Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said that the corruption cases against him are “punishment” for his government filing a treason case against former dictator Pervez Musharraf.
Nawaz and his family members are facing three court cases filed by the National Accountability Bureau under the directives of the Supreme Court.
Sharif said that the cases and multiple protests against his government were reciprocal punishment for him taking legal action against Musharraf, despite being warned not to do so. He claimed that the head of an intelligence agency had told him to “resign or go on a long leave”, adding that such threats by a subordinate to the head of the state are not issued even in third world countries.
He hinted that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehrik parties were both in on the “conspiracy” against him.
“Before the filing of the treason case, I had met Imran Khan and he never demanded my resignation. But surprisingly after Musharraf was booked, he met (PAT chairman) Tahirul Qadri in London, where they decided to stage a sit-in against my government,” Sharif said.
The former premier also praised the armed forces’ sacrifices and pointed out that he had upped the defence budget and refused $5 billion to not conduct the nuclear test in the 90s. However, he said it is also a “prerequisite for the sanctity of the armed forces that if any person suspends the Constitution, then he should be held accountable”.
“Only a few people in the armed forces staged a coup but the entire institution has to pay the cost,” he added.
Sharif said that he had already been punished for his stance on civil supremacy, recalling: “Nineteen years ago, I was detained in torture cells, I was sentenced to life imprisonment, I was handcuffed and jetted off. Was there a Panama (Papers case) at that time? The answer is simply no. At that time, too, I was demanding civil supremacy. I wanted foreign and domestic policies to be in the hand of the elected representative.”