A case was registered on Monday against PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and other party leaders at the Shahdara police station in Lahore for ‘conspiring’ against the country and state institutions.
The case was registered by a citizen, Badar Rasheed, under Section 10 (cyberterrorism) of the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act (2016), and sections 120-A (definition of criminal conspiracy), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 121-A (conspiracy to wage war against Pakistan), 123-A (condemning the creation of the country and advocating the abolishment of its sovereignty), 124-A (sedition) and 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The FIR also names party leaders Maryam Nawaz, Rana Sanaullah, Ahsan Iqbal, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Pervez Rashid, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Ataullah Tarar and others that participated in the PML-N’s Central Executive Committee and Central Working Committee meetings held last week.
The complainant states that Nawaz has several corruption cases against him that are currently under trial in the courts. “Instead of availing medical treatment in London, Nawaz is carrying out a planned conspiracy to defame the country and its institutions by making inflammatory speeches,” says the FIR.
It alleges that in the speeches made on September 20 and October 1, the former premier supported the policies of neighbouring India, so that Pakistan would continue to remain on the Financial Action Task Force’s ‘grey list’.
“The main purpose of Nawaz’s speeches is to isolate Pakistan in front of the international community and to declare it a rogue state,” the complaint says. It adds that Nawaz is trying to turn the people against the elected government.
The aim of the speeches is also to divert attention from human rights violations in occupied Kashmir to benefit Nawaz’s “friend” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the complainant says.
PML-N leader Zafar Iqbal issued a statement condemning the registration of the case. “Registering treason cases against politicians cannot hide the ineptitude of the government. Instead of addressing unemployment, inflation and poverty, the government is using state machinery to suppress the opposition.”
In a statement posted on Twitter, PML-N spokeswoman Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the registration of the case was proof of the fact that the “selected” government was “panicking”. “Voices fighting for the truth and for the rights [of the people] can’t be suppressed by such false and baseless cases.”