LONDON: Pakistan’s former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf has appealed to the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) to help bring an interim government and not let 2018 elections go ahead, warning that, otherwise, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) will win again.
The ex-military ruler — while addressing a public gathering of his All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) in East London — expressed hope that the SC will continue its “activism” and strike down the recently-passed Election Act 2017 that empowers former prime minister Nawaz Sharif being taken to the court by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan.
He asked the SC to help form an interim government that should “run Pakistan for a few years through constitutional amendments and restructure the whole country”.
“My vision is that the interim government should bring a new system, bring a check and balance, [and] make new provinces.
“That should happen through the Supreme Court of Pakistan and I believe the SC should do it.”
Musharraf said “we must not let” PML-N and PPP win, adding that “how not to allow this to happen is the question and that’s possible only if the current system is not allowed to go ahead”.
The former president hoped that the SC will strike down the Election Act 2017, even though it will “create a clash between the legislature and the executive”.
Nevertheless, he said that would be a price worth paying as long as the decision is against Sharif. Painting a bleak picture of Pakistan, Musharraf claimed the country was not moving forward and that there was no governance anywhere.
He also stressed that he had the “best team” around him as none of his ministers had been involved in corruption and that all his appointments were on merit.
Pakistan’s economy was not headed in the right direction, the former dictator said, noting how the nation had made no progress whatsoever after he left the government some ten years ago.
“There’s no investment coming to Pakistan, the economy is ruined, and I am afraid that Pakistan may be declared bankrupt. People are unhappy because they don’t have jobs and they have no buying power left.”
Musharraf praised the SC for forming a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) against Sharif, its decision to disqualify him on the basis of Iqama, as well as the current National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases.
“The Supreme Court judgement of disqualification against Nawaz Sharif is right and legal, but Nawaz Sharif has made it a party political issue and all his party is attacking the SC decision,” said Musharraf.
“Instability exists in Pakistan today and foreign countries like India are taking advantage because institutions are not on the same page and India is using this situation to damage Pakistan in neighbouring Afghanistan and elsewhere. It’s a dilemma we face today.”
Musharraf said, “I am saddened at what’s happening in Pakistan. I ran Pakistan for ten years and am aware of its potential that can be used to make Pakistan a leading force in the region.
“A country’s potential can be judged by the resources and Pakistan has everything and its location is ideal but its geographical location is its weakness too. I believe Pakistan is not moving forward.”
He said his party was growing across Pakistan and claimed that over a thousand people attended his party’s office in “MQM’s heartland Liaquatabad”.
He said the Urdu-speaking community should not use the term muhajir anymore.
Musharraf’s appearance was the first one at a public rally in the UK after five years. Other APML leaders — including Saeed Bhatti, Ifzaal Siddiqui, Muhammad Ali Chohan, and Najma Shaheen — also addressed the gathering.
Originally published in