ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, addressing the PML-N parliamentary party meeting on Saturday in Punjab House, said he was proud that his disqualification was not due to allegations of corruption brought against him.
“I am proud that my disqualification was not because of allegations of corruption,” Nawaz said.
The former prime minister further said that not a single charge of corruption was proven against him and expressed his disbelief over grounds of his dismissal.
“I still do not understand the grounds for my dismissal,” said Nawaz.
The former prime minister whose address was televised and distributed by the state owned Pakistan Television said that he had a clear conscience as he had not taken anything from the country which was not his.
“I would have felt guilty if I had done something wrong,” said Nawaz.
Questioning his disqualification, Nawaz stated he had nothing to declare as he had not taken any salary from the company which was setup by his son during the years they were in exile.
The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report submitted to the apex court revealed that Nawaz had not declared an income of 10,000 dirhams, salary from a Dubai-based company between 2006 and 2014.
“I was in exile and getting a visa at that time was difficult. When I went to London from Saudi Arabia, I could not live there for over six months as I had to travel to another country and return. I would get my visa from Dubai every six months since London was where we had centered our political activity,” explained Nawaz.
“So to get a visa, we thought, it would be a legal method as my son opened a company and made me the chairman. And a salary was decided since you are required to be a salaried individual,” added the former premier.
“They disqualified me for not receiving a salary. Since it was not received, it is an asset that had to be declared. It is my son’s company, not the government’s company and I was not making millions out of it,” further said Nawaz.
“You are in trouble if you take something and in trouble if you do not.”
Nawaz also emphasised that there should be accountability for everyone, not just one family or political party.
“Should only my family be held accountable? Is everyone else in this country sadiq and ameen?
Nawaz, addressing the PML-N leadership, resolved that he would continue the struggle for the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law in the country.
He also said that if the history is any indication, the previous assemblies were dissolved and prime ministers were ousted one way or another.
The former premier urged that he needs support in order to put the country on the right track.
“The first sit-in, the second sit-in and then the Panama scandal wasted a significant amount of time for the country,” he said.
Nawaz said that the country is now in a much better state and added that the backbone of terrorism has been broken and the isolated incidents of terrorism will eventually cease.
He said that the country’s economy had improved during his tenure and the growth rate of the economy was at 5.3 per cent, but the stock market suffered due to the instability caused by the Panama Papers case.
“I will come to your constituencies, I will be with you and endeavor for Pakistan’s progress,” said Nawaz while extending his support to his party’s leaders for the upcoming elections.
Announcing the next prime ministerial candidate, Nawaz asked the attendees to support his brother, Shehbaz Sharif for the role.
“If you support anyone after me, I ask you to support Shehbaz Sharif.”
“It will take Shehbaz Sharif around 50-55 days to take over as prime minister. He will have to contest elections,” announced the former prime minister.
Nawaz also announced that former petroleum minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, will be made interim prime minister.
“For the interim period, I am recommending Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for the position of prime minister,” said Nawaz.