Deposed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday told a court here that he is not a traitor as his family migrated from India for its love for Pakistan.
The Lahore High Court on Monday held the hearing on a petition seeking action against 67-year-old Sharif under treason charges for claiming that those involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack belonged to Pakistan. Another former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Dawn’s journalist Cyril Almeida, who are the other respondents in the case, also filed their reply in the court.
Some 166 people were killed in the attack carried out by 10 Pakistan-based LeT terrorists. Nine of the attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught and hanged after handed down death sentence.
In his reply filed in the court, Sharif said: “How come a man who has made this country’s an atomic power can be a traitor. A person’s party that is given more votes than any other party in this month’s by-polls can be a traitor. I represent millions of Pakistanis… can they be traitors.” He further said his family had migrated from India for its love for Pakistan. “Me and my family love every inch of this land (Pakistan),” Sharif said and dismissed allegations that he had committed any treason.
Sharif’s father Mian Muhammad Sharif had lived in Jati Umra in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district before migrating to Lahore in 1947. In his reply, Abbasi denied that he had shared the minutes of the National Security Council meeting about the participants on his (Sharif) statement on the Mumbai terror attack.
Journalist Almeida said he committed no treason as he conducted an interview of Sharif and wrote what he said. The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority filed its reply saying the matter had been referred to the Press Council of Pakistan. A full-bench of court headed by Justice Mazahir Ali Naqvi adjourned the hearing till November 12. The court is conducting hearing on the petitioner of Amina Malik.
She said Sharif, who was disqualified by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case in July 2017 and subsequently jailed for 10 years in last July in Avenfield corruption case, in an interview to Dawn May last made the remarks that those involved in the Mumbai attack case actually belonged to Pakistan thus committed treason.
The petitioner said the “anti-state” statement of Sharif — a three-time prime minister — could be used against Pakistan by its enemies. She said a meeting of the National Security Council was held to discuss the ‘misleading’ statement of the disqualified premier and later the then prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met Sharif and conveyed to him the concerns of the military leadership on his statement.
“The act of Abbasi was also a clear violation of his oath as he was bound not to allow his personal interest to influence his official conduct,” she said. Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Mohammad Safdar were released last month following the suspension of their sentences by the Islamabad High Court in the Avenfield properties corruption case.