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Deliberations underway to disqualify me from politics for life, claims Sharif

Having faced removal from heading Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) by a three-judge Supreme Court bench on Wednesday, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif  has accused ‘them’ ─ without specifying who they are ─ of deliberating over how to deprive him of participation in politics for the rest of his life.

According to Dawn, while speaking to the media on Thursday at accountability court in Islamabad, Nawaz Sharif said the SC ruling on the petitions challenging the Elections Act 2017 was not unexpected for him. He was at accountability court to appear with his daughter Maryam Nawaz for the hearing of corruption references against him and his family.

Sharif was disqualified from public office by Supreme Court on July 28, 2017 in Panama Papers case, after which he was also removed from his post as PML-N head. The passage of the Elections Act 2017 paved the way for him to be re-elected as head of his party again in October.

The former PML-N chief said that the apex court’s ruling which stripped him of party presidency was not unexpected for him. “First, they paralyzed the executive,” Sharif said. “Then yesterday, they snatched away the authority of Parliament [to make laws].”

He further said that Panamagate verdict stripped him off his premiership and yesterday’s ruling took away his position as party head, he was now only left with his name. “Now, only I am left. My name Muhammad Nawaz Sharif remains. If you want to snatch this as well then do it,” he said.

“Find an article in the Constitution ─ you may be able to find it ─ through which you can take away Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s name. And if you do not find it, then take help from Black’s Law Dictionary,” Sharif said.

Sharif said that there is no law in Pakistan that gives the court the right to disqualify a prime minister the way he was. “Now they are further deliberating over disqualifying Nawaz Sharif from politics for life. What is all of this?” he questioned.

The accountability court was hearing three references related to the Sharif family’s Flagship Investments Ltd, the Avenfield (London) properties, Jeddah-based Al-Azizia Company, and Hill Metal Establishment, filed in accordance with the SC orders in the Panamagate verdict.

On Wednesday, a three-judge SC bench sent another seismic wave rippling through country’s electoral system by saying that an individual disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 of the constitution cannot serve as head of a political party. The apex court verdict was pronounced in response to 17 petitions challenging the controversial Election Act 2017 which was cleared by parliament last year to pave way for Nawaz Sharif’s return as President of PML-N.

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