Resolutions in Pak assemblies demand treason case against Sharif

Resolutions against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif have been brought in the three provincial assemblies in Pakistan demanding registration of a treason case against him for his controversial remarks on the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. An unfazed Nawaz Sharif however rejected them demanding the formation of a national commission to find out who committed treason.

Sharif, the three-time prime minister who was forced to quit after the Supreme Court disqualified him in the Panama Papers scandal July last, in an interview last week questioned Pakistan’s policy to allow the non-state actors to cross the border and “kill” people in Mumbai as he publicly acknowledged that militant groups are active in the country. His comments triggered a controversy. The National Security Committee — Pakistan’s top civil-military body — condemned his “fallacious” statement.

In a petition filed in the  Lahore High Court, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) secretary general Khuram Nawaz Gandapur and Advocate Aftab Virk contended that Sharif tarnished the country’s image. “The statement by the former premier benefited India and appeared prejudiced towards the state’s safety and the interests, and that apparently Sharif is guilty of high treason as well as offences punishable in terms of the Official Secret Act, 1923 for which he deserves to be proceeded in accordance with law,” the petitioners said. The petitioners pleaded that the statement of Sharif amounts to “committing treason” against the country and the ex-premier is liable to be proceeded against under Article 6 of the Constitution as well as sections 3 and 5 of Official Secret Act, 1923.

Similar applications were also filed in Lahore’s police stations seeking registration of FIR under Article 6 of the Constitution against Sharif. Some lawmakers as far as demanding that the PML-N supremo’s name be placed on the Exit Control List, and a thorough investigation be undertaken to determine the reasons behind the statement made by him.

In Punjab assembly, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led opposition demanded “hang Nawaz Sharif for his pro-India statement”. In the other resolutions, PTI lawmaker Arif Abbasi said: “Sharif's statement on Mumbai attack has created problems for Pakistan internationally.” It also demanded constitution of a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe his business links with Indian steel tycoon Jindal.

The Sindh assembly passed a resolution unanimously condemning Sharif for his “irresponsible” remarks and sought an apology from him. A resolution was also moved in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly saying he has not only hurt the feelings of Pakistanis but also violated the provisions of his oath. “By his irresponsible act and misstatement, he has caused great harm to the sovereignty, integrity and solidarity of Pakistan,” it said and demanded registration of a treason case against him.

However, the former premier at a party rally in Buner on Monday night, rubbished the charges and demanded formation of a national commission to decide who committed treason.

On Tuesday, talking to reporters at the Accountability Court hearing corruption cases against him and his family, Nawaz, 68, reiterated his demand and said the national commissionwould allow all facts to become clear. “A decision should be made about who is a patriot and who is a traitor. I am an elected former prime minister. I know a lot of things. We should find out who laid the foundation of terrorism in the country. Pakistan is not becoming isolated, it is already isolated. Tell me which country stands with us, is there any?” he asked.