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Sunday, Aug 25, 2019

Democracy is being repeatedly murdered in Pakistan, says Nawaz Sharif

The former PM of Pakistan said all civilised countries in the world had progressed through democracy, while dictatorships had failed to deliver everywhere.

world Updated: Nov 28, 2017 22:09 IST

Press Trust of India, Islamabad
Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.(File)

Democracy has been repeatedly murdered in Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif lamented on Tuesday as he said “Prime ministers are removed, hanged, arrested and sent in exile” in the country.

In an apparent reference to the power struggle between the establishment and elected representatives in Pakistan, the ousted prime minister termed the events of the past 70 years in the country as “unfortunate”.

Addressing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers at the Punjab House, Sharif, the party chief, said civilised nations progressed by adopting democratic values whereas democracy was repeatedly murdered in Pakistan, the Express Tribune reported.

“What has been happening in the country for the past 70 years is very unfortunate,” he said.

“Sometimes the prime minister is removed, at others he is hanged. Sometimes he is arrested and at others sent in exile,” the 67-year-old leader was quoted as saying by the Dawn news.

He was apparently referring to his own ouster by former dictator General Pervez Musharraf in 1999 in a coup, forcing him to go on exile to Saudi Arabia and the Supreme Court disqualifying him this year in the Panama Papers case. He also referred to the execution of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1979.

Sharif said that all civilised countries in the world had progressed through democracy, while dictatorships had failed to deliver everywhere.

The relations between Pakistan’s civilian government and the powerful Army have long been fraught, with the military ruling the country for nearly half of its 70-year history.

Reiterating his stance over the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case that disqualified him, Sharif said the decision was contrary to facts and did not get approval from the masses.

The apex court had directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file graft cases against Sharif and his children in the accountability court, directing the trial court to decide the cases within six months.

Sharif said he had a lot of issues to speak about to the media, which he will do at an appropriate time.

Earlier in the day, he appeared before an accountability court in Islamabad which is hearing multiple corruption cases against him and his family members.

First Published: Nov 28, 2017 22:07 IST

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