On Sunday, the erstwhile Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif addressed the people of Pakistan from London during a multi-party video conference. Sharif, who had been languishing in the jail and had been out of the country for medical treatment, lambasted the Pakistani army establishment for destroying democracy, dismissing elected governments, installing incapable puppets, and so on.
Democracy not allowed to run in Pakistan, concedes Nawaz Sharif
At the very onset, Nawaz Sharif said, “Pakistan has been devoid of a parliamentary system of democracy, even though this is enshrined in our Constitution. But when it is decided (by an external force) as to who should win or lose, it betrays the public mandate…Sadly, Pakistan has become a laboratory for such deceitful experiments. Even if a government is formed democratically, then, it is weakened internally and then dismissed. All of this is done with forethought as to how their actions will lead to trust-deficit amongst people in the country’s institutions.”
Courts paved the way for military dictators, claims former PM
In another sensational claim, Nawaz Sharif said, “I am saddened to say that the Pakistani courts upheld martial law every time and legitimised the usurping of power by military dictators. The courts gave them the opportunity to mess with the law. None of them were prosecuted. But those leaders who follow the law are now languishing in jails… It is not surprising in Pakistan that a military dictator is let off despite committing heavy crimes… Until when should we tolerate this?” He emphasised how dictators remained in power for several years while elected governments could not complete five years in office.
Sharif on rigged 2018 elections
Citing erstwhile Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Nawaz Sharif said that there is a ‘state’ within a ‘state’ in Pakistan. Speaking on the rigged elections, Sharif said, “Can I ask why the Results Transmission System (RTS) was closed for hours during election, why polling agents were thrown out during counting? Why was dhandli done, on whose directives and why? The secretary Election Commission should answer and all those responsible will have to answer.”
Our struggle is not against Imran Khan, says Nawaz Sharif
Towards the end of his hour-long speech, Nawaz Sharif concluded, “Our struggle is not against Imran Khan. I had said this even before the election. I am saying it again now. Our struggle is against those who brought him to the throne of the Prime Minister.” Hinting at the Pakistani army establishment, he said, “They have rigged the elections and destroyed the country by providing power to an incapable man.”
“This country is beloved to us. The government has not only targeted opposition leaders but also the judiciary now. If the situation does not change, then, it will cause irreparable damage to the country… The army establishment should shy away from interfering with the affairs of the government, as stated by the Constitutiton and Qaid-e-Azam (Mohammed Ali Jinnah). “
Nawaz Sharif recounts being jailed at the behest of the army establishment
Narrating his ordeal, Nawaz Sharif stated, “The Establishment should not arrest a sitting Prime Minister at gun-point…I am pained everytime I remember this. It feels bad when I realise that we have made the country a joke in our eyes and that of the world.” He also called for co-operation and unity amongst the Opposition to put up a rigid fight against the current political and military dispensation.