Nawaz says to struggle to ensure sanctity of vote

  • Ex-PM says peoples’ mandate should not be trampled down
  • ‘Everybody knows about Imran, his motives and politics style’

Reiterating resolve to preserve the sanctity of the vote, former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Thursday pleaded to avoid confrontation among state institutions, terming it against the national interest.

“I am not in favour of confrontation among the state institutions. It is the collective responsibility of everybody to avoid such confrontation,” he said in an interview with BBC Urdu, telecasted by a private TV channel.

“There should not be a clash of interest. All institutions should dispense duties within the ambit of constitution and the parliament should monitor and ensure it. Sanctity of vote must be ensured and peoples’ mandate should not be trampled down,” Nawaz said when asked if he was going to confront.

He dispelled the impression that he had been on odds with the establishment and said he had ideal relations with the military leadership except a few. “I believe in the supremacy of the constitution and did not deviate from it. I am also strong believer of rule of law,” he said. In support of his argument, he mentioned to General Pervez Musharraf’s martial law.

“A few people moved for this action as remaining establishment even did not know about it,” he said. “I do not agree with anything unconstitutional. Our policies should be in right direction and this can only be ensured when there is the sanctity of the vote,” he said. Answering a question whether he was going to opt for politics of resistance, Nawaz said he would struggle to ensure the sanctity of the vote.

“The nation has started realizing it and I am in no dearth of people who support this ideology,” he said. “This is a matter of a cause and ideology. My struggle would not be for power because it is not a bed of roses. But I owe to the nation for the sanctity of the vote,” he added.

He mentioned to a sit‑in by Pakistan Tehreek‑e‑Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri in front of the Parliament House and attack on state institutions and said the nation also witnessed this unfortunate moment.

“When the sit-in ended, Panama Papers surfaced and all this happened when the country was leaping forward to destination of progress, CPEC was executed in full swing, infrastructure was being developed and load shedding was diminishing,” he said and mentioned to the Karachi‑Peshawar Motorway and rapid growth and questioned who was responsible for the setback.

“These two persons had been chasing me from day one only with the grudge as to why Nawaz Sharif had secured so much vote. It was not a sincere service to democracy rather it was a conspiracy against democracy,” he pointed out. He said when the first petition was filed in the Supreme Court, it was returned declaring it frivolous.

But, was later admitted, a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was constituted and he and his family faced the case for four months. “Everybody knows about the WhatsApp call and the JIT members. But me, Shehbaz, my sons and daughter appeared before the JIT. We were interrogated about family business of three generations since 1972,” he pointed out.

He said that no charge of corruption, kick backs and siphoning of money from the national exchequer was proved against him with regards to his tenures as the prime minister and the chief minister. “Had I been involved in corruption, I would have been regretful before the nation,” he said. Nawaz said he had been witnessing happenings in the country since its inception.

“Had the sanctity of vote been respected, Pakistan would have been 10 times stronger than to disintegrate,” he said. He said those countries do not prosper where the sanctity of vote was not ensured. “We have diagnosed the disease and would ensure that there is respect for vote as it is key to progress and the nation is also alive to this fact,” he said.

When asked about Imran Khan, he said everybody knows about his motives and style of politics. “We have an ideology of rules of law and supremacy of the constitution and I did nothing against this ideology. I even did not violate the Charter of Democracy. It was violated with the issuance of an NRO,” he said.

Nawaz stated that he respectfully bid adieu to Asif Ali Zardari, did not victimise political opponents and even faced sit‑in with patience and fortitude. Answering a question, he said one can see the charges that provided the basis for his disqualification. “Now it is right of the nation either to agree or disagree with it and you have seen the response of the nation,” he said.

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