ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif presided over a consultative meeting with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders at the Punjab House on Tuesday, after his appearance before the accountability court in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) references against him and his family.
During the meeting, which comes in the aftermath of PML-N’s shock victory in Lodhran by-polls, Nawaz said the people of Lodhran “have shown their love for us” through the by-poll results. According to unofficial results, PML-N’s Iqbal Shah received 113,542 votes, while his competitor, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Ali Tareen, contesting his first election on his father’s seat, got 85,933 votes.
Expressing his gratitude to the people of Lodhran, Nawaz said he will thank them by visiting them in person. Earlier today, following his court appearance, the former premier said Monday’s by-poll victory in Lodhran is “the public’s response to these cases,” adding that the “people of Pakistan are fighting my case. I salute them.”
Talking to the media, Nawaz said he wonders how long such “supplementary references” will continue to be submitted. He was referring to the additional reference filed by NAB in the Avenfield case and the expected filing of similar supplementary references in the other two cases. “There’s nothing in them. They are the same references that have been re-packaged. Had there been any substantial truth and evidence in the original reference there’d be no need for additional references,” said Nawaz.
Terming the ongoing cases against him ‘victimization in the name of accountability’, the three-time prime minister said, “‘they want Nawaz punished one way or the other. But I’m happy the people of Pakistan are with us as seen in the [Lodhran] by-election result”.