Gilani’s ouster was also wrong: Nawaz

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Says judge appointed to monitor NAB proceedings against his family will not only decide cases as per his own wishes but also listen to appeals against his own verdict

More than five years after the dethroning of Yousaf Raza Gilani by the judiciary, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif – who suffered a similar fate at the hands of the same institution – said on Tuesday that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-backed elected premier should also not have been ousted in such a manner.

“Prime ministers are deposed, assassinated or forced to go into exile. How long will the public’s mandate be undermined this way?” he said while talking to foreign media correspondents at the Punjab House in Islamabad, a day before his scheduled rally to Lahore via Grand Trunk (GT) Road.

“No prime minister had been allowed to finish their full term in the country’s history,” said Nawaz, who was disqualified by the Supreme Court last month for not being ‘honest’ and ‘trustworthy’.

He pointed out that Pakistan had never gone to war during the tenure of democratic governments, which had sought to resolve issues through talks instead.

“It was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who had stabilised the country after the 1971 war,” he added.

The former PM said he too sought peace in region, especially a solution to the Kashmir issue. He added that the atrocities against the people of Indian-held Kashmir at the hands of occupation forces must stop.

Nawaz said that although he respected the Supreme Court’s verdict ordering his disqualification, he had reservations over the decision, and vowed to uncover the ‘conspiracy’ against him.

When asked if he would retire from politics, Nawaz said he had to complete his ‘century’ now, adding that he was not a kind of a person who would sit idle at home.

“We did not send [Gen (r) Pervez] Musharraf abroad, the courts did,” he said, adding that security threats exist over his GT Road rally but he still had to go home.

He told journalists that he was sent out of the office and now he was going home, adding that going home was not a power show.

Nawaz also said that his goal was to initiate a political debate in and out of parliament so no prime minister could be sent home [the way he was].

The former premier said that the judge appointed by the top court to monitor National Accountability Bureau (NAB) proceedings against him would not just decide cases as per his wishes but also listen to appeals against his own verdicts.

The top court has appointed Justice Ijazul Ahsan to oversee the proceedings of the references that NAB has been directed to file against the ousted premier, his family members and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

It may be mentioned here that Nawaz Sharif is all set to proceed in a huge motorcade from Islamabad to Lahore through GT Road to demonstrate his support among the masses after his disqualification.

He is expected to address huge gatherings at different places. Elected representatives of different districts as well as local government members have been tasked to ensure unprecedented gatherings.

Sources privy to the development said that all offices of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf located on the route of the rally would remain close, whereas legal action would be taken against offenders.