LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif reiterated on Friday his stance against the Supreme Court decision which led to his disqualification on July 28.
Addressing a lawyer's convention at Aiwan-e-Iqbal, he said that for many years he has been fighting the case of the people and democracy.
"You all are aware of the Panama story; my name wasn’t present in the list. You all know I volunteered for a commission led by a respectable Supreme Court judge when the leaks occurred. One decision came on April 20 and another on July 28. But a few questions still remain," he argued.
Listing the 'questions', the former premier asked if WhatsApp calls ever been used to nominate people for such an investigation, has the Supreme Court ever made a joint investigation team (JIT) for such a case, do secret agencies work beyond terrorism and national security, has a 3-member bench ever supervised the work of a JIT, did any petitioner approach the apex court regarding the Dubai company and my salary issue, can any court undermine the law, in our 70-year history, has it ever happened that four verdicts come out in one case, can those judges be included in another bench who have already made their decision, could those judges base their decision on a JIT report who did not oversee the JIT hearings, in the entire judicial history has a monitoring judge been nominated to give verdict against someone, is this matter according to the independence of judiciary, and lastly, can NAB be given any court direction to work accordingly?
"Who but legal fraternity members know better," he commented.
Sharif recalled that when the petitions were filed they were termed frivolous by the apex court. He also laid out the procedures required by NAB before filing a reference, alluding that they are not being followed in his case.
These are just a few questions being asked by every Pakistani, he said, adding that in their review petition they have raised these questions.
The entire premise is that this decision, based on false premise, be taken back, he urged.
He said though he resigned immediately following the landmark Supreme Court judgment, this does not mean he accepted it whole heartedly.
Terming the verdict public property, he said it will be debated upon.
The former premier said he is not dejected about the personal impact of the verdict but for the negative impact it had on the country’s development.
Justice should be seen to be done, it is said. Sadly, this one decision will ensure it will be remembered that justice was not done. And it was shown at every step that justice not being done, claimed Sharif.
Recalling the rule of dictators and dismissal of civilian governments in the country's chequered political history, he asked what his crime was, and then answered: That I didn’t take a salary from my son’s company.
"The support of people has given me strength and hope. They’ve shown me their decision. I have seen the anger in their eyes," he said, recalling his GT Road Rally from Islamabad to Lahore.
Hitting out at the judiciary, he said "our courts have been condoning the rule of dictators and allowing changes to the Constitution. Some judges deteriorated from their oath and supported dictators. No dictator has been punished for abrogating the Constitution. We need to establish sanctity of ballot box".
"Ladies and gentlemen, we need to identify the disease and come up with treatment," he said addressing the charged gathering of lawyers.
Sharif said he does not seek his reinstatement but wants the people’s mandate respected.
Earlier, Sharif recalled the 'special' relationship between the country and members of the legal fraternity with regards to rule of law and preservation of democracy. "Iqbal was also a lawyer. Jinnah as well. One was a dreamer and the other a doer," he said, adding that the movement against dictators were all led by lawyers.
The former premier and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremo reached the venue earlier to attend the All Pakistan Lawyers' Convention.
Sharif was accompanied by the Punjab Governor Rafique Rajwana and Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid, among other officials.
Prior to Sharif's address, lawyers' leaders addressed the convention as well.