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No court decision can weaken my bond with people, says Nawaz Sharif

Sharif and some of his family members are facing charges relating to their ownership of properties in London in connection with the Panama Papers scandal.

Published: 19th November 2017 07:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th November 2017 08:29 PM   |  A+A-

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (File photo | AP)

By PTI

ISLAMABAD: A defiant Nawaz Sharif today said that no decision of a court could weaken his relationship with the masses as Pakistan's ousted prime minister kicked off the ruling PML-N party's campaign to seek public support in the wake of Panama Papers scandal, a media report said.

He said that "four or five people cannot decide the fate of millions of people," referring to the bench that ruled against him in the Panama Papers case, the Express Tribune reported.

Sharif, 67, and some of his family members are facing charges relating to their ownership of properties in London in connection with the Panama Papers scandal.

He resigned as the prime minister in July after the Supreme Court disqualified him over undeclared income.

"The support of the (large) number of people gathered here is a proof that no decision of the court could separate me and them," he said while addressing a rally in Abbottabad.

The people expressed the same support for him in the 2013 general elections, he said.

"If someone thinks I will be defeated, then they are wrong. I am not the one who is going to be defeated here. Sit- ins were staged as soon as I assumed responsibilities as the premier. However, we continually worked on development projects," Sharif said.

Then, he said, the Panama (Papers) "drama" was staged.

"If I were a dictator, I would have disintegrated from you and left. I promise to never leave you and I hope that the people supporting me would continue to do so," he said.

Sharif and four of his family members can soon be barred from leaving Pakistan in connection with the Panama Papers case as the anti-graft watchdog has initiated a process to place their names on the Exit Control List.

Three cases were registered by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on September 8 against Sharif, his children and son-in-law in the Accountability Court Islamabad, following the July verdict by the Supreme Court.

The NAB Lahore office on Friday initiated the process to place the names of Sharif, his sons Hussain and Hassan, daughter Maryam and son-in-law Mohammad Safdar on Exit Control List (ECL).

An accountability court had earlier declared Hussain and Hassan proclaimed offenders for skipping court proceedings in connection with the case.

Sharif's family has been shuttling between Islamabad and London in recent days due to his wife Kulsoom, who is battling throat cancer.

The three cases against the Sharifs are related to the Flagship Investment Ltd, the Avenfield (London) properties and Jeddah-based Al-Azizia Company and Hill Metal Establishment.

The political future of Sharif, who leads the country's most powerful political family and the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, has been hanging in balance since his disqualification. If convicted, Sharif could be jailed.

Sharif's family alleges that the cases are politically motivated.



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