Nawaz Sharif casts aspersions over Justice Ahsan’s sudden resignation

“My innocence has been proven, but judges who convicted me have left office one by one,” ex-PM says

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif speaks during an election campaign rally in Lahore on January 29, 2024, ahead of the upcoming general elections. — AFP
PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif speaks during an election campaign rally in Lahore on January 29, 2024, ahead of the upcoming general elections. — AFP
  • My innocence has been proven: PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif.
  • “A guilty conscience needs no accuser,” ex-PM says about Ahsan.
  • Vows to bring back “peace” to Pakistan after becoming premier.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif Monday raised questions over Justice (retd) Ijazul Ahsan’s untimely resignation, saying that “a guilty conscience needs no accuser”.

In a rare development, Ahsan, who was the Supreme Court’s third senior-most and in line to become the chief justice after the retirement of incumbent CJP Qazi Faez Isa, resigned on January 11.

Ahsan’s resignation, in which he mentioned that he just did not wish to continue as the top court’s judge, came within a day of Justice (retd) Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi’s resignation — who was under a microscope for numerous allegations.

“I was innocent. The judge who was appointed to monitor my cases […] and was about to become the chief justice in eight months resigned because a guilty conscience needs no accuser,” he said during a rally in Lahore’s NA-130 constituency, where he will contest the upcoming polls after a lifetime ban on him from holding a public office was lifted.

Ahsan was appointed by then-CJP Saqib Nisar in 2017 to oversee the proceedings of the references that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has been directed to file against Nawaz Sharif and his family members.

As he has secured acquittals in the corruption cases against him, within months of him coming back to Pakistan after ending a four-year self-exile in London, Nawaz said: “My innocence has been proven, but the judges who convicted me have left office one by one.”

Rallying supporters to ensure that they vote for the PML-N in the February 8 elections, Nawaz vowed that he would “leave no stone unturned” to ensure that Pakistan progresses.

“There was peace when Nawaz Sharif was in power. There was no inflation, petrol was cheap. I want to bring that era back and want to see that peace once more in your homes,” the PML-N supremo said, who is eyeing a fourth stint as the prime minister.

The competition at the national level is seemingly between the PML-N and its former ally Pakistan Peoples Party, following Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s electoral symbol “bat” being stripped of.

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