ISLAMABAD: Nawaz Sharif, still smarting from the shock disqualification by the Supreme Court for dishonesty, wants to know if everyone else in Pakistan was "Sadiq and Ameen" or honest and righteous. The apex court on Friday disqualified 67-year-old Sharif for dishonesty and ruled that corruption cases be filed against him and his children over the Panama Papers scandal, forcing him to resign from premiership. The court's ruling stated that Sharif had been dishonest in not disclosing his earnings from a Dubai-based company of his son in his nomination papers during the 2013 general election.
One of the apex court judges, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, said that Sharif was no longer "eligible to be an honest member of the parliament". Addressing leaders of his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) yesterday, Sharif said, "You should be proud that your leader doesn't have a stain of corruption on him." "I am proud that I have not been declared ineligible over charges of corruption," he said at the PML-N's parliamentary meeting that approved his brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif as his successor.
The former premier claimed he did not receive any kickbacks or commissions and never compromised on principles. "When I never took a salary, what would I declare," he said, referring to the Supreme Court judgement that led to his ouster. "When you take something, there's a problem; when you don't, there's a problem," he observed. "Is it only my family that should be held accountable? Is everyone else in this country Sadiq (honest) and Ameen (righteous)?" he asked.
"My conscience is clear," he asserted. "If I had done something wrong; or took something from this country that was not mine, I would have felt the guilt myself," he said. Meanwhile, Rehman Malik, former interior minister and a senior member of the Pakistan Peoples Party, has commented that the phrases Sadiq and Amin are part of Pakistan's Constitution under Article 62 and 63, applicable on public holders and it explains the criterion of "qualifications for a member of Majlis-i-Shoora (parliament)".
Further, he says that its clause (e) reads: "Has adequate knowledge of Islamic teachings and practices obligatory duties prescribed by Islam as well as abstains from major sins". The law under Article 62 also states that he who shall be elected a Member of Parliament should be sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, honest and ameen, there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law, Malik said in a recent opinion piece in The Nation.
However, Malik rued that "it disheartens the soul to see public office holders including politicians and officials taking cover behind these words - Sadiq and Ameen - and openly being dishonest in their actions and deeds."