By Islamuddin Sajid
Ousted Premier Nawaz Sharif vowed to stay in Pakistan and in politics as he formally launched his ruling party’s 2018 election campaign with a public gathering in northeastern Khyber Pukhtoonkhawa province’s
In his address to the public, Sharif rejected
"No minus Nawaz Sharif formula would be accepted; some people wish I should leave politics but Nawaz Sharif is now an ideology and it would bring a revolution in Pakistan," he said.
The former premier also criticized the decision of the country’s top court to sack him and asked how five judges kick out an elected prime minister of millions of people.
"The Joint Investigation Team [formed under the direction of the apex court] had failed to find a single penny corruption against me and my family and that was the reason that court ousted me in an Iqama [work permit] case," Sharif said.
Sharif was disqualified by a five-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and ousted from the office on July 28 in the aftermath of the Panama Papers scandal. The court found that Sharif had allegedly acted in an untrustworthy manner by failing to declare a salary from his son's Dubai-based company ahead of the 2013 election.
The ousted premier continues to head his party, the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz group, also known as PML-N.
The ruling PML-N elected Sharif as party president on Oct. 3 after a controversial amendment in the country’s constitution that allowed disqualified politicians to hold public office or lead a political party.
Sharif’s launching of his election campaign in Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa province, where his main political rival Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) led by former cricket
Sharif vowed his party would return to power again in the next elections.
“I have decided to go to the public court and you [voters] will decide my appeal in the coming election, and I hope people would support Muslim League [PML-N]."