption.

Khwaja Saad assailed the formation and working of the Joint Investigation Team that collected material against Nawaz Sharif and his family members. Never during the 70 years of the country’s history had such a JIT been constituted in any case, he pointed out, adding that the work done by the JIT during the 60-day deadline was beyond human capacity.

Still, he said, Mr Sharif had not been removed on charges of corruption or money laundering.

The former minister said the PML-N leadership could have boycotted the JIT because of reservations they had about their members. But they expressed confidence in the judicial process and joined the process for the sake of supremacy of law.

He regretted that the two-judge bench had used the words ‘godfather’ and ‘mafia’ in their decision, which amounted to insulting the PML-N leadership.

Saad complained that the documents presented by the PML-N leadership had not been accepted but the ones coming from Dubai were relied upon.

He was also critical of the court’s failure to give a verdict on Hussain Nawaz’s picture leak issue, and left the same to the government.

He said Sheikh Rashid claimed that PML-N offered billions of rupees to the honourable judges. “Did anyone question his claims; when and where this money was offered and how he came to know about that,” he asked.

Similarly, he said that Imran Khan had claimed in a TV programme that a judge had “requested” him to cancel the sit-in the PTI was planning to hold on November 2, 2016, and come to court instead.

“This is a serious statement and it must be investigated,” the PML-N leader said.

Referring to distribution of sweets by the PTI leadership, Khwaja Saad said the celebrations could cost them heavily. “They would not be able to digest sweets.”

He said after the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif the party had brought forward Mian Shehbaz Sharif. If he too was sent packing on any pretext, a third Sharif would be brought to the fore, the former minister said. However, he said, Imran had nobody to succeed him.

He said now Nawaz Sharif would lead the party politics while Mian Shehbaz Sharif would run the government.

Pro-Nawaz Rally: Meanwhile, former minister Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor led a rally in Raiwind on Sunday to express solidarity with the ousted prime minister.

Holding banners inscribed with slogans in support of their leader, the participants also raised slogans.

Addressing the participants, Chaudhry Ghafoor said people stood by Nawaz Sharif whether he was in or out of power. He was confident that the PML-N would sweep the 2018 election.

However, they were removed after Justice Chaudhry was restored as a result of the extended judicial process.

Before that, a large number of judges were also administered oath under Gen Zia’s PCO in 1981. All of them had completed their service terms and retired on their due dates.

Warning that now the question of sadiq, ameen would go too far, the former minister admitted that the PML-N government failed to exclude Articles 62 and 63 from the Constitution, which had now become lethal like Article 58(2)(b), used to dismiss various governments in the past. He said the PML-N leadership did not touch these articles as the opponents could accuse them of trying to cover up their corruption.

Khwaja Saad assailed the formation and working of the Joint Investigation Team that collected material against Nawaz Sharif and his family members. Never during the 70 years of the country’s history had such a JIT been constituted in any case, he pointed out, adding that the work done by the JIT during the 60-day deadline was beyond human capacity.

Still, he said, Mr Sharif had not been removed on charges of corruption or money laundering.

The former minister said the PML-N leadership could have boycotted the JIT because of reservations they had about their members. But they expressed confidence in the judicial process and joined the process for the sake of supremacy of law.

He regretted that the two-judge bench had used the words ‘godfather’ and ‘mafia’ in their decision, which amounted to insulting the PML-N leadership.

Saad complained that the documents presented by the PML-N leadership had not been accepted but the ones coming from Dubai were relied upon.

He was also critical of the court’s failure to give a verdict on Hussain Nawaz’s picture leak issue, and left the same to the government.

He said Sheikh Rashid claimed that PML-N offered billions of rupees to the honourable judges. “Did anyone question his claims; when and where this money was offered and how he came to know about that,” he asked.

Similarly, he said that Imran Khan had claimed in a TV programme that a judge had “requested” him to cancel the sit-in the PTI was planning to hold on November 2, 2016, and come to court instead.

“This is a serious statement and it must be investigated,” the PML-N leader said.

Referring to distribution of sweets by the PTI leadership, Khwaja Saad said the celebrations could cost them heavily. “They would not be able to digest sweets.”

He said after the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif the party had brought forward Mian Shehbaz Sharif. If he too was sent packing on any pretext, a third Sharif would be brought to the fore, the former minister said. However, he said, Imran had nobody to succeed him.

He said now Nawaz Sharif would lead the party politics while Mian Shehbaz Sharif would run the government.

Pro-Nawaz Rally: Meanwhile, former minister Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor led a rally in Raiwind on Sunday to express solidarity with the ousted prime minister.

Holding banners inscribed with slogans in support of their leader, the participants also raised slogans.

Addressing the participants, Chaudhry Ghafoor said people stood by Nawaz Sharif whether he was in or out of power. He was confident that the PML-N would sweep the 2018 election.