By Umer Tariq
Ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s press conference after appearing in the accountability court proved merely rhetoric.
Sharif claimed that fleeing from court cases is not his way and he has faced courts even during dictatorial rule. He conveniently forgot that history of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) does not start from October 1999, but much before. The events of November, 1997 when an unruly mob of PMLN workers and leaders stormed the court building and forced then Chief Justice Syed Sajjad Ali Shah to adjourn the contempt of court case against the then Prime Minister (Nawaz Sharif) have still not been forgotten.
The Prime Minister’s claim of not bowing before any dictator is also questionable considering the circumstances of his ‘escape’ to Saudi Arabia after the 1999 coup. Despite Sharif family’s claim that the family faced a forced exile the consensus is that there was nothing ‘forced’ about the exile and Nawaz Sharif willingly signed a foreign mediated ‘secret deal’. He questioned the merit of the petitions in the Panama Papers case and said that it is surprising that how petitions once discarded as ‘frivolous’ were taken up by the Apex Court. Complaining that the due process of law was not followed in the Panama Papers case, Sharif concluded that ‘No accusation was proved; they were not able to prove any corruption. But they (a not so ambiguous reference to the Supreme Court) had to disqualify me and so the iqama was used.’
But like it has been the case for the past many months Nawaz Sharif failed to name the ‘hands’ behind this alleged conspiracy to oust him. Sharif claims to be fighting for 200m people but still keeps the public in the dark about the identity of ‘alleged conspirators’.
Sharif also avoided facing the press and left in a hurry after delivering his speech amid chants by his workers present at Punjab house. The press conference was nothing but rhetoric and a selective narration of history and has left more questions than answers.
*The writer is Deputy Editor of Daily The Patriot.