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7 Scathing Remarks From Nawaz Sharif’s APC Speech

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After staying silent for over a year, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif addressed a multi-party moot organised by the Pakistan People’s Party.

In the speech, the former premier did not hold back and criticised state institutions for imposing a ‘selected’ and ‘inexperienced’ setup, responsible for the woes that the country is currently facing.

Naya Daur lists his seven-most scathing remarks, encompassing the role of the judiciary, the army, and other institutions.

‘Hijacking of 2018 polls’

PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan was facing all these problems today because of the elements who ‘stole people’s mandate by putting in incompetent people in power’.

“This is a violation of the Constitution. Has anyone given a thought to what a grave crime it is to steal the people’s mandate,” he questioned.

“Can I ask why the Results Transmission System (RTS) was closed for hours during the election, why polling agents were thrown out during counting? Why was dhandli done, on whose directives and why? The secretary of the Election Commission should answer and all those responsible will have to answer,” he said.

PMs failed to complete term:

Referring to the rigging by the establishment, Nawaz said Pakistan has become a ‘laboratory of such experiments’. “Everyone in the country knows that not a single prime minister in the history of Pakistan was allowed to complete its five-year term.”

All dictators have spent multiple years while premiers have hardly been allowed to complete their term, he said, referring to the infamous ‘doctrine of necessity’.

‘Those who follow constitution are sacked’

Speaking about the turbulent history of Pakistani politics and the role of the judiciary in enabling the undemocratic powers, Nawaz said: “When a dictator [Pervez Musharraf] was first brought into the courtroom for violating the Constitution, you saw what happened. Court gave dictators the right to play with the Constitution and acquitted someone who broke the Constitution twice […] Whereas the ones who follow the Constitution are still in jail.”

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‘State above a state’

Nawaz said the parallel government in Pakistan was the ‘root of all problems’. He said ex-PM Yousuf Raza Gilani once pointed to ‘a state within a state’ in Pakistan. “It is saddening that the situation has aggravated to a point that now it’s ‘state above the state’.

‘Armed forces need to stay from politics’

In his speech, the former PM said that it was very important for the sake of the country that the armed forces remained apolitical.

“It is very important that our armed forces stay away from our governmental system according to our Constitution and the Quaid’s  [Muhammad Ali Jinnah] speech, and not interfere with the people’s choice. We have made this country a joke in our own eyes and globally as well.”

‘Bajwa needs to face corruption allegations’

During the address, the former PM also gave his two cents on the corruption allegations faced by retired Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa. He said after the report, nobody dared to ask how a general could accumulate assets worth billions in 20 years nor did NAB take notice of the news report.

The corruption allegations did not prompt the government to form a JIT nor did a monitoring judge was appointed in the case, the PML-N founder said, making a comparison with the Panama Leaks case. “Imran Khan, the self-proclaimed champions of accountability, in fact went ahead and gave him a certificate for being honest,” Nawaz took a jibe.

He said the retired army officer must go to court if the charges are false.  However, the former PM was muted by TV channels broadcasting his speech when he mentioned Asim Bajwa.

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He also said that Bajwa was responsible for the ouster of the PML-N government in Balochistan in 2016.

‘Not ending NAB was a mistake’

Speaking about the role of NAB, the former prime minister admitted that it was a mistake to keep NAB — an institution formed by the government of a dictator– functional.

“However, we did not know that NAB would stoop to such a low level that it would victimise opposition lawmakers at the behest of the government,” he added. Despite multiple scandals involving senior NAB officials and its chairman, there was no inquiry by the government, said Nawaz.

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Naya Daur