ISLAMABAD - Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif has warned the establishment of exposing things if alleged plans to implant political blue-eyed does not stop.

The besieged PML-N president, who returned from a much-speculated visit to Saudi Arabia, addressed a press conference here at Punjab House on Wednesday, and criticised the apex court’s disqualifying him but letting PTI chief Imran Khan off the hook.

Talking in the backdrop of the ongoing tiff in Pak-US relations, he claimed that a civilian government would never have “sold itself” to the Americans in the post-9/11 scenario the way a dictator did.

Earlier he also spoke to the media after appearing before the Accountability Court, which is hearing corruption references against him and his other family members, and he made a scathing criticism on his unnamed enemies.

Nawaz believes that the military establishment in collusion with the top court and some opposition elements, especially the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, is out to mitigate him completely from the political scene, but he won’t ever name it explicitly.

This is not the first time the ruling party chief, whose position as PML-N president too has been challenged in the Supreme Court, has issued the threat of laying things about political wheeling-dealing bare.

Days after he lost premiership as a result of the July 2017 judgment in Panama case, he led a rally from Islamabad to Lahore during which he kept saying he would spill the beans if the establishment did not stop the alleged politico-legal attack against him and his family, though he never revealed any such thing.

Now, once again he is crying foul and has threatened to expose the whole ‘game plan’ of getting engineered results in upcoming general elections if the covert moves of establishment are not stopped forthwith.

He said that he remained prime minister of this country thrice and privy to so many things. Referring to the chequered electoral history of the country, he said that the first elections following the creation of Pakistan were held after 23 years.

Since then, he said, political manipulation and tampering with the electoral process remained a routine. This was why the results of all the elections were either rejected or seen with suspicion, which caused enormous damage to the country, including the secession of East Pakistan in 1971, Nawaz added.

“Even today the same rule has been followed… [that is] stop the way of a political party and pave the way for a ladla [political favourite],” he said in an apparent reference to PTI chairman Imran Khan.

“Plans of putting those without any proven record of public welfare and development, who depend upon politics of lies, allegations and sit-ins, who are already rejected by the masses, into power should not be made anymore,” said Nawaz Sharif.

He said that certain elements were out to play a deceitful game to temper with the public mandate, and he made it clear that those engaged in such activities would actually be playing with the fate and future of the country.

PML-N chief warned against pushing political parties against the wall through unlawful verdicts and underhand deals, adding that democracy should be allowed to flourish in its original form, linking the prosper future of the country in free, fair and transparent elections.

The remarks of Nawaz were taken by many political observers and politicians as criticism of the country’s powerful establishment.

PPP’s Qamar Zaman Kaira, while speaking to a private TV channel, asked if Nawaz’s trip to the Saudi Kingdom had emboldened him to make such outspoken claims.

PTI’s Naeemul Haque wondered where the ousted prime minister’s loyalties lay, as he accused Nawaz of adopting the “same perspective” as Trump and India’s Narendra Modi.

US ties

During his talk, Nawaz, referring to the US President Donald Trump tweet as unreasonable and unacceptable, said that a head of state must know the rules of engagements with another state partnering it in war against terror.

He said had there been an elected government instead of a dictatorial regime in 2001 the nation’s integrity and self-respect would not have been trampled in such a fashion.

Nawaz Sharif said currently an elected government was in place so no one can scare the country with a single phone call. Soon after coming into power in 2013, PML-N had taken tangible steps against terrorism and launched operation Zerb-i-Azb which had broken the backbone of terrorists, he added.

He said that he would ask Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to make such arrangement as would end country’s reliance on the US aid so that such attacks on Islamabad’s self-respect and integrity could not be made in future.

The former premier, however, called for soul searching as to why world was not taking Pakistan seriously and not accepting its narrative, despite its rendering matchless sacrifices in the ongoing war on terror.

“There are certain questions for which we need to look inward and search for their answers as it will be the only way to move forward and come of this state of uncertainty and unacceptability,” he said.

“We need to identify our weaknesses and problems and can rise as a strong nation by rectifying these problems and only then can secure a respectful place in the comity of nations,” he said, and urged the political leadership across the whole spectrum to rise above their own interests and work as a nation.

Imran’s clearance

Earlier taking to media after appearing before the NAB court, Nawaz Sharif said that he was disqualified merely on holding an Aqama but PTI chief Imran Khan was cleared of money laundering allegations despite his confession of wrongdoing.

“Despite all investigations, no proof of money laundering was found against me and I was disqualified for holding an Aqama. But, Imran Khan despite his tendering an apology for wrongdoing was cleared of charges,” he complained.

He said Imran Khan had confessed to transaction of millions of pounds for construction of house as well as investments in Niazi Services. “But, our courts cleared him... It is matter of record and I am not beating about the bush.”

“The money Imran had confessed about was either pilfered or siphoned off, or laundered. In any case, it was a crime but he was declared truthful and righteous,” he said.

Contrary to it, he said, an elected prime minister was disqualified on an imaginative salary and Aqama. “Now the nation has to decide on this matter and the nation would definitely give its verdict in 2018 elections.”

Referring to NA-120 by-election, PML-N chief said Imran Khan had claimed after the court decision against him (Nawaz) that the said election would be a referendum against the PML-N.

“But, Maryam led campaign in NA-120 and forced Imran to lick the dust. You (Imran) lost the referendum in NA-120 and 2018 election would also prove to be a referendum against you.”

Nawaz said it cannot work that one person is pushed to wall and other is bailed out and then it is stated that the justice has been done.

“All this is moving forward through a strategy. But, the time has changed and it is 2018 and not 1947, 1958, 1969 or 1977. Time has changed, the nation is awake and we shall have to meet obligations of present times,” he added.

When asked about bail of Imran Khan from anti-terrorism court, Nawaz said there were many secrets in this matter too and he would inform the nation about it.

He said Imran had been making hue and cry about rigging in previous elections but no rigging was found in any constituency. “What kind of rigging he had been talking about, I could not understand.”

Nawaz said he should be given a solid reason behind his summoning to the accountability courts and trial for the charges which were not proved against him during [Panama case] investigation.

KSA visit

When asked about his visit to Saudi Arabia, Nawaz Sharif said, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are brotherly countries having cordial relations since former’s inception. “We enjoy mutual bonds of affection and these bonds are cementing with every passing day.”

He said his visit to Saudi Arabia was not a ‘wonder of the world’. “People who nurtured rumours were spiteful not to me but also to friendly relations between the two countries. Their conduct was highly irresponsible.”